Massachusetts Police’s payroll director pleads not guilty to theft Massachusetts Police’s payroll director pleads not guilty to theft

Massachusetts Police’s payroll director pleads not guilty to theft
25 Apr 2018

The Massachusetts State Police’s payroll director has pleaded not guilty to larceny in Framingham District Court after being accused of stealing US$23,900-worth of payroll funds from the department.

Denise Ezekiel, 49, has been on unpaid leave since November 2017 when police allegedly discovered she had received unauthorized fund transfers to her personal bank accounts for travel and training reimbursements. Charges were filed against her on 6 March, but she has now been released on personal recognizance after her arraignment.

State police spokesman David Procopio told MassLive that Ezekiel is on indefinite leave and the agency could take further disciplinary action once the criminal investigation is completed.

The investigation into Ezekiel's conduct is the third state police payroll controversy to come to light in recent months. An earlier internal audit found that state troopers assigned to patrol the Massachusetts Turnpike had raked in overtime dollars despite not showing up for shifts.

At least 30 state police officers from Troop E, ranging in rank from Trooper to Lieutenant, have been implicated in the scheme, which allegedly allowed some troopers to inflate their take-home pay to more than US$300,000. Some troopers were paid for as many as 100 unworked shifts, state police officials said.

The allegations, and the public uproar that followed, prompted new State Police leader Kerry Gilpin and Governor Charlie Baker to promise significant reform. Earlier this month, Baker announced plans to eliminate the rank of Troop E and activate GPS tracking in state police cruisers instead.

The Police Department has also changed its procedures for paying members of Troop F, which patrols Logan International Airport and the Seaport. State police are to begin paying Troop F members directly, with the Massachusetts Port Authority reimbursing the costs.

Emma

Emma Woollacott is a freelance business journalist. Her work has appeared in a wide range of publications, including the Guardian, the Times, Forbes and the BBC.

The Massachusetts State Police’s payroll director has pleaded not guilty to larceny in Framingham District Court after being accused of stealing US$23,900-worth of payroll funds from the department.

Denise Ezekiel, 49, has been on unpaid leave since November 2017 when police allegedly discovered she had received unauthorized fund transfers to her personal bank accounts for travel and training reimbursements. Charges were filed against her on 6 March, but she has now been released on personal recognizance after her arraignment.

State police spokesman David Procopio told MassLive that Ezekiel is on indefinite leave and the agency could take further disciplinary action once the criminal investigation is completed.

The investigation into Ezekiel's conduct is the third state police payroll controversy to come to light in recent months. An earlier internal audit found that state troopers assigned to patrol the Massachusetts Turnpike had raked in overtime dollars despite not showing up for shifts.

At least 30 state police officers from Troop E, ranging in rank from Trooper to Lieutenant, have been implicated in the scheme, which allegedly allowed some troopers to inflate their take-home pay to more than US$300,000. Some troopers were paid for as many as 100 unworked shifts, state police officials said.

The allegations, and the public uproar that followed, prompted new State Police leader Kerry Gilpin and Governor Charlie Baker to promise significant reform. Earlier this month, Baker announced plans to eliminate the rank of Troop E and activate GPS tracking in state police cruisers instead.

The Police Department has also changed its procedures for paying members of Troop F, which patrols Logan International Airport and the Seaport. State police are to begin paying Troop F members directly, with the Massachusetts Port Authority reimbursing the costs.

Emma

Emma Woollacott is a freelance business journalist. Her work has appeared in a wide range of publications, including the Guardian, the Times, Forbes and the BBC.

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