The former head of a State Police barracks was indicted Thursday for an alleged fraud scheme in which he collected more than $11,500 worth of paid time off he was not entitled to, state Attorney General Maura Healey’s office announced.
Ex-lieutenant David Andrade, 47, of Westport — while in charge of the Troop D Dartmouth barracks — allegedly took days off and submitted claims for 22 holiday compensatory days that he never accrued, prosecutors said.
Andrade allegedly carried out the scheme for months after several State Police troopers and supervisors were arrested and dozens of others came under state and federal criminal probes for allegedly collecting overtime pay for hours they had never worked while falsifying documents to cover up their absences from work.
That high-profile scandal centered on Troop E and led the department to disband that unit, which primarily patrolled the Massachusetts Turnpike.
State Police said Andrade’s case prompted an internal audit of holiday-related pay entries of supervisors holding similar positions, and another member from a different troop is now under internal investigation and may be referred for criminal prosecution. That case involved a different type of holiday pay discrepancy.
Colonel Christopher S. Mason said in a statement: “It is unfortunate and unacceptable that these allegations exist.“
“All Massachusetts State Police members, particularly supervisors, are held to a high standard of conduct,” he said. “This should serve as a clear signal to those we serve that we will not tolerate criminal activity and will pursue criminal charges when appropriate.”
Andrade “allegedly obtained $11,538.56 worth of time off that he was not entitled to,” Healey’s office said. “In an effort to cover up what he was doing, Andrade allegedly falsified entries on his attendance calendars to make it appear that he was actually working on days that he had taken off.”
Andrade, who collected $192,348 in pay including $16,594 in overtime in 2018, retired in mid-August at about the same time he came under investigation. He is collecting an $87,126-a-year pension. His career with the agency began in 1996, according to a copy of his retirement application.
He was indicted by a Bristol County grand jury Thursday on one count of larceny over $1,200 by single scheme and one count of public employee standards of conduct violation (False/Fraudulent Claim to Employer), prosecutors said.
Andrade will be arraigned in Bristol Superior Court at a later date, Healey’s office said.
Officials in Healey’s office said they began their investigation after State Police suspected misconduct and referred the matter to them.
Mason in his statement said he was “grateful to the MSP supervisors that uncovered and immediately reported this alleged activity and I thank the MSP personnel who conducted the investigation that led to the indictment and the Attorney General’s Office for prosecuting the case.”
State Police said they have instituted an explicit requirement that payroll entries can only be approved by a person of equal or higher rank and is moving to replace paper-based timekeeping with a fully electronic time and attendance record-keeping system that will have features to prevent such abuse.