Mass. State Police payroll director charged with stealing more than $23,000 in funds

BOSTON (WHDH) - A payroll director for the Massachusetts State Police was charged with stealing thousands of dollars from the department.

Denise Ezekiel, 49 of Holbrook, is charged with larceny over $250 in connection with the alleged misappropriation of more than $23,000 in travel and reimbursement funds through her role as director, according to Middlesex District Attorney Marian T. Ryan’s office.

Gov. Charlie Baker said he expects a thorough investigation into the matter, given the series of recent pay scandals that have rocked the department.

“The good news is that this was a discovery that was made by the folks at the state police,” said Baker. “We expect and anticipate the district attorney to conduct a full-blown investigation and determine what, if any, charges need to be brought here.”

Ezekiel was paid $80,980 in 2017, according to state payroll records. Police spokesman David Procopio said Ezekiel has been on unpaid leave for several months and the leave is indefinite.

Ezekiel will be arraigned in Framingham District Court on April 23. She could face additional criminal charges.

A recent investigation found dozens of troopers assigned to patrol the Massachusetts Turnpike were being paid overtime for hours never worked. Baker said he does not see the charges against Ezekiel as more evidence that the state police department is broken.

“When the leadership by the state police is cleaning up its own house and doing an investigation that develops a baseline for a criminal investigation, that’s a good thing, not a bad thing,” said Baker.

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