Middlesex County Sheriff James DiPaola Commits Suicide

Update: 6:43 p.m. -- Governor Deval Patrick has also released a statement: "This is a shocking and tragic event. I extend my deepest condolences to the DiPaola family and to the Sheriff's staff, all of whom are certainly reeling with this news. Sheriff DiPaola had a 30-year record of public service. Tonight we honor that service and pray for his family."

Update: 5:37 p.m. -- Massachusetts House Speaker Robert DeLeo released a statement, saying, "I am deeply saddened by the death of Sheriff DiPaola, with whom I had the chance to serve in the House of Representatives. My thoughts and prayers go out to his family."

Update: 5:27 p.m.
-- The Associated Press reports DiPaola was found dead with a single gunshot wound to the head.

(NECN: Tom Langford) - Middlesex County sheriff's office confirms that Middlesex County sheriff James DiPaola is dead. NECN has also confirmed this information with two independent sources.

DiPaola, 57, committed suicide this afternoon in a Wells, Maine hotel room in the midst of pension scandal.

On November 2nd, Dipaola easily won re-election. But then, he got caught up in a pension controversy when the Boston Globe reported that he exploited a legal loophole in the Massachusetts pension law.

He tried to collect his $123,000 a year sheriff's salary and a $98,000 a year pension. That scandal resulted in DiPaola resigning from office six days ago.

His resignation was supposed to take effect in January.

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