The head of the Democratic Party in Massachusetts is criticizing Republican Gov. Charlie Baker's response to the latest allegations involving state police and calling for an independent investigation of the agency.
Denise Ezekiel, a payroll director for the state police, has been charged with larceny for allegedly stealing more than $23,000 from the department. She has been on leave since November.
On Thursday, Democratic state party chair Gus Bickford seized on a remark Baker made to reporters a day earlier. The governor said it was "good news" that state police investigators discovered the alleged theft.
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The department has been buffeted by other recent disclosures, including reports of overtime abuse by troopers patrolling the Massachusetts Turnpike.
Ezekiel faces arraignment on Monday. Her lawyer did not immediately return a message.