Amesbury Firefighter Indicted for Alleged Overtime Abuse - NECN
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Amesbury Firefighter Indicted for Alleged Overtime Abuse

Lt. Scott Cloutier was placed on administrative leave in May after being accused of putting in for OT he did not work

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    Amesbury Firefighter Indicted for Alleged Overtime Abuse
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    A Massachusetts fire lieutenant has been indicted in connection with an overtime abuse investigation within the Amesbury Fire Department.

    Lt. Scott Cloutier was placed on administrative leave in May after being accused of putting in for overtime shifts he did not work.

    A second firefighter is facing similar allegations. A third firefighter was cleared of wrongdoing and returned to work.

    Cloutier is scheduled to be arraigned Friday in Salem Superior Court.

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    "These actions have consequences, and it's now up to the courts to determine how justice will be served," said Mayor Ken Gray. "However, I want to emphasize that these actions do not overshadow the work of the rest of the hard-working and brave members of the Amesbury Fire Department, who show up for work every day and take great risks to keep our community safe."

    Authorities said when city officials were informed of the overtime abuses, Gray ordered a detailed investigation which ultimately led to a grand jury indictment.

    "The abuse of overtime represents a betrayal of trust and a theft of taxpayer money, and I am very disappointed in the alleged actions of two of the senior members of the fire department," said Amesbury Fire Chief Kenneth Berkenbush. "These incidents appear to be isolated, and the members of the Amesbury Fire Department have no tolerance for this activity."

    Officials said the situation has led to changes in the supervision and keeping of overtime records, as well as overtime policies and practices.

    In addition to the Amesbury Fire Department, the investigation has been handled by Massachusetts State Police and the Essex County District Attorney's office.

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