Brookline Police believe that a town employee who was allegedly caught on camera pocketing cash took a total of more than $2,000 over an 18-month period.
Joshua Layne, 33, of Canton, was released on personal recognizance after entering a plea of not guilty to one charge of larceny by embezzlement Wednesday in Brookline District Court, according to court records.
When police told Layne Monday that they had him on video putting money in his pocket from a cash box belonging to the town’s transportation division, he allegedly told police that he took between $2,000 and $2,500 over the last 18 months because his job did not pay enough to cover the bills since the birth of his child, according to a police report on file at Brookline District Court.
Layne has worked for the town for about eight years and was an administrative assistant in the town’s department of public works before he was placed on paid administrative leave Tuesday pending the results of a disciplinary hearing.
Brookline Police began an investigation into concerns about money being stolen from the town’s Transportation Division located in Brookline Town Hall on Nov. 22. The division is also part of the department of public works, and Transportation Administrator Todd Kirrane told police he had also shared his concern about cash deposits being down with his staff on Nov. 12, according to a police report.
The transportation division keeps a balance of $100 in a cash box at all times to make change and the box is locked in Kirrane’s office after business hours. During the day, the cash box was being kept in Layne’s desk, according to the police report.
On Nov. 20, Kirrane and a second person counted the money in the cash box when Layne went to lunch and found $120.
But when Layne made a deposit of $60 at the end of the day, at least $60 was missing, according to police. The cash box was monitored for several more days, and police said that over the course of seven business days concluding on Friday, Nov. 29, at least $380 was missing from the deposits.
During the investigation, police also installed two video cameras in the area of the transportation office and footage from Wednesday, Nov. 27, showed Layne preparing the deposit from the cash box and then take cash from the box, fold the bills and place them in his pants pocket, according to a police report.
When police inquired how Layne had been able to balance the books, Kirrane examined a permit summary report and found that it indicated that no fee had been collected for some permits that had been issued by the transportation division. When police called the people who had received the permits from the transportation division on Monday, several reported that they had paid cash.
Police then asked Layne to come to the police station where he was told of the investigation and the video footage before he allegedly told police that he taken between $2,000 to $2,500. He was then placed under arrest.
The police report said the investigation is ongoing and indicated that since a total of $380 was missing from the cash box over a span of seven business days, Layne’s estimate of the amount of money he took could be “very low.”
Layne is due back in court for a pre-trial hearing on February 2.