HTTP/1.0 200 OK Content-Type: text/html Officer Charged With Stealing DARE Money
Pubdate: Tue, 11 May 2004
Source: Boston Globe (MA)
Copyright: 2004 Globe Newspaper Company
Author: Joyce Pellino Crane
Bookmark: (Corruption - United States)
Bookmark: (D.A.R.E.)


Theft Of Laptop, Raffle Funds Alleged

CHELMSFORD -- A Chelmsford police officer was arraigned yesterday at 
Middlesex Superior Court in Cambridge on charges of embezzlement and 
larceny for allegedly taking money from the town's DARE program and police 

Officer Michael Horan was charged in a 20-count indictment, including 10 
felony counts of embezzlement, eight felony counts of larceny, and two 
counts of misdemeanor larceny. He pleaded not guilty to the charges and 
bail was set at $5,000, according to the Middlesex district attorney's 
office. A pretrial hearing was set for June 15.

A phone listing could not be found for Horan, and he could not be reached 
through the police department. His lawyer, Daniel Wilkins, did not return 
calls seeking comment.

Seth Horwitz, spokesman for Middlesex District Attorney Martha Coakley, 
said Horan is accused of embezzling at least $8,000 in funds that were held 
at the Police Station on Olde North Road.

According to court documents filed by assistant district attorney Richard 
D. Grundy, Horan took charitable donations totaling thousands of dollars 
entrusted to him as the town's Drug Awareness Resistance Officer. He also 
allegedly took a laptop computer from the Police Department and raffle 
money from high school sports games.

Police Chief Raymond G. McCusker, who was unavailable for comment 
yesterday, suspended Horan without pay on Friday, according to Lieutenant 
James Murphy.

Horan, 30, had been the town's DARE officer since 2001, Murphy said. The 
DARE program, designed to prevent drug use among preteens and teens, is 
taught in the fifth grade in Chelmsford. Horan was placed on administrative 
leave in November, Murphy said.

The court documents filed by Grundy say that Horan was "receiving a reduced 
paycheck due to court ordered child support payments, that he carried at 
least seven loans with the Chelmsford Credit Union, was gambling heavily, 
and purchased a $35,000 truck" during the two years he was assigned to 
oversee DARE.
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