federal corruption charges

Mass. State Police Supervisors Retired Before Arrests

Former State Police Lt. Daniel J. Griffin and former Sgt. William Robertson stepped away from lengthy law enforcement careers a few months before they were arrested, though under different circumstances, according to their retirement paperwork

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Months before they were arrested on federal corruption charges, a pair of longtime Massachusetts State Police supervisors retired, one applying for his public pension, and the other left with a job-related injury, according to records obtained by the NBC10 Boston Investigators.

Federal prosecutors charged the two men, former State Police Lt. Daniel J. Griffin and former Sgt. William Robertson, Friday with public corruption, alleging they collected thousands of dollars in overtime pay for hours not worked and destroyed evidence in a scheme dating back to 2015.

They were expected to make initial appearances in U.S. District Court in Boston Friday. 

In recent months, both men stepped away from lengthy law enforcement careers, though under different circumstances, according to their retirement paperwork.

Griffin, 57, of Belmont, applied for disability retirement on Aug. 26, making the request via a state police surgeon, according to his application.

After reviewing medical reports from that surgeon and a separate, independent doctor, a rating board that evaluates state police retirement requests decided unanimously in September to allow Griffin to retire with a physical disability, effective Sept. 15, finding he isn't likely to recover and return to work, the records show.

The state redacted information regarding the nature of Griffin’s injury from the records it released to NBC10.

"The Board was satisfied that [Griffin] was incapacitated from performing the essential tasks of a State Police Officer by reason of [redacted] injury which occurred through no fault of his own in the actual performance of duty and that such incapacity is likely to be permanent," reads a letter sent to the state by the rating board, which consists of the state surgeon, the commissioner of public health and the state police colonel, or their designees.

Robertson, 58, of Westborough, applied to retire effective Sept. 30. His retirement application indicates he had 32 years of total public service, including 28 with state police.

Benefits have not yet been granted to either retiree as of Friday, according to a spokesman for the state Treasurer’s Office, which provides support for the retirement board.

It wasn’t immediately clear Friday how much the men stood to receive in retirement or disability payments. Their pensions would also be in jeopardy if the men are convicted of a crime related to their jobs.

Griffin earned more than $223,000 during the 2019 calendar year, according to state payroll records. That sum includes a base salary of about $152,000 and more than $55,000 in overtime. Overtime would be excluded when calculating his pension benefits.

Griffin cashed out more than $91,000 in unused sick and vacation time upon his retirement earlier this year, while Robertson received a buyout of more than $73,000 for unused time off, state records show.

The superintendent of the Massachusetts State Police said Friday he would seek termination for nearly two dozen members of Troop E involved in an overtime scandal.

Robertson earned more than $184,000 last year, including a base salary of $126,447.25 and overtime of $57,220.38, state records show.

Their arrests Friday were the latest in series of scandals that rocked the Massachusetts State Police in recent years, including the discovery of widespread overtime abuse in 2017 in a different branch of the organization — the now-shuttered Troop E.

According to Friday's federal indictment, Griffin, Robertson and other members of the Traffic Programs Section at state police headquarters in Framingham embezzled over $120,000 by arriving early to and leaving early from overtime shifts. Griffin allegedly made and approved false entries on timekeeping records.

The overtime funds came from federal programs to increase public safety, such as those to reduce distracted and drunk driving.

Amid heightened scrutiny into the department, Griffin, Robertson and others allegedly shredded and burned records and forms related to the scheme. Griffin also claimed to superiors that missing forms had been "inadvertently discarded or misplaced."

Griffin is also accused of running a private security business called KnightPro during regular and overtime work hours and hiding over $700,000 of revenue from that business from the IRS.

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