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Newton police chief's ex-secretary charged with larceny

Posted by Deidre Fernandes  August 21, 2012 04:24 PM

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The Newton police chief’s former secretary was charged with larceny Tuesday for allegedly stealing $660 from the department, in a case that has roiled the law enforcement agency.

A Framingham District Court magistrate issued a complaint against Jeanne Sweeney Mooney for one count of felony larceny of over $250, according to police Chief Matthew Cummings and her lawyer.

Mooney, who had worked for the Newton Police Department for more than 30 years, has been on paid administrative leave since last September.

Mooney will probably be arraigned next month, said Thomas Drechsler, her lawyer.

Mooney plans to plead not guilty and contends that the police pursued charges against her in retaliation after she began civil action against the department, Drechsler said.

“There is more than reasonable doubt here,” he said.

According to documents, the police allege that Mooney took an envelope containing cash collected through various police permit fees. She is also accused of destroying nearly $1,500 in checks and a schedule of the payments.

In May, Mooney sent a letter to the city demanding $600,000 in damages from Newton for her pain and suffering stemming from the allegations, as well as reinstatement of her job and the firing of Cummings.

In the letter, Mooney alleged that Cummings verbally humiliated her on two occasions, and tried to intimidate her into taking on more responsibilities by suggesting that a local TV station was investigating her. The letter also states that Mooney complained that Cummings gained an 8 percent raise without following proper protocol.

The city hired an outside investigator earlier this summer to look into Mooney’s allegations against Cummings. That report is scheduled to be complete at the end of this month.

Deirdre Fernandes can be reached at deirdre.fernandes@globe.com

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