NEWBURYPORT -- Former Newburyport police Sgt. Alan Maguire has been charged with embezzling more than $40,000 from the Police Relief Association fund, Marshal Thomas Howard announced this afternoon.
Maguire, 53, of Salisbury, has been charged with two felonies: one count of larceny over $250 and one count of larceny over $250 by embezzlement.
He will be summonsed to court on the charges, according to the Newburyport police.
Reached this afternoon at his business, Maguire declined to comment and quickly hung up the phone.
Police allege that between 2008 and 2013, while he was an officer in the Newburyport Police Relief Association, Maguire stole more than $40,000 from the charitable organization.
Maguire joined the Newburyport police department in 1983 and retired with the rank of sergeant on Sept. 7, 2013. After his retirement, the incoming president of the association noticed the discrepencies in the accounting and notified Howard.
During the course of the investigation, which included questioning Maguire, the police department sought guidance from the Public Integrity Division of the Massachusetts Attorney General's Office and forwarded all of the facts of the case to the Office of Essex District Attorney Jonathan Blodgett for its impartial assistance.
An audit by the District Attorney's office showed that $41,636 could not be accounted for.
"These are serious allegations that involve a police officer taking money away from a charitable organization meant to help other officers in need," Howard said in a statement. "This is a shocking, disappointing betrayal of trust."
The Newburyport Police Relief Association is a private charitable organization, whose funding is supposed to be used to give scholarships to students and to benefit injured, sick, and disabled police officers, and the families of police officers who die in the line of duty.