NATIONAL NEWS

Massachusetts state trooper pleads not guilty to charges related to bribery scandal

Feb 7, 2024, 3:17 PM

BOSTON (AP) — A former Massachusetts State Police trooper who was allegedly part of a scheme to take bribes for giving passing scores on commercial driving tests pleaded not guilty in federal court Wednesday to a range of charges, his lawyer said.

Two current and two former troopers are accused of falsifying records and giving preferential treatment to at least 17 drivers from May 2019 to January 2023 who were taking their commercial drivers license or CDL test. One of the four, Calvin Butner, 63, of Halifax, Massachusetts, plead not guilty Wednesday to a range of charges, including extortion and falsifying records.

“Calvin Butner was a valued member of the State Police for 40 years. We look forward to defending the charges in court,” his lawyer William Connolly said in a statement.

Sgt. Gary Cederquist, 58, of Stoughton, and Trooper Joel Rogers, 54, of Bridgewater, were arrested last week. Butner and Perry Mendes, 63, of Wareham, both retired state troopers, were arrested last week in Florida. All four face more than 70 counts on a range of charges, including conspiracy to falsify records, extortion and making false statements.

Two others, Eric Mathison, 47, of Boston and Scott Camara, 42, of Rehoboth, were also implicated in the scheme. Cederquist is alleged to have conspired with Mathison, who worked for a spring water company that employed drivers needing commercial licenses, to give them passing scores; and with Camera, who worked for a truck driving school in Brockton, to help four state troopers get their commercial licenses.

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Massachusetts state trooper pleads not guilty to charges related to bribery scandal