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5 things to know about the case against the former State Police union chief

Investigators were originally looking at a different issue. But the probe snowballed into a review of Dana Pullman’s alleged embezzlement of union funds.
Investigators were originally looking at a different issue. But the probe snowballed into a review of Dana Pullman’s alleged embezzlement of union funds.Pat Greenhouse/Globe Staff/File 2018/Globe Staff

Former State Police union boss Dana A. Pullman has been charged with bilking his own union.

Here are five things to know about the case:

1. Investigators were originally looking at a different issue. The FBI said Wednesday that authorities had initially begun looking into whether the union was reimbursing members for political contributions, which is illegal.

A grand jury was empaneled in July 2018, records show.

But the probe snowballed into a review of Pullman’s alleged embezzlement of union funds, as well as his alleged kickback scheme with Anne M. Lynch, a lobbyist whose firm had worked for the union.

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2. Pullman allegedly spent union money extravagantly. Union leaders are prohibited from using union funds for personal expenses. But according to a complaint filed in the case against Pullman, he did exactly that between January 2014 and August 2018.

He allegedly spent $9,300 of union money on flowers and gift baskets for friends and family, including $4,400 on flowers and gifts for someone with whom he was having an affair, identified in court papers as Individual 1.

His other alleged expenditures from the union till included $8,000 on meals at Boston restaurants with Individual 1 and meals with his family closer to home; a $468 lunch with Individual 1 at a swanky New York spot including $150 for caviar; a $276 American Airlines flight from Boston to Miami; a $385 tab at Lure Fishbar in Miami Beach; an $829 car rental in Miami; and a $2,113 hotel stay in Miami Beach for a “personal getaway” with Individual 1, the complaint said.

3. The bookkeeping was allegedly sketchy. Pullman allegedly received $40,000 from the union in 2016 for expense reimbursements, even though he had submitted less than $9,000 in “purported” work expenses, according to the complaint.

4. Pullman allegedly steered work to Lynch, then got kickbacks. Lynch’s lobbying firm worked for the union, and she allegedly funneled kickbacks to Pullman in exchange for him steering billable hours and clients her way.

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According to the complaint, one kickback came in 2014, after the state paid out $350,000 to the union for expenses related to a $22 million settlement to pay troopers for working on scheduled days off.

Pullman allegedly asked the union treasurer to issue a $250,000 check to Lynch’s firm for work done on the settlement. When the treasurer lamented that the union, which had already paid out $100,000 to the firm, was “getting screwed,” Pullman was displeased.

“Stop breaking my [expletive] balls and give me the check!” the complaint quoted Pullman as saying. The treasurer caved, Lynch’s firm got paid, and she later wrote a $20,000 check to Pullman’s spouse, according to court papers.

The complaint also alleges that Pullman urged companies to hire Lynch’s firm for lobbying, then received thousands of dollars from her firm in kickbacks.

5. Pullman denies the allegations. Pullman’s lawyer, Martin G. Weinberg, denied the allegations Wednesday. He said his client “will strongly and vigorously deny today’s allegations. The centerpiece of the government’s case is a series of legitimate checks that in no way constitutes a kickback or a bribe. Dana Pullman was a highly successful president of the Massachusetts State Police union for six years and never acted in a manner that compromised his loyalty to his union.”


Travis Andersen can be reached at travis.andersen@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @TAGlobe.