BURLINGTON (AP) -- The Vermont State Police trooper charged with padding his time sheets wrote nearly 1,000 traffic tickets in 12 years that he didn’t give to a motorist or the traffic bureau, state police say.
The details were contained in a court affidavit filed Monday by Detective Lt. Robert Cushing, who is investigating the overtime practices of Sgt. Jim Deeghan, a former state police patrol commander in Chittenden County.
"This information is troubling, and the investigation is continuing," Chittenden County State’s Attorney T.J. Donovan said.
Donovan declined to speculate whether the 973 allegedly bogus tickets represented an effort by Deeghan to create a paper trail to help justify his overtime pay, the Burlington Free Press (bfpne.ws/SYUGw4) reported.
Deeghan resigned July 10. He has pleaded not guilty to two felony charges that he claimed 63 hours of overtime in June that he didn’t work.
Deeghan’s attorney did not return a call. The former trooper and his lawyer previously have declined to discuss the case.
Gov. Peter Shumlin in July ordered state police investigators to go back six years covering the period in which any fraud charges, if found, could be prosecuted. Police have investigated three years so far.
Officials now believe Deeghan overcharged almost $140,000 from Dec. 21, 2008 to July 14, 2012.
Cushing’s affidavit alleges that Deeghan inappropriately received:
* $50,198 by submitting false overtime claims.
* $43,675 in what police called annual leave fraud, in which he "took the day off and did not report this on his timesheet," Cushing wrote.
* $45,459 by claiming as work time hours that he did not work connected to a state police contract that he administered for extra patrols in the town of Jericho.
Vermont Public Safety Commissioner Keith Flynn said it was unclear how the alleged fraud went undetected for so long.
"We are going to find out how much money he owes," said Flynn, who took over the department last year. "We have a strong resolve to collect every dollar that was allegedly taken improperly from the state."
Information from: The Burlington Free Press, http://www.burlingtonfreepress.com