Mass State Police scandal years in the making
The Massachusetts State Police are facing an ongoing and growing scandal. Their officers have been faking logs to receive pay for hours they didn’t work. The scope right now is limited to the last couple years and to one specific troop but previous reporting I was part of uncovered that the MSP has had this problem going back to at least 2007.
One of the very first stories I ever reported on was my own traffic stop. Massachusetts State Police trooper Kenneth Harold stopped me in the dead of night, refused to identify himself, and threatened to take my camera while falsely claiming it was illegal for me to record him. He later lied about his threats in court. I requested his Internal Affairs file, paid a hefty sum and received… well mostly [redacted]. What was clear however was that in 2007 the MSP found trooper Harold responsible for the same kind of overtime bilking that the current MSP scandal is about. Unlike the current officers Harold didn’t face charges for fraud and he was allowed to continue working.
To date the investigation into abuse seems to be confined to only MSP Troop E, but my records found Harold committed similar abuse years ago. Harold was in Troop C when I got his records raising the possibility that the current scandal is wider and has been going on longer than is being investigated.
The MSP won a golden padlock award for being the least transparent government agency in the country in part because of how they responded to a records request made by my former media outlet for trooper IA files. They have protected their officers for years by avoiding transparency and by keeping them on the force even after they defraud the public for unearned overtime pay. The culture they promoted resulted in the current scandal, but clearly the wrongdoing goes much deeper.Like the two drug lab scandals, the MSP scandal should lead to overturning past cases. The very honesty of the agency has proven to be missing.