Boston Police Department badge of shame over overtime scandal

Was there a stampede up on the eighth floor of Boston City Hall a few months back when the allegedly crooked Boston Police Department cops found out that the feds were closing in on this latest police overtime scam?

The eighth floor is where the Boston Retirement Board has its offices – right across the hall from the Albert L. “Dapper” O’Neil hearing room.

I ask the question because isn’t it odd that of the nine indicted cops, six seemed to have suddenly decided to retire this year, a couple on the same day. One of them hasn’t even yet collected his first kiss in the mail yet, and he’s already done the perp walk outside the courthouse on Northern Avenue.

Law enforcement needs all the support we can give them these days. But that doesn’t mean the taxpayers shouldn’t wonder about how all these bent badges seem to be able to game the pension system so easily — and profitably.

Are there courses at the police academies in how to maximize the pension — even after you’ve been busted by the G-men?

A lot of these crooked cops seem almost as adept at manipulating actuarial tables as they are at embezzling federal funds.

Jan. 2 was a very big day among alumni of the BPD evidence warehouse.

Officer Henry Doherty, age 61, retired from his $159,983-a-year job and began collecting $7,763.24 a month.

“From at least May 2016 through in or about February 2019,” paragraph 49 of the indictment states, “Doherty received over $25,875 for overtime hours that he did not work.”

That same day was also when Officer Diana Lopez, age 58, retired from her $146,390-a-year job and began collecting $7,439.29 a month.

“From at least May 2016 through in or about February 2019,” paragraph 50 of the indictment states, “Lopez received over $21,048 for overtime hours she did not work.”

The lugged BPD cops were all getting overtime out of two programs known as “kiosk” and “purge” overtime. Purge was designed to, as the indictment puts it, “to control and reduce the inventory of the Warehouse.”

Isn’t that exactly what gets a lot of these cops into trouble — reducing the inventory?

“At various times, the 4-8 p.m. overtime shift also included efforts to scan and catalog the inventory of the Warehouse and dispose of seized narcotics.”

What could possibly go wrong?

The BPD warehouse is located at 1555 Hyde Park Ave.

In most police departments, the evidence room, or warehouse, is not exactly a path to becoming, say, deputy superintendent. Surrounded by all that contraband, also known as free stuff, some cops get into jams — remember what happened down in Braintree with that female cop who committed suicide.

They were closing in on her for stealing guns, cash and cocaine when she turned one of the confiscated pistols on herself.

Or recall the two state cops (retired, naturally) who were busted taking what were described as “unserviceable” guns from the Massachusetts State Police armory in New Braintree.

New Braintree is even further away from MSP headquarters in Framingham than the BPD warehouse is from Schroeder Place. But the principle is the same — out of sight, out of mind.

Remember the old MBTA counting rooms, also known as stealing rooms?

It was a perennial scandal ––Quartergate. T hacks were buying new Cadillacs with bags of change. Same thing as Stevie Flemmi’s buddies working cash registers at the exits of the UnderCommon garage.

But somehow it’s worse when cops go bad. The late Governor’s Councilor Sonny McDonough had a rule — he refused to use cops as bagmen, to pick up his bribes.

“I hate it when a cop hands me $300,” Sonny would say. “I never know if he’s stolen $200 or $700.”

Now the city cops are accused of stealing from the feds, on overtime, just like the thoroughly corrupt, now disbanded Troop E of the State Police.

Officer James Carnes retired at $134,918 a year Feb. 6 and now collects $6,664.40 a month.

Sgt. Richard Twitchell retired at $158,118 a year March 20 and now grabs $8,456.70 a month.

Officer Ronald Nelson retired at $79,945 June 6 and now pockets $6,122.12 a month.

Sgt. Gerard O’Brien retired in July at $173,245 and won’t get his first kiss in the mail until the end of this month.

Meanwhile, the other three indicted cops remain on the BPD payroll. The feds reported their salaries with great relish, as in paragraph 11 about Lt. Timothy Torigian.

“Torigian earned $246,405 in taxable income from the City of Boston in 2018; $205,956 in taxable income from the City of Boston in 2017; and $207,926 in taxable income from the City of Boston in 2016.”

I wonder how many of these local constabulary are going to lose their pensions. If it’s like the Troop E thieves who’ve been busted recently, maybe one or two out of nine.

Death, where is thy sting?

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