Suspended Mass. trooper sentenced to prison for overtime abuse
The trooper will serve two months in prison as well as three months of home detention for embezzlement
MassLive.com, Springfield, Mass.
BRAINTREE, Mass. — Suspended Massachusetts State Police Trooper Kevin Sweeney has been sentenced to two months in prison for embezzlement in the latest legal fallout of the department’s overtime abuse scandal.
Sweeney, a 40-year-old Braintree resident, will also serve three months of home detention as part of a year of supervised release after the completion of his prison sentence. Sweeney was issued a fine of $4,000 and ordered to pay $11,103 in restitution, the Office of U.S. Attorney Andrew Lelling said in a statement.
The U.S. Attorney’s office in Boston said Sweeney was paid more than $5,900 for overtime hours he did not work. He is one of ten troopers charged so far by state and federal authorities, who allege that members of the former State Police Troop E falsified records to abuse overtime traffic enforcement programs
Sweeney, 40, of Braintree, earned $218,512 in 2016. That included $97,000 in overtime pay.
Sweeney, like other troopers charged in the scandal, submitted fake tickets to justify pay for hours he did not work, according to his plea agreement.
In one example, on Dec. 14, 2016, Sweeney claimed to work what was known as an Accident Injury Reduction Effort patrol shift from 7 p.m. to 11 p.m. He claimed he wrote eight citations and submitted copies of the citations to supervisors.
Sweeney was not on patrol, investigators learned by checking data for his cruiser radio. He also did not conduct any driver history checks during the shift. The state Registry of Motor Vehicle database showed none of the motorists Sweeney claimed to have cited that day actually received a citation.
Massachusetts State Police troopers and lieutenant coordinated in overtime abuse, prosecutors say
Federal prosecutors said in a court filing that Trooper Daren DeJong worked with other members of Troop E to claim unearned overtime pay.
More than 40 troopers were implicated in an internal State Police audit of the overtime programs, though most have not been criminally charged.
State Police Col. Kerry Gilpin announced a series of personnel and policy changes in response to the scandal, including activating GPS tracking of cruisers and abolishing Troop E. Troop E had long enjoyed a reputation as a lucrative posting for state troopers, with its authority over the Massachusetts Turnpike giving frequent access to overtime shifts.
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