Massachusetts State Police hand out punishments for troopers in overtime scandal

NEW BRAINTREE MA. – JANUARY 16: Colonel Christopher Mason speaks at a press conference at the Massachusetts State Police Training Academy to provide an update on numerous reforms underway at the department on January 16, 2020 in New Braintree, MA. (Staff Photo By Nancy Lane/MediaNews Group/Boston Herald)

State Police are handing out punishments for the remaining troopers embroiled in the infamous Troop E overtime scandal, announcing that one member has been fired and five more could get the boot while others face suspension without pay.

One officer whose overtime fraud charges were sustained by the department and upheld by a Department Trial Board was terminated earlier this week, while five others have trial boards currently scheduled.

Fifteen troopers will be suspended without pay for lengths of time ranging between 60 to 841 days, according to a press release that State Police issued Thursday night. Three are being credited for “time served” after already being suspended “many months” without pay.

The disciplined troopers will have to pay full restitution based on the amount the state says they stole, which ranges from $2,941 to a whopping $15,092.

Troopers will also be reduced in seniority, removed from any promotional lists they’re currently on, will not be eligible for programmed overtime for two years and will waive their rights to either a civil service or court appeal, Massachusetts State Police Col. Christopher Mason said in his announcement.

Those disciplined include Troopers John Adams, David Perrault, Jeffrey Reger, Jeffrey Russell, Anthony Bozko, Mark Augusta, Kevin Fogwill, Christopher Brown, David Berra, George Beaupre, Gerald Johnson, Michael Thorpe and Robert Church, as well as Sgts. George Hamilton and Arthur Hebb. State Police did not identify which person was associated with which punishment.

Internal audits that began in 2017 found 46 department members had potentially submitted false records for overtime they didn’t work between 2015 and 2017. Of those, 10 have now been convicted — one is awaiting sentencing — and 14 have retired, leaving 22 accused troopers remaining on the force.

Mason said in January that the department would look to terminate all 22 of the remaining Troop E members, but acknowledged not all of them were likely to be fired.