Massachusetts State Police Colonel Christopher Mason today announced that he will be seeking termination and restitution for 22 Department personnel in connection with the Department’s investigation into citation, attendance, and earnings irregularities in the former Troop E. The Department’s internal administrative investigation sustained charges against all 22.
Based on internal audits launched in 2017, State Police referred a total of 46 current and former Department personnel to the US Attorney’s office and Massachusetts Attorney General’s office, who sought criminal charges against 10 of those individuals.
Internal Affairs charges were sustained against all of the remaining 36, Colonel Mason said. Of that number, 14 have retired and charges against them have been sustained, and State Police notified the State Retirement Board of the findings. Colonel Mason yesterday directed the Internal Affairs Section to notify the 22 personnel still employed by State Police that he would recommend their termination – and seek full restitution from them.
“These notifications signal the beginning of the process to administer discipline for the 22 members charged,” said Colonel Mason. “I anticipate that a number of these officers will be terminated as a result of this process. In addition to the specific punishment imposed, we will ensure that restitution is ordered. In every case, we will require that the Trooper reimburse the taxpayers — dollar for dollar — any money paid for hours not worked, in addition to a substantive punitive penalty.
“It’s important to remember that each case has its own facts and circumstances that we expect will be brought forward by counsel during this disciplinary process. As well, each member has a right to due process, codified by statute and contact, and to seek a Trial Board.”
Earlier this month, Colonel Mason outlined a series of reforms at State Police, including the activation of Automated Vehicle Locator technology in cruisers, increased supervisory oversight, regular auditing of time and attendance, and ongoing ethical training for all personnel.
“I will ensure that this disciplinary process progresses, that its results are fair, and that it is conducted with due process and with due regard to the serious nature of these findings,” Colonel Mason said. “Nothing less than the public trust depends upon it.”