SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

Local News

August 4, 2009

Danvers cops also punished for role in EMT scandal

DANVERS — Four Danvers police officers are facing the same punishment as their counterparts in Hamilton for falsifying training records to get their EMT certifications.

Officers Michael Bean, Scott Frost, Dana Martin and Robert Sullivan were accused of signing attendance sheets for classes in the Hamilton police station that were either never held or were held improperly.

Under the terms of an agreement brokered through Attorney General Martha Coakley's office, the officers will keep their jobs, but each will have to work 30 days without pay, take an additional 30 days off without pay and pay a $5,000 fine to the town.

They all must also repay any stipends they received for the training. Danvers officers are paid $1,300 extra per year for maintaining their certifications, or they can opt to take a slightly lower two-year payment of $2,500 all at once. Town Manager Wayne Marquis said yesterday the officers began repaying the stipends as far back as February.

The unpaid work days and unpaid time off must all be completed by June 29, 2010.

The officers will not be allowed to work paid details on the days they are suspended without pay.

Like the officers in Hamilton, the Danvers officers faced criminal prosecution if they did not accept their punishment.

A fifth officer, Richard Barthelmess, was also accused of improperly signing attendance sheets, but Marquis said when he realized the course was not going to be held in Hamilton, Barthelmess got the training elsewhere. He was given a written reprimand by the state, but Marquis said he does not face any additional punishment.

A call to Officer Dana Hagan, the head of the police union, seeking comment yesterday was not returned.

Marquis said the Police Department began its own internal investigation of the officers' activities last December, after a state agency determined there were improprieties with some training records.

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