No Charges, Early Retirement for Officer Caught Stealing [Poll]

Patch.org, MarlboroughPatch, marlborough.patch.com
BYLINE: Josh Gray,
Link to Article

Marlborough, MA

2012-02-17_Early Retirement for Officer Caught Stealing_01
Credit Josh Gray

Det. Derek Johnson confessed to stealing money from the Marlborough evidence room.

City officials have revealed that a longtime Marlborough police detective has been caught after stealing thousands of dollars from the department's evidence room, according to a recent WHDH Channel 7 report.

Det. Derek Johnson, a 24-year veteran of the force, has confessed to stealing more than $8,000 related to at least 10 pending cases, according to the Middlesex District Attorney's office.

Johnson, who was the officer in charge of the evidence room, has been given a deal in exchange for his confession, revealed the "Hank Investigates," segment Thursday evening. He was allowed to leave the force, cash out a $112,000 pension and return the stolen funds. As part of the deal, he will not be prosecuted for his crimes.

When asked if the former detective got off easy, Chief Mark Leonard said to WHDH, “Absolutely not. He's no longer a police officer, the city was made whole, he's not drawing a pension for the rest of his life. If he were prosecuted criminally and we were not successful, he very well could have come back to work here!”

First-time mayor and longtime city council member Arthur Vigeant stood by Leonard's decision.

"The number one issue was trying to find out exactly who was involved; there was only one officer involved, and he's been purged from the department," Vigeant said to WHDH.

As a result of Johnson's actions, several pending cases are compromised due to the missing and tampered with evidence.

Do you think the chief made the right decision by offering Johnson a deal? Do you agree with the mayor—Is the city better off for it? Vote in the poll and tell us what you think in the comment field.

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