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FRAMINGHAM — Fresh off a stint in jail, a former Framingham police officer who pleaded guilty to stealing cash from police headquarters was stripped of his pension Tuesday by the Framingham Retirement Board.
The board, which oversees the retirement system for city employees, met in private Tuesday morning to conduct a dereliction of duty hearing for Alan Dubeshter, who served on the police department for more than 30 years before coming under investigation in late 2015.
Board members voted unanimously to forfeit Dubeshter's pension rights, seizing on a provision in state law that forbids police officers convicted of crimes related to their jobs from collecting retirement benefits.
The board also voted to eventually return Dubeshter's contributions into the retirement system, though the amount will be reduced to pay off his court-ordered restitution, and to reimburse the city for the cost of investigating the thefts.
Dubeshter, the longtime supervisor of the police department's evidence room, was ordered to repay more than $19,000 after pleading guilty to one count of larceny on Nov. 7, 2017. Dubeshter, then 56, said in court that he stole the money amid a period of personal turmoil and intended to return the cash before the theft was detected.
term now behind him, Dubeshter appeared in person at the Retirement Board's closed-door hearing Tuesday at the Memorial Building, which stretched for more than half an hour.
After emerging from executive session, board attorney Thomas Gibson said the five-member group voted unanimously to deny Dubeshter his retirement allowance, and to deduct investigative costs from the annuity payments he is entitled to reclaim. The board is still reviewing which investigative costs will be deducted from his payout, Gibson said
Dubeshter declined to comment on the circumstances following Tuesday's hearing.
Dubeshter's resignation marked an ignominious end to a lengthy career in Framingham, which brought him into one of the department's most trusted positions. As evidence room supervisor, he was previously in charge of receiving, cataloging and maintaining evidence in criminal cases.
Dubeshter came under investigation on Sept. 18, 2015 after police discovered six envelopes from the evidence room inside his personal truck, according to court records.
The envelopes — typically used to store cash seized in criminal cases — had been cut open at the bottom, and all but $41 of the currency supposedly inside was missing. Police secured a warrant and returned the following day, allegedly finding two more envelopes inside the truck, and another envelope inside a desk at his home.
Audits later determined that more than $73,800 was missing from the evidence room, though prosecutors said they were unable to show Dubeshter was responsible for stealing more than about $19,000 of the missing cash.
Dubeshter was placed on leave Sept. 21, 2015 and resigned seven months later. He was indicted on two counts by a grand jury in January 2017 and pleaded guilty to a single larceny charge in November.
Police officials say the department has implemented numerous recommendations to improve control of the evidence room since Dubeshter's arrest, 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.
It was unclear Tuesday how much Dubeshter would have been entitled to receive from the retirement system. Laurie Lizak, executive director for the Framingham Retirement Board, said Dubeshter did not apply for pension payments after retiring while under investigation in April 25, 2016.
An employee's retirement allowance is calculated based on years of service and the employee's highest average salary over a period of three consecutive years. Those figures are multiplied by a benefit rate, which takes into account the employee's age at retirement and the type of work they performed.
Police officers, firefighters and certain other employees belong to Group 4, which allows them to receive annual retirement payments equivalent to 80 percent of their highest average salary over three years.
In 2015 — one of Dubeshter's longest stretches on active duty before being suspended — he earned a little more than $137,000. His salary included more than $29,000 worth of detail pay, which would not have counted toward the overall compensation used to calculate his retirement benefits.
Another longtime police officer who retired in 2016 received annual retirement allowances of about $40,000 and $45,000 during the previous two years, according to figures obtained by the Daily News through a public records request.
Lizak declined to disclose the amount of payroll deductions Dubeshter stands to be repaid, saying the figure is not subject to public disclosure. Lizak said only that the board is "doing its due diligence" with regard to Dubeshter's retirement funds.
Jim Haddadin can be reached at 617-863-7144 or . Follow him on Twitter: @JimHaddadinSign up for daily e-mail Wake up to the day's top news, delivered to your inbox Related content