State Police troopers under investigation for overtime abuse scandal

BOSTON — Boston 25 News has confirmed that several Massachusetts State Police department members are under investigation for collecting overtime pay for shifts they didn't work.

This week, state police revealed 21 members of the state police working with Troop E, which patrols the Mass Pike, were under investigation in this scandal.

19 of those members are reportedly still on the job; holding the ranks of Trooper, Sergeant, and Lieutenant.

Troopers reported to State Police Headquarters in Framingham on Friday for duty status hearings.

State Police announced on Tuesday that an internal audit revealed the alleged discrepancies between pay for overtime shifts and actual shifts worked.

On that same day, State Police announced the troopers flagged by the audit would be investigated by Internal Affairs and the results would also be turned in to the attorney general for review.

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Following Tuesday's announcement, and prior to the hearings on Friday, three of the 19 members still on the job retired.

On Friday, prior to their duty status hearings, six more members of the department retired as well.

Those nine members flagged were given general discharges. Department members who retire while being investigated by internal affairs do not receive honorable discharges.

After the hearings, State Police ordered nine members to be suspended without pay; the 10th member to have a status hearing was kept on active duty.

One other member of Troop E that was flagged by the audit would have been subject to a duty status hearing had he not retired prior to the opening of the internal affairs investigation.

A 21st member also would have been subject to a hearing on Friday, but he's already been suspended without pay pending a separate investigation.

The duty statuses determined on Friday afternoon will be in effect for the duration of the investigation.

The investigation will determine whether policies, rules or regulations of the State Police were violated, and will also seek to determine whether criminal charges are warranted.

On Tuesday, State Police Kerry Gilpin said:

"Integrity, honesty, and accountability are core values of the Massachusetts State Police. Those are values that I, as Colonel, expect and demand, that Governor Baker and Secretary Bennett demand, and that the hard-working men and women of this Department — the overwhelming majority of our people -- expect and demand of their peers. Most importantly, those values of honesty and integrity are what our citizens rightly expect and demand. For us to fulfill our mission as a police agency, we must have the public's trust."

Several of those troopers have received the most severe punishment available.

The investigation is now being conducted by the attorney general for possible criminal prosecution.