Massachusetts State Police

Mass. State Police: Suspended Payroll Director Will Be Fired

Massachusetts State Police said they intend to fire the former payroll director who stole over $23,000 from the agency.

Fifty-year-old Denise Ezekiel of Holbrook gave a guilty plea in Framingham District Court Monday to one count of larceny over $250 in connection to theft of $23,900 in payroll funds.

Ezekiel was suspended on Nov. 1, 2017, as state police began their investigation into the missing funds.

Ezekiel's plea deal showed she is forfeiting over $17,000 in vacation pay to go toward restitution payment, which she would have received upon being suspended from the state police. She has been ordered to perform 100 hours of community service. Ezekiel's defense attorney Amanda Sheehan said her client had no criminal record before Monday's plea. She did not comment further after the hearing.

State police spokesman David Procopio said the agency will continue to move forward with "discharging Ezekiel from the department."

Prosecutors said Ezekiel stole funds through fake travel reimbursements.

Authorities say Ezekiel filed 29 phony reimbursements over a 15-month span ending in 2017, using the money to pay bills. In 2014 and 2015, Ezekiel was sued several times by credit card companies for an amount estimated at around $23,000. She paid off $14,000 of a debt in 2015 in six months.

A criminal complaint was filed in March. Ezekiel was making $95,000 a year in the position, which she started in 2013.

The larceny is one of numerous controversies that have rocked the state police this year, including one where officers were allegedly paid overtime while skipping shifts.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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