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Middlesex Sheriff Employee Charged With Fraud

A Malden resident is facing allegations she inappropriately used sick time to pursue a career in real estate.

A Middlesex County Sheriff's Office employee is facing criminal fraud charges for allegedly working another job while she remained on medical leave from the sheriff's office.

Joyce Drinkwater, 67, of Malden was charged on Nov. 19 with knowingly presenting a fraudulent claim to a public employer for a benefit, according to the Middlesex County District Attorney's Office. Drinkwater allegedly collected her full salary as she stayed on medical leave from the sheriff's office.

Drinkwater, who worked in the sheriff's payroll office, took medical leave in June and when that ended she allegedly used her unused sick time remain out on leave, according to the DA's office. She allegedly certified to the sheriff's office that she was unable to work and would not work at another job while on leave. 

However, the sheriff's office discovered she was a licensed real estate agent and the State Police launched an investigation. Investigators soon learned that Drinkwater was allegedly working for Century 21 Sexton & Donohue Inc. in Melrose, according to the DA's office.

"This employee's alleged actions bring undeserved dishonor to all public sector employees. It is paramount that we maintain the integrity of the Middlesex Sheriff’s Office, therefore, if this allegation is proven true, she must be held accountable for her actions. Any allegation of impropriety or wrongdoing involving a member of this Office will be taken seriously and fully investigated," said Middlesex County Sheriff Peter Koutoujian.

Drinkwater is scheduled to be arraigned on Dec. 13 at Malden District Court.

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