Updated: February 4th, 2005 10:51:24 AM
Boston Police Say Errors Created Impression Police Were Double Dipping Details
BOSTON (AP) -- Boston police said hundreds of clerical errors made it appear officers were collecting extra pay by claiming they worked multiple detail shifts simultaneously, when only a handful of officers may have tried to manipulate the system.
The department conducted an internal inquiry after The Boston Globe reported that records over a 2 1/2 year period showed that 396 officers had been paid for working private details in more than one location at a time.
The department investigated 57 officers, seven of whom face disciplinary action for submitting time cards and collecting pay for overlapping shifts, the Globe reported.
Police concluded that 50 of the cases were explained by errors such as mistakes on time cards submitted by officers and typographical errors by clerks recording information. In 49 of the cases, records showed officers being paid for simultaneous detail shifts when they actually worked them on separate days or separate shifts.
Investigators determined that in the other case, a mistake by a data entry clerk credited the officer with extra hours and made it appear as if he'd claimed to be working two shifts at once.
"We're finding out this is a lot of just sloppy, stupid, dumb, whatever you want to call it, mistakes," said Superintendent Al Goslin, who heads the department's Internal Affairs Division. "It's creating a nightmare for my department."
Department officials acknowledged their inquiry wasn't foolproof because of missing records or contradictory information that forced investigators to make judgment calls.
"Nothing's absolutely 100 percent certain," Goslin said. "But if it's in the range of 80- to 85 percent certain, it was our interpretation that it was unfounded."
A spokesman for Suffolk District Attorney Daniel Conley said Conley does not plan to prosecute the seven officers who face disciplinary action because O'Toole has said there was not enough evidence to prove criminal intent.
We have faith in the integrity of the commissioner's review," spokesman David Procopio said.