Metro

Two former State Police commanders plead not guilty in overtime fraud scam

Former State Police lieutenants John T. Giulino (left) and David Keefe during their arraignment in Suffolk Superior Court on Friday.
John R. Ellement/Globe Staff
Former State Police lieutenants John T. Giulino (left) and David Keefe during their arraignment in Suffolk Superior Court on Friday.

Two former top State Police commanders appeared Friday as criminal defendants in a Boston courtroom, where they denied collecting thousands of dollars for overtime shifts they never worked and their attorney predicted jurors will acquit the men.

David Keefe and John T. Giulino stood in the spot reserved for defendants during their brief arraignment in Suffolk Superior Court, where they each pleaded not guilty to three charges obtained by Attorney General Maura Healey’s office.

Keefe was the commander of the Weston barracks — which was part of the now-disbanded State Police Troop E — in 2016 when he allegedly was paid $17,000 for 173 hours of overtime spread out across 74 shifts, Assistant Attorney General John Reynolds said in court. Keefe, a Norfolk resident, was paid $207,878 in 2016.

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Giulino, during the same year, was the commander of the State Police Westfield barracks. He allegedly received $10,000 in overtime payments for 99 hours across 28 shifts, Reynolds said in court. Giulino, a Lanesborough resident, was paid $212,504, said prosecutors.

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Both men, who have no prior criminal histories, were released on personal recognizance. They both have been indicted on charges of one count of larceny over $250 by a single scheme, procurement fraud, and filing a fraudulent claim with the state in violation of state ethics law.

Following the arraignment, the defense attorney for both men, Timothy Burke, insisted that the onetime commanding officers followed department rules and regulations as they understood them. He ridiculed the quality of the investigation overseen by Healey’s office, calling it a “defective investigation.”

One key issue, he said, is that prosecutors tracked down where State Police cruisers assigned to the ranking officers were located on the shifts they allegedly never worked. As commanders, Burke said, they were assigned unmarked cruisers for personal use, but used spare marked cruisers while on the overtime details in question.

Burke said the two men will push for a trial to vindicate themselves. Once jurors learn the details of the investigation from both prosecution and defense, Burke said, there is no doubt what the outcome will be. “I am very confident they will be acquitted,” he said.

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Healey’s office is conducting a state inquiry that parallels a corruption investigation led by US Attorney Andrew E. Lelling’s office that has led to guilty pleas by three State Police troopers, including Gary S. Herman , who admitted to embezzlement charges Thursday.

Both Healey and Lelling have said their investigations are continuing.

Healey’s office has also indicted David W. Wilson, who was a lieutenant and a shift commander at Troop E’s duty office in Boston. In 2016, he allegedly collected $19,000 in overtime payments for shifts he did not work.

Ellement can be reached at ellement@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @JREbosglobe.