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Middlesex Sheriff Employee Charged With Fraud

A Malden resident is facing allegations she inappropriately used sick time to pursue a career in real estate.

A Middlesex County Sheriff's Office employee is facing criminal fraud charges for allegedly working another job while she remained on medical leave from the sheriff's office.

Joyce Drinkwater, 67, of Malden was charged on Nov. 19 with knowingly presenting a fraudulent claim to a public employer for a benefit, according to the Middlesex County District Attorney's Office. Drinkwater allegedly collected her full salary as she stayed on medical leave from the sheriff's office.

Drinkwater, who worked in the sheriff's payroll office, took medical leave in June and when that ended she allegedly used her unused sick time remain out on leave, according to the DA's office. She allegedly certified to the sheriff's office that she was unable to work and would not work at another job while on leave. 

However, the sheriff's office discovered she was a licensed real estate agent and the State Police launched an investigation. Investigators soon learned that Drinkwater was allegedly working for Century 21 Sexton & Donohue Inc. in Melrose, according to the DA's office.

"This employee's alleged actions bring undeserved dishonor to all public sector employees. It is paramount that we maintain the integrity of the Middlesex Sheriff’s Office, therefore, if this allegation is proven true, she must be held accountable for her actions. Any allegation of impropriety or wrongdoing involving a member of this Office will be taken seriously and fully investigated," said Middlesex County Sheriff Peter Koutoujian.

Drinkwater is scheduled to be arraigned on Dec. 13 at Malden District Court. 

Toto November 20, 2012 at 06:48 PM
At 67 she is taking a job away from someone who needs it. Pretty good. And, then she has the moxy to work another one while she is getting paid. Who does that???
robert wilson November 20, 2012 at 09:02 PM
You'd be shocked how many do that.
paul surette November 20, 2012 at 09:52 PM
Oh yes, I am completely shocked at what goes on in the Middlesex Sheriff's Department. NOT! When DiPaola was a Malden policeman, he had a 'reputation'. A lot of people talked about what went on with the Malden Police back in the 80's and 90's. I don't give in to rumors, but I dealt with DiPaola on a few occasions. Nice would never be associated with his name. I couldn't believe he defeated Brad Bailey in the Sheriff election. Here was Brad Bailey, who was firm in his belief that we shouldn't be furloughing criminals, and Bailey was willing to go to jail to not enforce this ridiculous mandate! There are quite a few probate cases, of whom a bunch of dads can't pay their child support, but are forced to serve a 'complete' sentence, so that we can furlough repeat offenders. That election was a bag job from the start, Is there any part of government within this state that isn't crooked? And why did DiPaulo kill himself if he was innocent.....suprised, YEAH RIGHT!
Roland November 21, 2012 at 01:17 PM
If you can still work at 67 then you are not taking away a job from some one else esspecially in this economy. If you lie about not working and take the money saying you are out injured while working another job on the side you have then commited a crime and you should lose your pension and have to pay back the money you STOLE or become a worker at the other end of the sheriffs department.
david mokal November 21, 2012 at 01:30 PM
This same practice is done on the MBTA. Employees take all their acumalated sick time before they retire and they work another job. Some are working other jobs while on the T clock. This has been going on for years. This could be that its a common practice at the Sheriffs department from when the last Sheriff was there.
Aaron November 21, 2012 at 05:55 PM
Is this really going to be allowed on the Patch? Personal attacks are a violation of the rules and just cruel.
david mokal November 21, 2012 at 11:37 PM
@Aaron I know that with many jobs State, MBTA you can take your accumilated sick time that you have built up. Its your time so I dont really see the problem here. I dont think that she has done anything different than anyone else on the sherriffs department. Thats if she is on her own sick time and not workmans comp or work related injury. So if she is on her own personal sick time that is money earned and many use it up before they retire. I wouldn't be blaming MS Drinkwater but how the system is set up. If you dont use it you loose it.
david mokal November 21, 2012 at 11:51 PM
Maybe Im missing something Mike but I know that they use their own sick days before they retire. I have seen this on the MBTA. There were employees that had 3-6 months of accumilated sick time and all used them up then retired. Its concidered their money like an entitlement. But I know Im not the brightest bulb but In this case Im just presuming that it works the same way. Maybe someone here on this blog knows better about it.
paul surette November 22, 2012 at 01:47 AM
Sorry Aaron, that you were offended by the truth. Brad Bailey was ready to go to jail for contempt of a court order to start furloughing inmates with criminal backgrounds, while dads with a debt had to serve a full sentence. But you can go research this yourself....it's all a matter of public record :) Fact: Mr. DiPaola was not a well liked guy buy the community, or his peers.
paul surette November 22, 2012 at 08:01 AM
Mike, I'm not diminishing his family's emptiness right now....I feel for them, but it doesn't detract from the facts regarding Mr. DiPaola's career. But I do understand what you're saying. It's all good.
Chris Caesar November 25, 2012 at 12:13 AM
He was a public official. Paul can say what he wants about him within reason.
Chris November 25, 2012 at 12:44 AM
Chris you are a public figure can we say what we want about you and your family?
Chris Caesar November 25, 2012 at 12:58 AM
What did he say about his family? I can't censor someone for criticizing a public figure, an elected official no less. And, maybe you are new to our comments section, but people certainly say all kinds of things about me and are free to do so.
paul surette November 25, 2012 at 01:47 AM
To Aaron, although Chris Caesar and I don't get along on most issues here, he is correct in that Mr. Dipaola was an elected public official, and I am within my rights to make these comments, all of which can be verified. The election for sheriff was REAL. And Chris Caesar is NOT an elected official...therefore, he has a right to expect personal attacks on him as off-limits, as well he should!
Chris Caesar November 25, 2012 at 01:52 AM
I think any journalist is eligible to be criticized. I wish people would be nice about it, but eh, what are you going to do.

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