Hingham policeman indicted for insurance fraud

Kris Phillips figured prominently in $40,000 anonymous letter probe

HINGHAM POLICE SGT. KRIS PHILLIPS, who figured prominently in a recent police probe of anonymous letters criticizing the current chief, was indicted on Wednesday for alleged insurance fraud.

Phillips, 52, is accused of fabricating an automobile injury on July 17 while working a police detail at the Hingham Shipyard retail complex. According to the Plymouth County District Attorney’s office, Phillips claimed a person backing a car out of a parking spot rolled over his foot, resulting in “significant injuries.” The indictment alleges Phillips misled Hingham police officers responding to the accident, filed a false injury report, and received health insurance coverage fraudulently. He is also accused of perjury in filing a false claim for job benefits.

Phillips has a stormy history in the Hingham Police Department and figured prominently in a recent probe into anonymous letters sent to the Board of Selectmen in April criticizing the work histories of two candidates for police chief, including Glenn Olsson, who was eventually named chief.  The police spent $40,000 hiring private investigators to track down the source of the anonymous letters.

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Bruce Mohl

Editor, CommonWealth

About Bruce Mohl

Bruce Mohl is the editor of CommonWealth magazine. Bruce came to CommonWealth from the Boston Globe, where he spent nearly 30 years in a wide variety of positions covering business and politics. He covered the Massachusetts State House and served as the Globe’s State House bureau chief in the late 1980s. He also reported for the Globe’s Spotlight Team, winning a Loeb award in 1992 for coverage of conflicts of interest in the state’s pension system. He served as the Globe’s political editor in 1994 and went on to cover consumer issues for the newspaper. At CommonWealth, Bruce helped launch the magazine’s website and has written about a wide range of issues with a special focus on politics, tax policy, energy, and gambling. Bruce is a graduate of Ohio Wesleyan University and the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University. He lives in Dorchester.

About Bruce Mohl

Bruce Mohl is the editor of CommonWealth magazine. Bruce came to CommonWealth from the Boston Globe, where he spent nearly 30 years in a wide variety of positions covering business and politics. He covered the Massachusetts State House and served as the Globe’s State House bureau chief in the late 1980s. He also reported for the Globe’s Spotlight Team, winning a Loeb award in 1992 for coverage of conflicts of interest in the state’s pension system. He served as the Globe’s political editor in 1994 and went on to cover consumer issues for the newspaper. At CommonWealth, Bruce helped launch the magazine’s website and has written about a wide range of issues with a special focus on politics, tax policy, energy, and gambling. Bruce is a graduate of Ohio Wesleyan University and the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University. He lives in Dorchester.

Matt Hersey, an employee at the town’s Department of Public Works, stepped forward in November to say he wrote the anonymous letters after earlier denying he wrote them. Hersey said he identified himself because he believed the investigation was unfairly targeting Phillips, who claimed no involvement.

The private investigators hired by the police department found that Phillips was the only police official who had access to a computer system containing some of the information in the anonymous letters. The investigators’ report, which contained transcripts of interviews they conducted, also revealed that few within the police department liked Phillips.

Phillips was fired in 2008 after an altercation with a person while working a police detail. He was later rehired after problems were uncovered with his dismissal, and placed in an administrative position with no command authority. Phillips claimed in his interview with the private investigators that backstabbing was commonplace within the department.