Amid Overtime Investigation, Massachusetts Police Destroy Years of Payroll Records

by | October 11, 2018

By Gintautas Dumcius

The Massachusetts State Police's effort to get rid of payroll records was "completely consistent with standard operating procedure" but not something they should be doing amid questions of payroll and overtime abuse, Gov. Charlie Baker said Wednesday.

Officials with the Massachusetts State Police applied to a state board for permission to destroy three years of the department's payroll records, which is allowable under state law. Records are required to be kept for only six years.

"It's my understanding that based on all the existing protocols, what the State Police proposed to do fit within those protocols," Baker told reporters. "But the simple truth of the matter is, they shouldn't be destroying any payroll records and they won't be."

Baker added: "They shouldn't be operating under standard operating procedure at this point in time given everything else that's going on with respect to State Police and payroll."

The state board that oversees the destruction of records held off on approving the destruction, citing a pending audit.

The records -- which include boxes of payroll administrative records from 2009 to 2012 and fiscal audit records from 2000 to 2004 -- pertain to Troop F, which patrols Logan Airport.

The request came as the Boston Globe reported earlier this year that Troop F hadn't provided payroll records to the state comptroller since 2010.

Aside from the controversy of hidden payroll records from Troop F, the State Police have been grappling with a larger overtime abuse scandal that has led to 46 troopers under investigation.

Baker installed Col. Kerry Gilpin as head of the troubled law enforcement agency last year, and her internal investigations have led to the arrests and indictments at the federal and state level of several current and former troopers.

Reporter Shira Schoenberg contributed to this report.

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