Framingham officer admitted to stealing money, state says March 1, 2017
Jim Haddadin 617-863-7144 Metrowest Daily News
FRAMINGHAM - A veteran police officer who supervised the department's evidence room admitted in 2015 to stealing money under his care, according to new records filed in court Wednesday.

Former patrolman Alan Dubeshter allegedly told several colleagues he took money entrusted to him without authorization. State prosecutors say the admission came after police discovered envelopes from the evidence room inside Dubeshter's truck, tipping them off to the thefts.

Dubeshter was arraigned Wednesday on felony charges of larceny over $250 and using his position to secure an unwarranted privilege for himself. He pleaded not guilty and was released on personal recognizance.

While officials from Attorney General Maura Healey's office have declined to discuss the case, a statement filed in court Wednesday sheds new light on their investigation.

Prosecutors say the envelopes - typically used to store cash seized in criminal cases - were found in Dubeshter's truck on Sept. 18, 2015. Investigators determined the envelopes had been "tampered with," and that currency was missing.

Soon after, they discovered that envelopes in the evidence room had been tampered with in the same way, allowing the contents to be stolen.

An audit later determined that approximately $70,000 was missing, according to Healey's office.

Dubeshter was placed on leave Sept. 21, 2015 and resigned seven months later. A grand jury seated in Suffolk County then returned two indictments against him in January 2017.

Dubeshter waived his right to hear the indictments read aloud in court Wednesday. He was certified by probation officials as an indigent defendant, allowing him to qualify for a court-appointed lawyer.


Commentary:
Al Dubeshter made $134,164 in 2015 and was given 7 months of his 2016 salary before being fired.

Will he get his full retirement?

Nice job if you can get it.


Clerk Magistrate Matthew Day ordered Dubeshter to have no contact with potential witnesses while the case is pending, with the exception of his wife. His lawyer, Michael Kelly, is next due to appear in court April 18 to represent Dubeshter at a scheduling conference.

Kelly emerged from the courtroom carrying a cardboard box filled with discovery material produced by the state. Prosecutors also handed over a compact disc containing digital records related to their investigation.

Kelly declined to discuss the case, saying he is not yet familiar with the full circumstances.

"There's a lot of discovery that has to be gone through at this point in time," Kelly said.

Dubeshter also declined to comment on the allegations, saying his lawyer advised him not to speak about the case.

Dubeshter, a 30-year veteran of the department, was previously in charge of receiving, cataloging and maintaining evidence in criminal cases, as well as delivering evidence to various state labs for testing and destroying evidence from closed cases, according to town records.

News of the evidence room thefts surfaced publicly in December 2015 after an internal email from the police chief was leaked to a local television station. In the Nov. 30, 2015 message - obtained by the Daily News through a previous records request - Chief Kenneth Ferguson wrote that "some officers" had been subpoenaed to testify before a grand jury, which was due to convene that week. The chief wrote that he expected "considerable media attention if and when an indictment is returned."

Ferguson then publicly acknowledged the investigation in December, but declined to name any officers involved. The chief also declined to discuss how much money was missing or when the investigation might be completed. The department rejected requests from the Daily News to release the findings of audits conducted of the evidence room in November 2015, citing the ongoing investigation.

Speaking after the indictments were returned earlier this year, Acting Police Chief Steven Trask said the department has implemented numerous recommendations to improve control of the evidence room, including having at least two officers supervise the area. Police also began depositing cash seized during investigations into a bank account rather than storing it in the evidence room.

"We've taken steps to make sure nothing like this ever happens again," Trask said.

Former Framingham cop Alan Dubeshter indicted in evidence room theft case January 26, 2017
Norman Miller 508-626-3823 Metrowest Daily News
FRAMINGHAM - Almost a year and a half after an investigation began, a former Framingham Police officer who was in charge of the department's evidence room has been indicted on charges he stole approximately $20,000 from the evidence room.

On Thursday, a Middlesex County Grand Jury charged Alan Dubeshter with larceny of more than $250 and obtaining an unwarranted privilege. Dubeshter will be arraigned at an unknown date in Middlesex Superior Court.

Framingham Police placed Dubeshter, then the head of the department's evidence room, on leave on Sept. 21, 2015. Authorities said that on Sept. 15, Dubeshter had several evidence envelopes in his personal vehicle without authorization. An investigation showed that the envelopes found in Dubeshter's truck had been tampered with and the money inside was missing.

As the investigation continued, authorities discovered that there were numerous other envelopes in the evidence room that had been tampered with in the same way.

The news of Dubeshter being placed on administrative leave only came out in December of 2015 after a memo from Police Chief Ken Ferguson to members of the department was leaked to the media.

"The Massachusetts Attorney General's Office is investigating the issue of missing funds from the Framingham Police Department's Evidence Room," police said in a statement at the time. "Once the investigation is concluded and authorization is received from the Attorney General's Office, Framingham Police Chief Ken Ferguson will release a full statement to the media. Until then, the Framingham Police Department has been advised not to comment on the active investigation."

In his role as evidence officer, Dubeshter was in charge of cataloguing evidence other officers submitted, as well as taking evidence to various labs and preparing evidence that was needed for trial. He was also in charge of destroying evidence when no longer needed.

Dubeshter officially resigned from the department at the end of April of 2016 after collecting more than $40,000 while on paid leave.

Dubeshter had been a Framingham Police officer since 1986, and prior to becoming the evidence officer, he served as a detective and a bicycle officer. He was also in charge of scheduling police details.

Former Framingham cop Alan Dubeshter indicted in evidence room theft case January 26, 2017
Norman Miller 508-626-3823 Metrowest Daily News
FRAMINGHAM - A former Framingham Police officer who was in charge of the department's evidence room is now facing criminal charges after authorities said he used his access to steal $20,000 from the department nearly a year and a half ago.

On Thursday, a Middlesex County Grand Jury charged Alan Dubeshter with larceny of more than $250 and obtaining an unwarranted privilege. Dubeshter will be arraigned at an unknown date in Middlesex Superior Court.

"As the town manager, I am relieved that the investigative phase of this incident has reached its conclusion," Town Manager Robert Halpin said Thursday, reading from a statement. "In light of the pending charges and judicial process that will now take place, the town will not comment on the specifics of the case itself."

Dubeshter declined comment on the case Thursday.

"I just have to let it play out, I really can't comment at this time," he said. "I'm trying to lay low and be a good dad. That's what I'm trying to do - coaching sports and being a good dad to my three kids."

Framingham Police placed Dubeshter, then the head of the department's evidence room, on leave on Sept. 21, 2015. Authorities said that on Sept. 15, Dubeshter had several evidence envelopes in his personal vehicle without authorization. An investigation showed that the envelopes found in Dubeshter's truck had been tampered with and the money inside was missing.

As the investigation continued, authorities discovered numerous other envelopes in the evidence room had been tampered with in the same way.

The news of Dubeshter being placed on paid administrative leave only came out in December 2015 after a memo from Police Chief Ken Ferguson to members of the department was leaked to the press.

"The Massachusetts Attorney General's Office is investigating the issue of missing funds from the Framingham Police Department's Evidence Room," police said in a statement at the time.

In his role as evidence officer, Dubeshter was in charge of cataloging evidence other officers submitted, as well as taking items to various labs and preparing material needed for trial. He was also in charge of destroying evidence when no longer needed.

All of the money Dubeshter is accused of stealing is actually money that had been seized during criminal investigations and is not technically evidence, Halpin said. It does not need to be kept in an evidence room so it will now be kept in a bank account, Halpin said.

Although Dubeshter is accused of stealing $20,000, Halpin said that figure may be incorrect.

"We believe it's higher," Halpin said. The Attorney General's office asked the town not to disclose the exact amount they believe was stolen, he said.

In the wake of the thefts, Framingham Police had two audits done on the evidence room, acting Police Chief Steve Trask said. The first zeroed in on seized money, while the second looked at every piece of evidence - more than 98,000 - in the room.

As part of the audits, the police department received numerous recommendations on monitoring and controlling the evidence room. Trask said several of those recommendations have been implemented. That includes having two officers - including a ranking officer - running the evidence room instead of one officer.

"We've taken steps to make sure nothing like this ever happens again," Trask said.

Dubeshter officially resigned from the department at the end of April 2016 after collecting more than $40,000 while on paid leave.

He had been a Framingham Police officer since 1986, and prior to becoming the evidence officer, he served as a detective and a bicycle officer. He was also in charge of scheduling police details. It's not clear whether his pension will be affected.

The Framingham police chief's failure to rein in its errant police officers, the department's lax discipline, and its active involvement in cover-ups have led Framingham's 170 police officers to believe that they can break the law with near-total impunity. Officer Paul K. Duncan is proudly held up by police chief Ken Ferguson as the epitomy of this lawlessness,

Investigating the theft from the FPD Evidence Room

Money Missing From FPD Evidence Room

AG probes missing evidence money at Framingham Police station

Framingham police chief speaks out after officer put on leave

Framingham police release email about evidence room probe

Police badge numbers are seemingly allocated on a sequential basis over the years.

Oldest badge numbers are:

  • 119 Delaney, William
  • 123 Esposito, Michael J.
  • 128 Ferguson, Kenneth M.
  • 129 Skinnion, John J.
  • 134 Galvani, Peter C.
  • 141 Green, James
  • 145 Hendry, L
  • 153 Linehan, Lawrence E.
  • 160 McCann, Michael S
  • 169 Murtagh, Christopher G
  • 177 Dubesther, Alan B (508-620-4907)

Ken Ferguson joined the force in 1985 (30 years ago)

Posted: 12/03/2015
It would be far more satisfying to me if it was Michael Esposito, but
Alan B. Dubesther (badge # 177) is a good candidate since he works for Administrative Services, which probably encompasses the evidence room.

Alan B. Dubeshter (54), 21 Westfield Road, Natick, MA 01760 [ 508-545-1914 ]

Apparently, Al Dubeshter is a 30 year veteran of the department and was in charge of the evidence and detail bureau. Al Dubeshter also happens to be the president of the Framingham Police Officer's Union(FPOU). One has to ask whether the union did an audit on its funds.

In essence, this man had considerable power as a police officer. If you curried favors with Al Dubeshter, ingratiated yourself with obsequious, (obedient or attentive to an excessive or servile degree) behaviour you could get lots of detail work. . You could also have better access to the evidence room to suit your needs.

If it turns out to be Al Dubeshter, I am sure that he got a lot of Attaboys during his career, but this is one of those Aw Shits that pretty much clears all those Attaboys off the board.

Other officers working in Administrative Services are

  1. Christian Miller (badge # 301),
  2. David H. Studley (badge # 223)
  3. Harry D. Wareham (badge # 254)
  4. Stephen A. Cronin (badge # 221)

The public would love to see what an audit of the evidence room looks like.

  1. How frequent are the audits?
  2. Are audits scheduled?
  3. Are there any surprise audits?
  4. Who conducts the audit?
  5. Is every audit done on a two-man rule?
  6. Is the audit verified on a two-man rule?
  7. When a drug raid occurs and drugs are confiscated, how are we, the public assured that all the drugs confiscated make it to the evidence room?
  8. When robbery suspects are apprehended with their stolen booty, how are we, the public, assured that all the stolen booty makes it to the evidence room?
  9. Who controls the inventory of those little sealed bags used for evidence? Are those bags numbered sequentially?
  10. Are these bags tamperproof?
  11. What is the estimated dollar value of the contents of the evidence room? Broken up by cash, stocks and bonds, jewelry and other ill gotten goods.


Stephen Cronin is the Commander of Administrative Services and is Al Dubeshter's boss, and he is also the Framingham Police spokesperson. He's very close to our idiot police chief Ken Ferguson. They hobnob together frequently. We should hold some level of suspicion that Stephen Cronin might be involved in this scheme. Someone should examine his personal finances for any irregularities. In the command hierarchy, Cronin is under deputy chief Ronald Brandolini

Framingham's failure to rein in its errant police officers, the department's lax discipline, and its active involvement in cover-ups have led Framingham's 170 police officers to believe that they can break the law with near-total impunity.

This is why every member of the Framingham police should be periodically tested for drug use and their personal finances should be audited twice a year for unusual revenue sources.


I suspect that this whole incident will be swept under the rug very much like Valerie Mulvey's son, A.J. Mulvey . It was amusing how this story suddenly disappeared.

Ken Ferguson claims that he will be open on this issue, but he still hasn't released the name of the officer (probably Dubeshter) and no one can confirm or deny that anything has happened. Take note that this incident was apparently discovered in September, 2015 but the story broke on December, 2015. The officer is question has been on administrative leave since September 21, 2015, which is kind of hilarious since he works for Administrative Services. How's that for openness and transparency.

If Al Dubeshter's the man, and it is determined that a crime occured he should be denied his retirement and incarcerated for a minimum of five years. Committing such a crime under the color of law should have a more severe punishment.

One scenario in the whitewash for this story is that Dubeshter had placed his gym bag on the floor while checking something in the evidence room and the money fell in when he bumped the shelf. It was an honest mistake, like officer Paul Duncan accidentally blasting a big ass hole in the back of Eurie Stamps, Sr. head.

The bottom line is, that if you can blast a big ass hole in the back of a black man's (Eurie Stamps, Sr.) head and kill him at point blank range like officer Paul Duncan did on January 5, 2011, and not lose a day's pay (and get a three month vacation to boot), then it would seem reasonable to believe that stealing $15,000 to $20,000 from the evidence room will not be prosecuted. The notion that there is no exact number of dollars missing means that someone is going to get some pocket change in this transaction. The investigation on this issue has been going on since September 21, 2015 and is now over four months old. Paul Duncan's investigation was three months.

On the other hand, it could become an Annie Dookham case that cripples law enforcement for a while. That would be nice.

I personally am still under investigation since August 19, 2015 after the idiot police chief Ken Ferguson kidnapped two kids off my lawn without a warrant. The idiot chief will not release any information on my case after he casually accepts a lie from a woman in Tennesse to justify a DCF raid on my house. Today's date is April 29, 2016. I may hold the record on the longest police investigation in Framingham's history.

The moron does not understand the Supremacy Clause of the US Constitution. Why is he a police chief? Because, the intellectual caliber of Framingham borders on stupidity.

The apparent inactions by the Framingham Board of Selectmen, Framingham Town Counsel Christopher Petrini, town manager Robert Halpin and every member of Framingham's finest invertebrates known as Town Meeting, shows that they're content with the services, quality, management, performance, advancement, talent acquisition, retention, integrity, honesty and theft/corruption level of the Framingham police.

In defense of the Board of Selectmen, It is a commonly held assumption that the Board of Selectmen are at the dim end of the animal intelligence spectrum.

Attorney General Investigating Theft From Framingham Police Evidence Room December 2, 2015
Susan Petroni http://www.patch.com/massachusetts/framingham
A Framingham Police Officer has been on paid leave since October.

The Massachusetts Attorney General is investigating the theft of money from the Framingham Police evidence room.

Accused of stealing the money is the police officer in charge of the evidence room.

Framingham Patch first heard of the investigation during Town Meeting in October, but neither the Middlesex District Attorney's office, nor the Framingham Police Chief, would discuss the matter on the record.

Multiple calls to both the Framingham Police and the Middlesex District's Attorney's office about the theft were met with "we can not confirm nor deny that there is an investigation."

At that time, a Framingham Police Officer, who has been with the department for more than three decades, was placed on paid administrative leave.

Framingham Town Manager confirmed that a police officer was on administrative leave during Town Meeting, but would not expand on the reason. He also would not confirm an investigation by either the District Attorney or the state.

Yesterday, Fox 25-TV reported about the investigation by the state's highest attorney. Fox reported about a memo that the Framingham Police chief issued this week.

Framingham Patch received a copy of that memo last night.

The memo indicated that several police officers have been subpoenaed to testify in a grand jury investigation being conducted about the theft of money from the police evidence room. The memo does confirm an investigation by the Massachusetts Attorney General's office.

Sources in the Framingham Police said more than $20,000 is missing, although no amount is discussed in the memo.

FOX25 Investigates: Framingham officer on leave after money missing from evidence room December 1, 2015
Reporter http://www.myfoxboston.com
FRAMINGHAM, Mass. -- FOX25 Investigates has obtained an internal memo that shows money is missing from an evidence room in Framingham and we've learned a 30-year veteran of the force is under investigation.

The memo, sent out by Framingham Police Chief Ken Ferguson, went to the entire department Monday.

It said in part: "As you may know, the Massachusetts Attorney General's office is investigating the theft of money from the Police Department's Evidence Room."

Ferguson also said that some officers had been subpoenaed to testify before a grand jury. Sources say the investigation started after police were told to check on him after an argument with his wife. Now those officers are part of the investigation.

The officer in question is a 30 year veteran of the department and was in charge of the evidence and detail bureau.

A source told FOX25 that upwards of $15,000 is missing.

"At this point in time I can't confirm and I won't deny that there is an investigation. You are aware of an internal email that I just had the opportunity to look at earlier today," said Framingham Town Manager Robert Halpin.

Framingham police chief speaks out after officer put on leave December 2, 2015
Reporter http://www.myfoxboston.com
FRAMINGHAM, Mass. -- FOX25 Investigates sat down with Framingham's police chief Wednesday after breaking the news Tuesday that an officer was on leave after money was discovered missing from the evidence room. While he says this is a troubling situation to deal with, he did shed some light on this investigation into a veteran police officer, and missing cash.

FOX25 Investigates first told you about the 30 year veteran of the Framingham police department on leave after upwards of $15,000 went missing from the evidence room at the police station and now there is a criminal investigation.

"Disappointed, concerned, to what has transpired," Framingham Police Chief Ken Ferguson said.

The investigation started at the West Natick train station were officers were called to do a well being check after the officer's wife was concerned. The chief wouldn't get into details.

"All I can tell you now, is the Framingham Police Department in conjunction with the Attorney General's Office is conducting an investigation," he said.

We've learned that investigators found thousands and thousands of dollars in cash in the officer's car. The officer in question is in charge of the evidence room and detail bureau.

"It's been a couple of months now, since we started this investigation," Ferguson said.

An internal memo sent out to officers says in part: "Some officers have been subpoenaed to testify before a grand jury this week."

The chief says the department as a whole is now forced to deal with this publicity and isn't hiding any of it.

To be clear, we are not releasing the officers name because he has not been charged yet. We've learned, those charges may come after the holidays. We have also learned a full audit has been done. As of right now, only money is missing.

AG probes missing evidence money at Framingham Police station December 2, 2015
Norman Miller 508-626-3823 Metrowest Daily News
FRAMINGHAM - The Framingham Police confirmed the state Attorney General's Office is investigating money missing from the department's evidence room.

Police would not release the name of any officer being investigated and how much money is missing.

"The Massachusetts Attorney General's Office is investigating the issue of missing funds from the Framingham Police Department's Evidence Room," police said in a statement. "Once the investigation is concluded and authorization is received from the Attorney General's Office, Framingham Police Chief Ken Ferguson will release a full statement to the media. Until then, the Framingham Police Department has been advised not to comment on the active investigation."

Town Manager Bob Halpin would not comment on the case.

"I can't confirm or deny there's an investigation," Halpin said.

Although police confirmed the investigation, the AG's office would not. "It's the policy of our office not to confirm or deny any investigation," said Chloe Gotsis, a spokeswoman for Attorney General Maura Healey.

According to a report by Fox 25, Ferguson sent out a memo to police officers on Tuesday about the investigation. The memo said several police officers will be testifying in front of a grand jury investigating the theft.

According to the Fox 25 report, the officer being investigated is a veteran of 30 years with the department and is in charge of the department's evidence room.

Police Officer Al Dubeshter, who is in charge of the Framingham evidence room, did not return a call from the Daily News seeking comment on Wednesday. Dubeshter has been a Framingham Police officer since 1986.

Also on Wednesday, the MetroWest Daily News filed a Public Records Law request for any emails sent by Ferguson to officers in the department regarding the theft of the money. The department has not acted on the request.

Framingham evidence officer on leave during theft investigation December 3, 2015
Norman Miller 508-626-3823 Metrowest Daily News
FRAMINGHAM - The Framingham Police officer in charge of the department's evidence room has been on paid leave for more than two months as the state Attorney General's Office investigates money missing from the evidence room.

Neither the police nor the state Attorney General's Office have said police Officer Albert Dubeshter is being investigated in connection to the missing evidence, but according to Framingham Police roll call records obtained by the MetroWest Daily News, Dubeshter has been on administrative leave since Sept. 21.

On Wednesday, Framingham Police confirmed the AG's Office is investigating the missing money. They did not release the name of any officers involved, how much money was missing or when the investigation might be completed, saying they have not received "authorization" from the attorney general to comment.

A spokeswoman for the Attorney General's Office said on Thursday that they would not confirm if there is an ongoing investigation.

According to town payroll records, Dubeshter is still receiving a check for $1,395 each week. Dubeshter did not return a call seeking comment.

Dubeshter has been a Framingham Police officer since 1986, and has previously served as a detective and a bicycle officer. Along with being the department's evidence officer, he was also in charge of scheduling police details.

The town denied a MetroWest Daily News Public Records Law request for any emails sent by Police Chief Ken Ferguson to officers in the department regarding the theft of money. In an email,

lBrian Simoneau, Ferguson's assistant, said the emails being sought were part of an "active criminal investigation and it is, therefore, exempt from disclosurer.

Wolfe: Who stole from Framingham police? February 16, 2016
Harold J. Wolfe 508-877-5541 Letter to the Editor
Back in late September 2015, the Framingham police evidence room was allegedly robbed and in December 2015, the Framingham police were gracious enough to let us know of the alleged pilfering. It's now February 2016, and no one has been named, indicted or charged. We were told that we would get the story after the holidays.

Will the perpetrator of the evidence room robbery ever be exposed?

Will Framingham's town manager Robert Halpin and police chief Ken Ferguson successfully cover up a theft of $15,000 dating back to September, 2015?

Who gets the $15,000 - $20,000? This incident is close to six months old and it just disappears from public notice.

The story on our Keefe Tech school committee member A.J. Mulvey for possession of cocaine kind of disappeared from public view. The town's view is that it might go away if we ignore it long enough.

The Attorney General's office or the Middlesex DA's office must be quite incompetent if it takes them this long to file charges or not.

Framingham's police chief Ken Ferguson has been investigating me for over six months concerning two kids that the Framingham police kidnapped off my lawn without a warrant on August 19, 2015. Want to hear something funny? Our police chief believes that state law trumps the U.S. Constitution, the supreme law of the land. Very sad. He has yet to release any records in my case.

Framingham police release email about evidence room probe February 19, 2016
Jim Haddadin 617-863-7144 Metrowest Daily News
FRAMINGHAM - Framingham police have released an email describing an investigation into the theft of money from the department's evidence room in response to a public records request.

The Daily News last year asked for copies of all communications from the police chief regarding the missing money sent during a roughly one-week period at the end of November.

The request came after details of a Nov. 30, 2015 email sent by Chief Kenneth Ferguson to other members of the department were reported by WFXT-TV.

"As you may know, the Massachusetts Attorney General's Office is investigating the theft of money from the Police Department's Evidence Room," Ferguson wrote. "Some officers have been subpoenaed to testify before a Grand Jury this week. I will keep you informed as to the results of the Grand Jury process. I expect that there will be considerable media attention if and when an indictment is returned."

Ferguson added: "Thank you very much for your continued professionalism during this investigation."

Framingham police initially refused to provide Ferguson's email to the newspaper, indicating it was exempt from disclosure because it pertains to an ongoing investigation.

The Daily News appealed the decision to the state supervisor of records in Secretary of State William Galvin's office. In a Jan. 13, 2016 order, an employee in Galvin's office found the police department failed to properly respond to the request. The department then released the email on Thursday after consulting with staff in the office of Attorney General Maura Healey.

Ferguson could not be reached Friday to discuss the status of the investigation. A spokeswoman from Healey's office said the attorney general can neither confirm nor deny any investigation.

While he publicly acknowledged the probe in December, Ferguson previously declined to name any officers involved. Ferguson also declined to discuss how much money was missing or when the investigation might be completed.

Framingham officer on leave resigns April 29, 2016
Norman Miller 508-626-3823 Metrowest Daily News
FRAMINGHAM - A Framingham Police officer has resigned after seven months on paid administrative leave, police said Friday afternoon.

Al Dubeshter was originally placed on leave on Sept. 21, 2015, during an investigation into a theft from the department's evidence room, which was headed by Dubeshter. News of his paid leave surfaced in December after a memo from the police chief about the leave was leaked to the news media. At the time, Chief Ken Ferguson told officers several of them would be called to testify in front of a grand jury as part of the investigation.

Dubeshter submitted his resignation this week, effective Saturday, said police spokesman Lt. Stephen Cronin.

Back in December, police said the Attorney General's office was investigating money missing from the evidence room.

At the time, Ferguson would not confirm that Dubeshter was under investigation for the missing money. Ferguson could not be reached for comment Friday.

Since his leave began, Dubeshter was paid more than $40,000, which includes his weekly salary as well as an educational stipend and bonus for being a "specialist."

The Attorney's General Office would not confirm Friday if they were conducting an investigation.


April 30, 2016

It's interesting to note that he resigned a day or two after Jim Rizoli brought up the issue in Town Meeting. It's also interesting that the Metrowest Daily News banned Jim Rizoli, Joe Rizoli and myself from commenting in their newspaper, even if we were paid subscribers. Richard Lodge and Rick Holmes exercised their liberal bigotry filled hypocrisy as usual.

Framingham police withhold records on evidence room probe May 6, 2016
Jim Haddadin 617-863-7144 Metrowest Daily News
FRAMINGHAM - With investigators continuing to probe the theft of money from the Framingham Police Department's evidence room, authorities declined this week to release records about the missing cash, saying the documents are under the control of Attorney General Maura Healey.

Police last year confirmed that investigators from Healey's office are pursuing a criminal case involving money that went missing from the evidence room, though they have declined to comment on the circumstances.

The Daily News on Monday requested copies of any audits of the evidence room conducted since last year, as well as the findings of any internal investigations into the missing money. The newspaper also requested copies of internal affairs records pertaining to officer Alan Dubeshter, who formerly oversaw the evidence room at the police department's downtown headquarters.

On Thursday, an official at the police department denied the newspaper's requests, writing that releasing the material without the attorney general's consent "may compromise the integrity of the pending criminal case."

"As you know, the Massachusetts Attorney General's Office is investigating the theft of money from the Police Department's Evidence Room," wrote Brian Simoneau, an assistant to the police chief. "Since there is currently an active and on-going criminal investigation underway involving the very documents which you are seeking, the Department is denying your request."

Dubeshter, a 30-year veteran of the department and former president of the police union, resigned last week after being placed on paid administrative leave seven months earlier.

Dubeshter was previously in charge of receiving, cataloging and maintaining evidence in criminal cases, as well as delivering evidence to various state labs for testing and destroying evidence from closed cases, according to town records.

Authorities have not identified him as a suspect in the case. Efforts to reach Dubeshter by phone Friday were unsuccessful. Chief Kenneth Ferguson did not return a call last week seeking comment on his departure.

News of the evidence room thefts surfaced in December after an internal email from the police chief was leaked to a local television station. In the Nov. 30, 2015 message - obtained by the Daily News through a public records request - Ferguson wrote that "some officers" had been subpoenaed to testify before a grand jury, which was due to convene that week. The chief wrote that he expected "considerable media attention if and when an indictment is returned."

Ferguson then publicly acknowledged the investigation in December, but declined to name any officers involved. The chief also declined to discuss how much money was missing or when the investigation might be completed.

A spokeswoman for Attorney General Maura Healey has declined repeated requests for comment on the case, saying authorities cannot confirm the existence of any investigation.

In denying the newspaper's public records requests this week, Framingham police cited an exemption to the state Public Records Law that allows law enforcement agencies to withhold some records while an investigation is underway.

According to the Secretary of State's Office, the exemption specifically allows for the withholding of information that could "potentially alert suspects to the activities of investigative officials," information that would reveal "confidential investigative techniques" and information which, if released, would create a "grave risk" of identifying private citizens who volunteer as witnesses.

In their response, Framingham police did not elaborate on how the exemption applies to audit reports and other records sought by the newspaper.

"As you know, once the criminal case reaches an appropriate stage, documents will be available via the clerk's office in the court where the criminal charges are filed," Simoneau wrote.

Editorial: Unanswered questions in Framingham May 15, 2016
Rick Holmes Metrowest Daily News
Something's going on in the Framingham Police Department, and anyone who knows about it isn't talking.

All town officials will reluctantly confirm is that Alan Dubeshter, a 30-year department veteran, was placed on paid administrative leave last September, and Kevin Slattery, a deputy chief, was placed on paid administrative leave a few weeks ago. Dubeshter resigned from the department in April.

News reports based on leaked documents and anonymous sources suggest Dubeshter is being investigated by the state Attorney General's Office in connection with the theft of money from the department's evidence room.

How much was stolen? How long has this been going on? Who was involved? Were criminal cases compromised? We may learn the answers eventually, if a grand jury issues an indictment in the case. Or we may never know what Officer Dubeshter did to earn his seven-month paid vacation.

There are other questions Framingham voters and taxpayers should ask: Are these two disciplinary actions related? Do they indicate larger problems of mismanagement within the department? How were the problems discovered, and by whom? What is being done to address whatever management shortcomings, if any, these incidents reveal?

Those are questions for elected and appointed town officials, but no one's talking. Police Chief Kenneth Ferguson won't take reporters' phone calls. Town Manager Robert Halpin won't comment. Town officials rejected a Daily News request for documents related to the evidence room thefts. Elected selectmen say they have no role in the day-to-day operations of the police department.

State officials are just as unsympathetic to the public's right to answers. Attorney General Maura Healey's office won't say whether there's even an investigation. We've seen prosecutors use "active investigation" as an excuse not to answer questions, sometimes for years at a time. Who is actively investigating the evidence room thefts seven months after they were allegedly discovered, and what's taking so long?

There are larger questions that should be asked by the newly-elected Charter Commission, which has just begun considering a new government structure for Framingham. Is this another example of the oft-heard complaint that department heads run the town? Would a city structure provide the transparency and accountability sorely lacking under the current organization? A mayor could duck questions as well as an appointed town manager, but at least voters could hold the mayor responsible.

Framingham deserves answers about the suspicious smells emanating from its police department. It also deserves a government that is more forthcoming whenever something goes wrong.

Wolfe: More questions for Framingham police May 21, 2016
Harold J. Wolfe Metrowest Daily News
In response to "Unanswered questions in Framingham" (May 15), I would like to ask some questions of our police chief.

What was the starting date for Al Dubeshter's career in the Framingham police department? He resigned around April 29, 2016. Does the seven months of admin pay cover that 30-year threshold to give him his retirement?

I find it difficult to believe that Al Dubeshter had unfettered access to the evidence room all by himself. Is there a two-man rule to enter the room? Are there cameras recording who enters and who leaves with what? How often are audits taken? What does an audit look like?

Why was deputy police chief Kevin Slattery placed on administrative leave? Is it related to the evidence room robbery?

Do Ken Ferguson, Robert Halpin and the Board of Selectman even understand the damage they are doing to the Town of Framingham by keeping quiet about this? Apparently not! Do all of you aforementioned individuals get a cut of the money and drugs taken from the evidence room? Inquiring minds want to know!

As time goes by, the smell of corruption grows. If you can smell your own corruption, others around you get a much stronger whiff!

At what point do we simply lose all respect for the Framingham police, our Board of Selectmen, Robert Halpin, Town Meeting members, etc.....

I went to prison for a week for trespassing. Let's see how Al Dubeshter and Kevin Slattery fare. Let us measure privilege.

HAROLD J. WOLFE

Framingham

Framingham police faulted in denial of evidence room records June 6, 2016
Jim Haddadin 617-863-7144 Metrowest Daily News
FRAMINGHAM - A state official has ordered the Framingham Police Department to disclose whether it has audit reports or other records in its custody describing the criminal probe into thefts from the department's evidence room.

In a letter released Friday, an official in Secretary of State William Galvin's office wrote that Framingham police failed to properly respond to a pair of public records requests from the Daily News seeking information about the evidence room thefts.

The newspaper in May requested copies of any audits of the evidence room conducted since last year, as well as the findings of any internal investigations into the missing money.

The Daily News also requested copies of internal affairs records pertaining to officer Alan Dubeshter, who formerly oversaw the evidence room at the police department's downtown headquarters.

An official at the police department denied the requests on May 5, writing that the documents are under the control of Attorney General Maura Healey, whose office is conducting a criminal investigation. Releasing the material without Healey's consent "may compromise the integrity of the pending criminal case," the official wrote.

The Daily News appealed the decision to Supervisor of Records Shawn A. Williams, who oversees compliance with the state public records law. In a June 3 decision, Williams found that Framingham police failed to explain what records the department actually has in its custody, and how the legal exemption it cited allows police to withhold those records in their entirety.

"The fact that an investigatory agency may be in the process of its own investigation does not abrogate the obligation of a records custodian to state, with specificity the application of an exemption," Williams wrote.

Williams ordered the police department to provide the Daily News "without delay" a more detailed response, including specific legal arguments justifying its use of the so-called investigatory exemption to the public records law.

The exemption permits police departments and other law enforcement agencies to shield some records from public view while an investigation is underway, but only in limited circumstances.

According to the Secretary of State's Office, police may withhold investigatory records that would reveal "confidential investigative techniques," create a "grave risk" of identifying witnesses or "potentially alert suspects to the activities of investigative officials."

News of the evidence room thefts surfaced publicly in December after an internal email from the police chief was leaked to a local television station. In the Nov. 30, 2015 message - obtained by the Daily News through a previous records request - Chief Kenneth Ferguson wrote that "some officers" had been subpoenaed to testify before a grand jury, which was due to convene that week. The chief wrote that he expected "considerable media attention if and when an indictment is returned."

Ferguson then publicly acknowledged the investigation in December, but declined to name any officers involved. The chief also declined to discuss how much money was missing or when the investigation might be completed.

Dubeshter, a 30-year veteran of the department, was previously in charge of receiving, cataloging and maintaining evidence in criminal cases, as well as delivering evidence to various state labs for testing and destroying evidence from closed cases, according to town records. Dubeshter resigned in late April after being placed on paid administrative leave seven months earlier.

Authorities have not identified him as a suspect in the case.

A spokeswoman for Healey previously declined requests for comment on the case, saying authorities cannot confirm the existence of any investigation.

Attorney: Envelopes found in Framingham officer's car sparked evidence room probe June 27, 2016
Jim Haddadin 617-863-7144 Metrowest Daily News
FRAMINGHAM - Authorities launched a criminal investigation into money that went missing from police headquarters after discovering empty police envelopes inside the former evidence room supervisor's vehicle, according to the town's lawyer.

Town Counsel Christopher Petrini last week released new details on behalf of the Framingham Police Department about the ongoing criminal probe, which centers around cash that disappeared from the department's evidence room.

The new disclosures came after Framingham police were faulted earlier this month by an official in the Secretary of State William Galvin's Office for failing to properly respond to a request for records connected to the case.

Framingham police immediately placed Officer Alan Dubeshter, the former evidence room supervisor, on administrative leave after learning on or about Sept. 15 that envelopes from the police department had turned up in Dubeshter's personal vehicle, according to Petrini.

The department also notified Middlesex District Attorney Marian Ryan's office of the circumstances, which Petrini described as a discrepancy. Ryan's office has since handed off the matter to Attorney General Maura Healey.

"The FPD has cooperated with (Healey's office) throughout the conduct of this investigation, including further audits and reviews of the evidence room as part of that investigation," Petrini wrote. 'The Attorney General's Office has requested that the FPD not release this information or other information pertaining to the discrepancy at this stage of the investigation."

Dubeshter, a 30-year veteran of the police department, was previously in charge of receiving, cataloging and maintaining evidence in criminal cases, as well as delivering evidence to various state labs for testing and destroying evidence from closed cases, according to town records.

He earned $137,165 last year, including a little more than $29,000 worth of detail pay, according to salary records provided by the town.

Dubeshter resigned April 30 after being placed on paid administrative leave seven months earlier.

Authorities have not identified him as a suspect in the case. Dubeshter could not be reached for comment Monday. Framingham police have been reluctant to divulge details of the case since it came to light last year, including how much money is missing, or when the investigation might be completed.

The department initially denied a pair of public records requests from the Daily News seeking any audits of the evidence room conducted since last year, as well as the findings of any internal investigations into the missing money.

The newspaper appealed the decision to Supervisor of Records Shawn A. Williams, who oversees compliance with the state public records law. In a June 3 decision, Williams found that Framingham police failed to explain what records the department actually has in its custody, and how the legal exemption it cited allows police to withhold those records in their entirety.

Williams ordered the police department to provide the Daily News "without delay" a more detailed response, including specific legal arguments justifying its use of the so-called investigatory exemption to the public records law.

In a June 21 response, Petrini wrote that Framingham police have no internal affairs records pertaining to the evidence room thefts because the matter is being investigated by detectives as a criminal case.

The department also released copies of three audits conducted between January and June 2015, in which officers randomly selected several dozen items from the inventory to ensure they were properly stored in the evidence room. None of the audits turned up problems, according to Petrini.

The department withheld two additional audit reports authored in November 2015 during the course of the investigation. Disclosing them now 'could potentially alert the suspect of the activities of the investigative officials involved" and taint the investigation, Petrini wrote.

Petrini referred questions about the case to Assistant Attorney General Dean Mazzone. Mazzone did not respond to a phone message left Monday afternoon. A spokeswoman for Healey declined to comment on the pending investigation.

"It is the policy of our office not to confirm or deny investigations, and we can't comment further," the spokeswoman said.

In the meantime, the police department has changed how it manages the evidence room to "minimize the potential for similar issues to occur in the future," according to Petrini's letter. Those changes include conducting more frequent audits and depositing cash seized during investigations into a bank account rather than storing it in the evidence room.

Robert Harnais, president of the Massachusetts Bar Association, said the ongoing investigation could leave prosecutors vulnerable to legal challenges in the future.

"You have to worry whether the integrity of where they keep the evidence that they're going to use in court has been compromised - who had access to it, what else has been missing," he said. 'You have to look at all that, and I think everything from this point should be transparent not only as to what happened, but how they're doing their investigation into what happened."

Wolfe: Blind to scandal in Framingham July 9, 2016
Harold J. Wolfe 508-877-5541 Metrowest Daily News
In response to Anthony Patelis, "Support for Framingham chief: (July 3), it's rather obvious corruption is not the No. 1 priority of the Framingham police chief.

His job is to enforce the law and fight crime.

A police force with a staff of about 170, and the state Attorney General's office with hundreds of employees, costing the taxpayers a minimum of $50 million a year, can conduct an investigation for nine calendar months but cannot yet determine whether something was removed from the Framingham police evidence room without authorization?

I want to see pictures of those evidence envelopes found in Dubeshter's car. And whatever happened to that grand jury inquiry that can usually indict a ham sandwich?

It's just amazing that no one speaks out on this issue and want to cover it up. Town Meeting (hear no evil), the Board of Selectmen and town counsel (see no evil) and the police (do, but speak no evil).

One would think that for a salary of $180,000 a year, Police Chief Ken Ferguson might exercise more personal integrity or honesty and offer his resignation. Alas, I live in Framingham, and I have to wear a paper bag of shame over my face.

HAROLD J. WOLFE

Framingham

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