The former president of the Boston Police Patrolmen’s Association was charged Monday with allegedly collecting more than $16,000 in overtime payments for hours he didn’t work between 2015 and 2017, and he’s agreed to plead guilty to two counts in federal court, authorities said Monday.
In a statement, the office of US Attorney Nathaniel R. Mendell’s office said Thomas Nee, 64, of Quincy, has agreed to plead guilty in US District Court in Boston to one count of conspiracy to commit theft concerning programs receiving federal funds and one count of embezzlement from an agency receiving federal funds.
A plea hearing hasn’t been set, and Nee, a retired Boston police officer who served as head of the union for a number of years before exiting the post in 2014, is not in custody. Nee’s lawyer declined to comment, and a union spokesman had no immediate comment.
Charging documents, the statement said, allege that Nee from at least January 2015 through February 2019 filed false slips for overtime hours he didn’t work actually work at the department’s evidence warehouse in Hyde Park.
Prosecutors said the warehouse’s “purge” overtime shift was from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. weekdays and intended to dispose of old, unneeded evidence. And “Kiosk” overtime, the statement said, involved driving to each police district in Boston one Saturday ever month to collect old prescription drugs to be destroyed.
For the “purge” shift, the statement said, Nee claimed to work the full shift until 8 p.m., but he and other unit members allegedly knocked off at 6 p.m. or earlier on a frequent basis.
And for the “kiosk” shift, the feds allege, Nee submitted claiming to have worked 8 and 1/2 hours, when he and other colleagues actually only worked three to four hours of those shifts. As a result, the statement said, Nee allegedly pocketed $16,642 in public funds for OT hours he didn’t work between January 2015 and August 2017.
Nee, prosecutors said, is the 15th Boston police officer to be charged in connection with the overtime probe at the evidence warehouse. Nine officers have pleaded guilty, the statement said.
The plea deal filed in US District Court said Nee faces maximum prison terms of five years on one count and 10 years on the other, though prosecutors have agreed to recommend “incarceration at the low end” of the guidelines range, as well as restitution in the amount of $16,642 and three years of supervised release.
Nee’s successor as union president, now-retired Boston police Officer Patrick M. Rose Sr., is also facing legal trouble.
Rose is currently jailed and awaiting trial on 33 counts of sexually abusing six children over a span of decades. Rose has pleaded not guilty.
Rose retired in early 2018 and was no longer leading the union at the time of his arrest. His case triggered a backlash after a Globe investigation published in April found that police allowed Rose to remain on the force for two decades after an internal investigation concluded that he probably sexually abused a child in the 1990s.
He went on to allegedly abuse more children, resulting in the pending criminal charges, officials said.
Travis Andersen can be reached at email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter @TAGlobe.