T union president indicted for fraud, kickbacks

Prosecutors: Timothy Dockery pocketed cash and tickets

THE PRESIDENT OF an MBTA union is facing charges that he used his position as a buyer for the agency to submit fraudulent invoices that netted him more than $100,000 in cash and kickbacks, according to Attorney General Maura Healey’s office.

Timothy Dockery of Plymouth, an MBTA employee for more than 18 years and the current head of Local 453 of the Office and Professional Employees International Union, was indicted Thursday by a Suffolk County grand jury on three counts each of larceny over $250, conspiracy to commit larceny over $250, receiving illegal gratuities, and one count of procurement fraud.

In addition, William Sheridan, also of Plymouth, who owns several landscaping and construction companies that did in excess of $6.75 million worth of contract work for the T since 2011, was indicted on two counts of procurement fraud.

Timothy Dockery

Timothy Dockery

Dockery, who has been on leave from his buyer’s job while serving as union president, was suspended when the indictment came down. His buyer’s job gave him responsibility for procuring and overseeing contracts related to non-inventory items, such as office supplies and smaller construction contracts.

“The criminal conduct alleged in this indictment by the head of the T’s largest management union is very troubling, and it strengthens our resolve to continue bringing reforms to the organization,” acting General Manager Brian Shortsleeve said in a statement. “There is no evidence to suggest that any other MBTA employees were involved in the alleged wrongdoing.”

According to prosecutors, Dockery, 50, had a deal with one vendor to help him with procurements and projects and, in turn, Dockery received at least $60,000 in kickbacks off contracts worth more than $1.8 million since 2011.

In addition, Dockery allegedly submitted phony invoices totaling $38,000 for money left over in procurement contracts and split the cash with the vendor. The unnamed vendor, who was not indicted, has entered into an agreement with the attorney general’s office to pay back his half of the stolen money, prosecutors said.

In the procurement fraud scheme, prosecutors claim Dockery created fake quotes to make sure Sheridan was the low bidder on a construction supplies contract. Dockery allegedly inflated Sheridan’s bid so that it was just under the fake quote and “created the illusion of a competitive procurement process,” according to the attorney general’s office. Sheridan also allegedly created and submitted fake quotes from other non-existent companies to ensure he was the low-bidder on another contract.

Prosecutors also allege Dockery received more than $30,000 in illegal gratuities from two other unnamed vendors, including high-end sporting event and concert tickets, lunches, and goods for Dockery’s private limousine and coach business.

Meet the Author

Jack Sullivan

Senior Investigative Reporter, CommonWealth

About Jack Sullivan

Jack Sullivan is a veteran of the Boston newspaper scene for nearly three decades. Prior to joining CommonWealth, he was editorial page editor of The Patriot Ledger in Quincy, a part of the GateHouse Media chain. Prior to that he was news editor at another GateHouse paper, The Enterprise of Brockton, and also was city edition editor at the Ledger. Jack was an investigative and enterprise reporter and executive city editor at the Boston Herald and a reporter at The Boston Globe.

He has reported stories such as the federal investigation into the Teamsters, the workings of the Yawkey Trust and sale of the Red Sox, organized crime, the church sex abuse scandal and the September 11 terrorist attacks. He has covered the State House, state and local politics, K-16 education, courts, crime, and general assignment.

Jack received the New England Press Association award for investigative reporting for a series on unused properties owned by the Catholic Archdiocese of Boston, and shared the association's award for business for his reporting on the sale of the Boston Red Sox. As the Ledger editorial page editor, he won second place in 2007 for editorial writing from the Inland Press Association, the nation's oldest national journalism association of nearly 900 newspapers as members.

At CommonWealth, Jack and editor Bruce Mohl won first place for In-Depth Reporting from the Association of Capitol Reporters and Editors for a look at special education funding in Massachusetts. The same organization also awarded first place to a unique collaboration between WFXT-TV (FOX25) and CommonWealth for a series of stories on the Boston Redevelopment Authority and city employees getting affordable housing units, written by Jack and Bruce.

A Boston native, Jack has lived in Massachusetts all his life. He was a major in English and history with a minor in political science at the University of Massachusetts, Boston. A father and grandfather, he lives in Plymouth with his wife, Susan.

About Jack Sullivan

Jack Sullivan is a veteran of the Boston newspaper scene for nearly three decades. Prior to joining CommonWealth, he was editorial page editor of The Patriot Ledger in Quincy, a part of the GateHouse Media chain. Prior to that he was news editor at another GateHouse paper, The Enterprise of Brockton, and also was city edition editor at the Ledger. Jack was an investigative and enterprise reporter and executive city editor at the Boston Herald and a reporter at The Boston Globe.

He has reported stories such as the federal investigation into the Teamsters, the workings of the Yawkey Trust and sale of the Red Sox, organized crime, the church sex abuse scandal and the September 11 terrorist attacks. He has covered the State House, state and local politics, K-16 education, courts, crime, and general assignment.

Jack received the New England Press Association award for investigative reporting for a series on unused properties owned by the Catholic Archdiocese of Boston, and shared the association's award for business for his reporting on the sale of the Boston Red Sox. As the Ledger editorial page editor, he won second place in 2007 for editorial writing from the Inland Press Association, the nation's oldest national journalism association of nearly 900 newspapers as members.

At CommonWealth, Jack and editor Bruce Mohl won first place for In-Depth Reporting from the Association of Capitol Reporters and Editors for a look at special education funding in Massachusetts. The same organization also awarded first place to a unique collaboration between WFXT-TV (FOX25) and CommonWealth for a series of stories on the Boston Redevelopment Authority and city employees getting affordable housing units, written by Jack and Bruce.

A Boston native, Jack has lived in Massachusetts all his life. He was a major in English and history with a minor in political science at the University of Massachusetts, Boston. A father and grandfather, he lives in Plymouth with his wife, Susan.

The Inspector General’s office began an investigation into Dockery in 2014 and was joined by the attorney general’s office last June. MBTA officials had also been independently investigating Dockery and cooperated with prosecutors.

Dockery will be arraigned at a yet-to-be determined date.

  • Mhmjjj2012

    If or when he’s convicted what’s the process for confiscating his pension? Who will initiate it? What’s the process? What about restitution? Who’s responsible for following up on that? Was Mike McLaughlin’s pension canceled and was he forced to pay restitution after his federal convictions for his criminal ways at the Chelsea Housing Authority? What about the former director of the Burlington Housing Authority? Will she still be eligible for her pension and lifetime health benefits after she charged tens of thousands of dollars on the authority’s credit card? Did she ever pay anything back?

    • Paul O’Donnell

      Since he only has 18 years on the job he’s not eligible for an MBTA pension. If he’s found guilty he would only receive the money back that he has contributed. Which I’m sure the state would then attempt to seize for restitution.

      • disqus_610343

        There are new rules regarding felonies and pensions. The bad boy clause. You get your portion back. That’s that

    • disqus_610343

      It’s already been set in place. He gets his portion back and gets no pension