Three retired State Police lieutenants who allegedly were paid thousands of dollars in 2016 for overtime they did not work were indicted Thursday by a Suffolk grand jury, according to Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey’s office.
They are the first to be charged by the state since it launched its probe into overtime abuse, and come after the US attorney’s office has brought federal charges against six current and former troopers in an investigation that is also ongoing.
David Wilson, 57, of Charlton, John Giulino, 68, of Lanesborough, and David Keefe, 52, of Norfolk, were each charged Thursday with one count of larceny over $250 by single scheme, procurement fraud, and violating standards of conduct for public employees, according to the attorney general’s office.
All were supervisors in Troop E, the unit that had previously patrolled the Massachusetts Turnpike until it was disbanded amid the overtime scandal this spring, Healey’s office said.
Prosecutors said Wilson, Giulino, and Keefe submitted claims for pay for overtime shifts they did not work or from which they left early, as part of a program that was intended to increase patrols on the Mass. Pike to curb speeding and aggressive driving, according to authorities.
Needham attorney Timothy Burke, who represents Giulino and Keefe, said Thursday, “We look forward to trying the case . . . with every intent that they will be vindicated.”
Burke said Giulino and Keefe had “very successful careers with the State Police.”
He said the State Police audit that was a significant basis for the charges his clients face “was flawed in many respects.”
Authorities incorrectly concluded that troopers weren’t working on some occasions, based on radio transmissions that indicated their cruisers were not operating at the time, Burke said. There were instances, particularly in Western Massachusetts, where radio calls were not received, he said.
“There were problems with the radio system,” Burke said. “It wasn’t reliable in indicating whether or not a particular cruiser was turned on or off and there are records that would demonstrate that.”
Wilson’s attorney, Leonardo Angiulo, could not immediately be reached for comment.
In a statement, State Police Colonel Kerry Gilpin said Thursday’s indictments stem from actions taken by the agency “to identify and hold responsible members of the former Troop E who had violated both the law and the code of conduct demanded by the department and the public we serve.”
“Conduct such as alleged in these indictments has no place in this department,” she said.
Wilson and Keefe retired in March 2018 and Giulino retired in Nov. 2017.
Wilson was a shift commander in Troop E’s Boston duty office in 2016. That year, he earned more than $259,000, which included more than $103,000 in overtime pay. That year, prosecutors said, Wilson allegedly submitted fake claims for at least 180 hours of overtime pay, meaning he collected at least $19,000 for hours he did not work.
Wilson, according to authorities, allegedly would regularly schedule his overtime shifts before his regular shifts and submit claims for both shifts, meaning he was double paid for a number of overlapping hours.
Wilson has already been indicted by a federal grand jury on an embezzlement charge. He pleaded not guilty. Federal authorities alleged he stole less overtime money than Healey’s office. According to an FBI affidavit, he was accused of stealing $12,450 in overtime pay, which is at least $6,550 less than what Healey’s office alleges.
Healey’s office emphasized that its investigation was separate from the federal probe. The two investigations may cover the same conduct in 2016 but will result in different charges, according to the attorney general’s office. In the case of Wilson, he was indicted on state charges Thursday and will face sentences and penalties that are separate from his federal case, the attorney general’s office said.
Giulino worked as the commander of the Westfield barracks in 2016, earning more than $212,000, which included more than $53,000 in overtime pay, prosecutors said. Giulino allegedly submitted claims for payment of more than 99 hours of overtime he didn’t work, resulted in him receiving at least $10,000 of bogus OT, the AG’s office said.
Both Wilson and Giulino allegedly submitted fake traffic citations to State Police to make it appear as they had been issued during their overtime shifts, according to prosecutors.
Keefe worked as commander of the Weston barracks, where in 2016 he earned more than $207,000, including more than $55,000 in overtime pay. Prosecutors allege he submitted claims for payment of at least 170 hours he did not work that year, which resulted in him receiving at least $17,000 he shouldn’t have. Keefe, according to authorities, allegedly regularly left early from overtime shifts and sometimes he did not work them at all.Matt Rocheleau of Globe staff contributed to this report. Danny McDonald can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @Danny__McDonald.