Robert Tinkham, the current Plympton Health Agent, and another local public official, Ray Pickles, the Marion Town Clerk, have been indicted on larceny charges after a joint investigation by the Massachusetts Attorney General’s Office and the Massachusetts Office of the Inspector General into years-long mismanagement at the Carver, Marion and Wareham Regional Refuse Disposal District, according to state officials.
Tinkham, 57, of Carver, who was the former district board chairman, and Pickles, 85, of Marion, who was the former district executive director were indicted by a statewide grand jury Monday, March 18, 2019, Attorney General Maura Healey and Inspector General Glenn Cunha announced in statements this week.
Tinkham along with Pickles allegedly stole more than $675,000 in district funds. Of that amount, Tinkham is alleged to have stolen $65,000 and Pickles allegedly stole $610,000, according to the statements.
The investigation revealed that Tinkham allegedly received $65,000 in payments from the district for inspection services he did not perform while he was the chairman of the district board.
Pickles also allegedly opened district accounts that only he knew existed at two other banks. Investigators allege he deposited checks intended for the district into these accounts, withdrew cash for personal use and made payments on his personal credit cards. Investigators further allege that Pickles billed the district for services he did not perform and used district funds to pay for personal expenses.
Pickles was elected Marion Town Clerk through 2020, and the Town of Marion has no process for recalling elected officials, having defeated a warrant item to add such a process at a previous town meeting, according to a statement from Marion Town Administrator Paul Dawson.
Dawson said in the statement, “The accusations constitute a staggering abuse of the public trust, and we are grateful to the Marion Police Department, the Inspector General’s Office, and Attorney General Maura Healey’s office for their diligence in bringing out the details of these alleged thefts.”
Tinkham was charged with one count of larceny over $250 and one count of presentation of false claims while Pickles was charged with six counts of larceny over $250. The defendants will be arraigned at a later date in Plymouth County Superior Court.
The charges are the result of an investigation by the Massachusetts Office of the Inspector General, the Massachusetts Attorney General’s Office and the Marion Police Department, in cooperation with the towns of Carver, Marion and Wareham.
Neither of the accused currently works for the district. The defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty.
This case is being prosecuted by Special Assistant Attorneys General John Brooks and Ashlee Logan, of the Inspector General’s Investigations Division, with assistance from Chief Trial Counsel James O’Brien of the AG’s Criminal Bureau. Lead Investigator Logan Davis and Analyst/Investigator Will Bradford from the Inspector General’s Office investigated the case.
The district is suing Tinkham, Pickles and his wife Diane Bondi-Pickles in Plymouth Superior Court in a civil suit making similar allegations.