crimesider

Sheriff James Dipaola Suicide: Mass. Sheriff Apparently Killed Himself Amid Campaign Finance Scandal

Sheriff James Dipaola (middlesexsheriff.org)
Sheriff James Dipaola Suicide: Middlesex Sheriff Dies from Apparent Suicide
Sheriff James DiPaola (middlesexsheriff.org)

WELLS, Maine (CBS/WGME/AP) Wells police say that a Massachusetts sheriff who was facing an investigation over improper use of campaign funds has died in an apparent suicide.

Police said that Middlesex County Sheriff James DiPaola was found dead of a single gunshot wound to the head Saturday afternoon at a Wells, Maine hotel. Police say he left a "multiple page note," but did not give details.

The 57-year-old DiPaola recently announced he was retiring and was able to take advantage of state pension law that allows retirees to run for paid elective office without losing pensions.

DiPaola, who had just won re-election in November, could have accepted an annual pension of $98,500 in addition to his sheriff's pay of $123,000 next year. But after The Boston Globe asked about the pension, he said he could not in good conscience accept both, even though it's legal.

The Massachusetts Attorney General's office said it was investigating allegations of improper use of campaign funds by DiPaola.  In addition, the state ethics commission was investigating whether sheriff's office employees were raising money for DiPaola's political committee.