Tuesday, January 26, 2021

Former Massachusetts State Police officers arrested on corruption charges

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A pair of former members of the Massachusetts State Police was arrested by federal agents early Friday.

MassLive has learned the names of the former law enforcement officials: Daniel J. Griffin, a former lieutenant and commanding officer of the Massachusetts State Police Traffic Programs Section, and William W. Robertson, a former sergeant with the state police. Both face a slew of charges, including conspiracy to steal federal funds and wire fraud, according to indictments that were unsealed Friday morning.

Griffin and Robertson would regularly arrive late to, and leave early from overtime shifts funded with federal dollars from 2015 through 2018, prosecutors claim, starting overtime shifts during regular work hours or leaving two-to-three hours before they were scheduled to end.

 

Locations for overtime were reportedly picked for convenience, with Griffin often picking checkpoints near the Cape to be closer to his second home, according to the indictment.

 

When the state police overtime scandal came to light, the men sought to avoid detection by “shredding and burning records and forms,” according to federal prosecutors.

 

Griffin and Robertson are expected to be arraigned in federal court in Boston Friday on charges of conspiracy, federal programs embezzlement and wire fraud in connection with an overtime scheme dating back to 2015. Griffin was also charged with filing false tax returns and wire fraud.

 

The U.S. Attorney’s Office is scheduled to hold a press conference late Friday morning to discuss the charges.

 

Dozens of former members of the department were referred for criminal prosecution earlier this year for implication in a widespread overtime scandal. Including Friday’s arrests, a dozen have been charged in federal or state court and eight of those have been convicted and sentenced.

 

Those who have not been charged can keep their pensions, MassLive reported earlier this year.

“The Board is not regularly presented with similar requests by other participating agencies of the retirement system that seek to recover funds,” the Nicola Favorito, the state retirement board’s executive director wrote in the letter.

 

“Moreover, there is a low likelihood through a hearing with the Board that the individuals in question would have any incentive to genuinely participate, or even consider resolving their cases and make restitution, given they could still be criminally prosecuted,” the board added. “As such, the Board would be expending retirement system assets and exercising authority to potentially recover albeit non-pension monies.”

 

Pensions for some of the troopers believed to be involved range from $69,000 to more than $100,000 annually for a total of $1.17 million a year.

 

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