Former DPH Employee Arrested, Arraigned in Connection with Breaking into Facility, Stealing Agency’s Gas Cards
STOUGHTON – A former employee of the Department of Public Health (DPH) has been arrested and arraigned in connection with breaking into a Canton DPH facility on multiple occasions and stealing agency gas cards to purchase motor fuel, Attorney General Martha Coakley announced today.
Mikel W. Beacham, age 33, of Randolph, was arrested last night in Canton without incident by State Police assigned to the AG’s Office. Upon arresting Beacham, authorities found a DPH gas card on his person. Beacham is charged with Breaking and Entering in the Daytime with Intent to Commit a Felony, Larceny over $250, and Stealing in a Building.
Beacham was arraigned this morning in Stoughton District Court, where he pleaded not guilty to the charges. Judge Richard D. Savignano set bail at $5,000 cash, $50,000 surety, with the condition that he stay away from the DPH facility in Canton. He is due back in Stoughton District Court on July 8 for a pre-trial hearing.
“We allege that this former employee, on multiple occasions, broke into a DPH facility in order to steal gas cards that he knew were kept there,” said AG Coakley.
“Once DPH identified this issue, we promptly notified law enforcement and helped facilitate an investigation,” said DPH Acting Commissioner Cheryl Bartlett. “We thank the attorney general for taking the next steps towards holding this former employee accountable. While our internal audit process helped us identify this issue, we are currently tightening our controls around gas card security and access to prevent any unauthorized use.”
Massachusetts State Police assigned to the AG’s Office began an investigation after the matter was referred by DPH. Beacham was formerly a DPH environmental health worker until he was terminated in March 2012.
Authorities allege that Beacham broke into a DPH facility in Canton on multiple occasions, stole DPH gas cards, used them to buy unauthorized motor fuel, and then returned the cards to the facility.
Two vehicles are assigned to the Canton DPH office for authorized use by DPH employees, who have to sign out a vehicle on a driver log and also record the odometer readings at the time the vehicle is taken and again when is returned. A gas card is assigned to each of the vehicles in order to allow employees to refuel them. When an employee uses the card to refuel a vehicle, he or she must enter the odometer reading on the gas pump terminal, which creates an electronic record of the vehicle’s mileage at the time of refueling.
Investigation revealed thousands of dollars in unauthorized charges. According to authorities, these charges appeared to be unauthorized because they always occurred outside of normal business hours, including on weekends, they did not coincide with when vehicles were signed out by DPH employees, and the odometer readings reported at the time of refueling did not correspond to odometer readings reported on the driver log. Authorities allege that Beacham broke into the Canton facility to steal the gas cards on numerous occasions. He would allegedly refuel his and other vehicles using these cards at gas stations mainly in Norfolk County, and then return the cards to the Canton facility.
DPH cooperated fully with the AG’s investigation.
Beacham was arrested by Massachusetts State Police assigned to the AG’s Office and subsequently arraigned in Stoughton District Court. He is due back in Stoughton District Court on July 8.
The investigation into this matter is ongoing. These charges are allegations. All defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty.
The case is being prosecuted by Assistant Attorney General Jason Cofield, of AG Coakley’s Public Integrity Division and Staff Attorney Zach Perez, with assistance from the Massachusetts State Police assigned to the AG’s Office. Authorities from DPH also assisted in the investigation.