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The Massachusetts State Police continue to drain the swamp in front of our eyes….
Three recently suspended or retired Massachusetts State Police troopers were arrested Wednesday and charged with taking thousands of dollars of overtime pay for hours they didn’t work by submitting bogus traffic citations to conceal that they had actually been off the clock. U.S. Attorney Andrew Lelling called the arrests the beginning of his office’s investigation into whether overtime abuse is a systemic problem at state police. State police have told prosecutors that about 40 employees had apparent discrepancies between pay received and hours worked in 2016, but the three troopers are the only ones so far to face criminal charges.
These troopers selfishly tarnished the reputation and badge worn proudly by so many other hard working members of the Massachusetts State Police, who put their lives on the line for all of us every each and every day,” Hank Shaw, FBI special agent in charge of the Boston Field Division, told reporters. Paul Cesan, 50, Gary Herman, 45, and David Wilson, 57, were arrested at their homes just after sunrise and charged with embezzlement from an agency receiving federal funds. They appeared in Boston’s federal court hours later and were released from custody on certain conditions.
Cesan and Herman’s lawyers didn’t immediately respond to messages from The Associated Press. It was not immediately clear if Wilson has an attorney. The troopers were members of the now-disbanded Troop E, which patrols the 138-mile (220 kilometers) Massachusetts Turnpike from Boston to the New York state border. Officials say the men put in for overtime pay for shifts they either left hours early or didn’t work at all in 2016. For example, Cesan’s cruiser radio was off — suggesting he wasn’t operating the vehicle — the entire time he claimed to be working an overtime shift that year, court records say.
Officials say the troopers either changed the dates of real traffic citations or submitted citations that never really happened to make it look like they had been working the whole time. Court records say police paid Cesan more than $29,000 in fraudulent overtime pay, while Herman and Wilson both received roughly $12,500. Wilson, a former lieutenant, was an officer in charge of overtime shifts before he retired in March. Cesan also retired that month, and Herman is currently suspended.
Revelations of potential overtime abuse within Troop E led officials to disband the unit and order body cameras for state troopers and GPS vehicle locators in police cruisers, among other changes. State Police say they now have increased oversight for overtime shifts and are conducting regular audits of high earners. “We fully support and will continue to cooperate with the ongoing investigations being conducted by the US Attorney and the Attorney General,” State Police Col. Kerry Gilpin said in a statement.
It’s good that they’re being held accountable and all, but why did it take the FBI to do this? Where the hell is the Attorney General? Oh right, doing the only thing she knows how to do – suing Donald Trump:
This is about our duty as a nation to protect children and keep families together. We are suing to make sure this cruel policy ends, that families are reunited, and that this never happens again. https://t.co/nOofEmlAe6
— Maura Healey (@MassAGO) June 22, 2018
Why? Why is she putting a single ounce of her energy into suing Donald Trump? It will accomplish nothing. It’s not an issue that remotely affects the taxpayers of Massachusetts. Oh right, this will just help her score some political with the cheap seats. Carry on.
Anyway, as much as I think it’s a good thing that these thieves are being held responsible, I really hate that we’ve opened up a can of worms that has allied us with the “fuck the po-lease” crowd. Because despite all of this I still trust the police, including the MSP. But obviously this overtime shit was out of control. Unfortunately it seems to have been systematic. You have high ranking officials taking part in this too, not just some rogue troopers. They obviously were told by other troopers that it was OK and just part of the job and blah, blah, blah.
So I don’t think they should go to jail or anything like that, I just think they should all have to repay every penny they stole plus interest. The damage that has been done to their reputations is punishment enough as it is.
Here’s the thing, if we’re ranking MSP scandals in the last 6 months, here’s how I rank them:
This is just money. It’s illegal and unethical, but we can get more money. What we can’t get back is trust. And the fact of the matter is that Joe Early is still the District Attorney for Worcester County, and Dan Bennett is still Charlie Baker’s right hand guy. Both of them ordered a judge’s daughter’s arrest report to be redacted and then retaliated against the troopers who didn’t want to do that.
With Genduso no one has ever been held responsible for hiring a woman who was a major pot dealer, perjurer, and tax evader. Somehow she became a state cop, and this has never been explained.
The fact that the people who orchestrated both of those scandals have not been held responsible is the real problem. They have no problem arresting these cops, even though two of them are retired, so why isn’t Marian McGovern being questioned? Obviously she used her influence to help Genduso get her job. Why isn’t former Colonel McKeon under arrest? What he did was far worse than what these guys did.
But I guess you gotta take small victories when you can get em. The bottom line is this overtime shit isn’t gonna be happening anymore because everyone’s watching out for it now. This is what we do at Turtleboy – we fix problems.
P.S. A number of people have asked what Leigha Genduso is up to these days. Some people have messaged and said she’s bartending in the Danvers area, but this isn’t confirmed. She probably should’ve been doing that all along instead of masquerading as a cop. Either way, she’s done as a trooper (even though she hasn’t formally been fired), which is really the only thing that matters.