Baker Concerned After Report Of Hidden Payroll Records, Suspicious Overtime Claims By State Police
Gov. Charlie Baker said he believes it was "clearly deliberate" that payroll records for a Massachusetts State Police troop were not publicly reported on the state comptroller's website since 2010.
The governor's remarks Monday followed a Boston Globe report that revealed payroll information for the agency's 140-member Troop F, which patrols Logan Airport and parts of the Seaport. Nearly 80 percent of the troop earned more than $150,000 last year, with heavy use of overtime by the troopers.
Troop F is paid for by the Massachusetts Port Authority, but its operations are overseen by the state police. The Republican governor is calling for the payroll reporting process to change.
"When we raised the issue with Massport and said we believe this information belongs on the comptroller's site and talked to the comptroller, everybody agreed that it should be there," Baker said, "and the comptroller and Massport are going to move as quickly as they can to get it there."
The Globe report follows an internal audit that found more than 20 troopers may have been paid for overtime shifts they didn't work.
Nine troopers identified in the audit chose to retire, nine were suspended without pay, and another was kept on active duty. An additional trooper had already been suspended, and another had previously retired.
The governor said he is pleased Col. Kerry Gilpin is expanding the audit to look for potential abuse of overtime.
"The number of hours worked is a pretty standard number; it's been around forever. But that probably needs a re-look as well and will be part of the colonel's review of overtime policies," Baker said. "And by the way, not just policies, but practices, what actually happens on the ground."
In a statement, state police spokesman David Procopio said its "investigation will determine whether policies, rules or regulations of the State Police were violated, and will also seek to determine whether criminal charges are warranted."
Baker said that while he has confidence in his new state police superintendent, Gilpin, "It's clear that the state police is going to have to work back some of that public credibility that's been sacrificed by some of these really bad actors."
With reporting from WBUR's Steve Brown and Lisa Creamer and State House News Service's Michael P. Norton