85-Year-Old Marion Town Clerk Indicted on Theft Charges
MARION — Two men, including the sitting Marion Town Clerk, have been indicted on larceny charges.
Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healy announced Monday that Town Clerk Ray Pickles, 85, and Robert Tinkham, 57, of Carver have been indicted on larceny charges in connection to stealing more than $675,000 in funds from the Carver, Marion, Wareham Regional Refuse Disposal District. The pair was indicted by a Statewide Grand Jury.
Pickles and Tinkham were both top officials of the Carver, Marion, Wareham Regional Refuse Disposal District. Pickles was the District Executive Director, while Tinkham served as the District Board Chairman.
An investigation by the Massachusetts Office of the Inspector General and the Massachusetts Attorney General's Office revealed that Pickles allegedly stole over $610,000 over a six-year period in his role as District Executive Director. Pickles is alleged to have maintained two District bank accounts to which only he had access. Authorities say Pickles wrote checks to himself from those accounts.
Pickles also allegedly opened secret District accounts at two other banks, and deposited checks intended for the District into them. Investigators say Pickles withdrew cash from the accounts to make payments on his personal credit cards. Pickles also allegedly billed the District for services he had not rendered.
The investigation also revealed that Tinkham allegedly received payments from the District for inspectional services that he did not perform during his tenure as Chairman of the District Board. The payments to Tinkham, totaling $65,000, were made from District accounts that only Pickles had access to.
Pickles has been charged with larceny over $250 (six counts). Tinkham faces one charge of larceny over $250 and one charge of presentation of false claims. Both men will be arraigned in Plymouth Superior Court at a later date.
In a statement from Marion Town Administrator Paul Dawson, he states Pickles was removed from his position with the Refuse District in January 2018 "after the alleged theft of funds was brought to light."
Pickles' elected position as Town Clerk expires in 2020. The Town of Marion has no process for recalling elected officials. Dawson says the Town is "weighing its legal options at this time."