The State Police Follies

Some interesting stuff in the Freeploid about the likely Legislative response to the Jim Deeghan case. And by “interesting,” I mean “appalling.”

Deeghan is the longtime state trooper who somehow (allegedly, cough) managed to falsely report vast amounts of overtime and, as a result, turned himself into the sixth-highest-paid employee on the state’s payroll. And put himself in line for a vastly overinflated pension.

Well, reading the Freeploid account makes me wonder why we haven’t had a few more firings in the VSP, or at least some suspensions and demotions, as well as loud and angry calls for reform in the barracks. Because of shit like this:

…there was virtually no effective oversight of now former State Police Sgt. Jim Deeghan, who prosecutors say padded his time sheets in recent years to help fatten an upcoming pension and wrote 973 bogus tickets to try to justify some of his extra time.

Deeghan, a longtime patrol commander in Chittenden County, got to approve much of his own overtime and at times signed the approval for time sheets he was filing.

Excuse me: got to approve his own overtime? Signed his own approvals? Bloody f*cking hell. Does that sound like a well-run organization to you? Do you think that if the same thing had been going on in the Department of Human Services, or the Agency of Natural Resources, there wouldn’t have been an all-out Inquisition into management processes and the ceremonial scalping of a few administrators?

After the jump: A fatuous comment from Dick Sears, master of the genre.

Here’s another choice tidbit:

Legislators and other state officials remain baffled how a state trooper could allegedly file false time sheets for at least three years and write bogus tickets for at least 12 years without state police internal controls or management detecting either problem.

Yeah, I must confess to a touch of bafflement myself. And yet, and yet, that paragraph is immediately followed by the following nugget from State Senator Dick Sears:

“I have great confidence in our state police,” Sears said.

Oh really, Dick? Why, exactly? What about the Deeghan case inspires “great confidence in our state police”?

The Legislature’s focus will be on a new law allowing for seizure of an employee’s pension funds in cases of payroll fraud. In and of itself, that’s fine. But as far as I can tell, there won’t be any special attention paid to the agency whose internal controls were a complete failure. The agency, ironically enough, charged with upholding the law. No hearings, no calling on the carpet. Our leaders are apparently satisfied with whatever changes the VSP has decided to make on its own. Because, you know, the VSP has such a track record of bureaucratic inerrancy.  

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