Former Milford police sergeant accused of stealing $184K from Police Benevolent Association
A former Milford police sergeant is charged with larceny, accused of stealing over $184,000 from the Milford Police Benevolent Association while he was president of the nonprofit. Peter Parks, 42, was arrested Tuesday by Milford police, the department he was part of for 19 1/2 years. He posted $50,000 bond and is due in court Dec. 26.
Parks has been off the job since June 29 when he resigned right before a termination hearing, according to police. He was suspended in May when an internal affairs investigation began into embezzlement allegations from the PBA's executive board. Police conducted a criminal investigation, as well, with help from the Division of Criminal Justice, the Chief State’s Attorney’s Office and the Milford State’s Attorney’s Office.
According to Parks’ arrest warrant, the executive board became suspicious after one member, "received a phone call from Milford Bank who advised him that the PBA checking account was overdrawn and suggested there should be a second set of eyes, other than Peter Parks, to review the account." That board member told police he did that and immediately noticed suspicious payments to a Capital One credit card.
The warrant said Parks opened the credit card for the PBA in 2016 but later changed all the information including the email and mailing address to his personal information. It also said not all of the executive board’s members knew about the credit card.
According to the warrant, they held an emergency meeting and confronted Parks about the misappropriation of funds. They told police, "Parks stated something along the lines of, 'I knew this day was coming.'" He admitted he had a tough year and “started using the credit card for purchases like groceries and then the spending continued to escalate," the warrant said.
The investigation also allegedly found unauthorized checks made out to Parks and to cash. The warrant said a forensic fraud investigator from the Chief State’s Attorney’s Office analyzed the PBA’s financials and concluded Parks stole a total of $184,010.52 with money taken from three PBA accounts with the Milford Bank. A majority of the balance was allegedly from the Capital One credit card and included interest and late fees, the warrant said.
Chief Keith Mello released the following statement: "Peter Parks has violated the trust of every member of the Police Benevolent Association, which includes both active and retired police officers. The funds he stole were intended to benefit the members and their families in time of need. The PBA has a long history of supporting families who face difficult situations because of illness, unforeseen circumstances, and personal loss. While the theft of $184,000 did not involve any public funds, he nevertheless violated his oath of office, and he has undermined the public trust that is required of every police officer.”
Parks joined the police department in January 2004 and was promoted to sergeant in July 2011, according to police.
News 12 reached out to the PBA's executive board for a statement but did not hear back yet. The police union’s president had no comment.