Five more members of Massachusetts State Police Troop E have been scheduled for duty status hearings next week because of alleged overtime pay discrepancies.
State police announced Friday that the hearings will set the members' duty status while the discrepancies between overtime pay received and hours worked are investigated by internal affairs. The hearings could result in their status being changed from active duty to several other options, including suspension without pay.
"In March, the Department announced initial alleged discrepancies that were uncovered in certain Troop E overtime payments for 2016 and we made clear that our review would continue into other types of overtime shifts, other calendar years, and other Troops," state police Col. Kerry Gilpin said. "Today’s announcement is the result of the next stage of that ongoing effort to ensure that any department member who received payment for hours they did not work is held accountable and subject to appropriate disciplinary action."
The alleged discrepancies announced Friday occurred during special traffic enforcement overtime shifts run in 2016 by Troop E, which was responsible for patrolling the Massachusetts Turnpike until its elimination earlier this year.
The five new department members who will be called to duty status hearings are in addition to the nearly 30 active or retired personnel already under investigation for overtime payments for another type of overtime shift, known as accident injury reduction efforts.
Most of those members are currently suspended without pay while their cases are investigated. The troopers were allegedly paid for overtime shifts they never worked. The shifts were as few as one and as high as 100 per trooper.
Gilpin said Friday's announcement marks the completion of the state police audit of all overtime shifts worked by the former Troop E in 2016. The department will now turn its attention to shifts worked in 2015.
Attorney General Maura Healey has launched a criminal investigation into the state police payroll issue.
The overtime scandal is just one in a series of black eyes for state police, including another incident at Troop F where payroll records weren't filed for years.
The state police payroll director is also accused of stealing more than $23,000 from the agency.
And last year, state police superintendent Col. Richard McKeon abruptly retired after reports surfaced that he had ordered troopers to revise an arrest report that included embarrassing information about the daughter of a judge. McKeon's second-in-command also retired soon after.