Police say a former health agent in Massachusetts forged inspection reports for nearly a dozen restaurants.
Janice McCarthy is facing 22 felony charges in connection with the false reports for Rockland restaurants, Police Chief John Llewellyn says.
McCarthy was appointed as a health agent in 2001, and she oversaw the town health department until her resignation Oct. 25.
McCarthy made more than $70,000 a year on the job.
Town officials say a health board clerk became suspicious of McCarthy after several citizens submitted public records requests over concerns about restaurant inspections.
Llewellyn says after town employees noticed inconsistencies in McCarthy's reports, police found McCarthy faked inspection reports for 11 restaurants in town, forging the signatures of employees and managers, some of whom no longer even worked there.
"The fact that she was just negligent and not conducting those inspections did put a lot of people at risk," Llewellyn said.
Michael Federico, a bartender at Rockland Golf Course, says he found himself in front of police last month trying to find out who forged his name on a health inspection report that was never completed for the restaurant.
"There was something wrong done here, in the food industry. This is kind of serious," Federico said.
The town says it has appointed four temporary health agents to inspect all restaurants. They have found no serious issues so far.
McCarthy did not respond to messages seeking comment, but the three-member health board charged with overseeing her did release a statement, saying in part, "...the failure to perform these inspections represents a serious breach of the public's faith. The Town has taken immediate steps to remedy this issue..."
"Look she's not doing her job, she's a public servant so someone has got to be held accountable," Federico said.
McCarthy's arraignment is scheduled for Dec. 5. It's unclear if she has an attorney.