Former Springfield Detective's Death Could Save His Pension

Jun 6, 2017

The death of Kevin Burnham, a retired Springfield police officer accused of stealing money from evidence, could impact the pension he leaves behind.

Burnham was supposed to appear in court Monday to plead guilty to stealing almost $400,000 from the narcotics evidence room. But he didn't show up.

A warrant was issued for his arrest and he was found at home, dead of an apparent suicide.

An attorney for the city's retirement board wouldn't speak about Burnham's case specifically. But he said that with no finding of guilt, a person's survivors could receive the pension, though the value of stolen funds and the cost of an investigation could be taken out first. With a guilty plea, the pension would be gone.

Sarno's reaction to death

Springfield Mayor Dominic Sarno isn't saying much about the Burnham's death.

"It's a tragic ending to an unfortunate situation," he said at an unrelated event Tuesday. "My thoughts and prayers go out to Barbara and Kevin's family and friends. I have no further comment on the situation."

As a result of the investigation of Burnham, a police spokesperson said the department has put new procedures in place to prevent similar thefts.