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Sheriff Under Investigation Kills Self

Sheriff Under Investigation Kills Self

James V. DiPaola

Boston Globe via YellowBrix

November 28, 2010

WELLS, Maine — The longtime sheriff of Middlesex County, James V. DiPaola, was discovered dead yesterday from an apparently self-inflicted gunshot wound in a resort in this coastal town, authorities said.

DiPaola, a 57-year-old Democrat with more than 30 years in public service, had announced abruptly a week ago that he would retire in January, after being questioned by the Globe about his plans to collect a state pension while continuing to serve as sheriff. He had also acknowledged an ethics investigation into his office.

A statement released last night by the police in Wells, a southern coastal town, said DiPaola was discovered by hotel workers lying on a bed, with a gunshot wound to the head.

A hotel maid had become concerned when DiPaola failed to leave his room by checkout time and summoned the manager of the Lafayette Oceanfront Resort on Mile Road, who used a master key to open the door.

Wells police said when they entered the room, they found a note several pages long that DiPaola had left behind, along with the gun they believe he used to commit suicide.

The Middlesex Sheriff’s Office confirmed “the sudden death’’ of DiPaola, a former Malden police officer and state representative who was first elected sheriff in 1996 and reelected this month.

“We ask that the family’s privacy be respected during this difficult time,’’ the statement reads. “Operations at the Middlesex Sheriff’s Office will continue under the direction of Special Sheriff John Granara.’’

Reaction from top state officials to the news arrived swiftly.

Governor Deval Patrick described the sheriff’s death as “a shocking and tragic event.’’

“I extend my deepest condolences to the DiPaola family and to the sheriff’s staff, all of whom are certainly reeling with this news,’’ the governor’s statement said. “Sheriff DiPaola had a 30-year record of public service. Tonight we honor that service and pray for his family.’’

House Speaker Robert A. DeLeo, who had served in the Legislature with DiPaola, expressed similar sentiments. “My thoughts and prayers go out to his family,’’ the speaker said in a statement.

The Massachusetts Sheriffs’ Association said its members “will remember him for his strong law enforcement leadership, his longstanding commitment to effective inmate programs, and his devoted service to public safety in Middlesex County.’’

A Middlesex sheriff’s deputy was posted at the DiPaola residence in Malden last night, turning away media. The house — a tan, three-bedroom residence that sits at the end of a steep cul-de-sac — was dark. The deputy said no one was home.

DiPaola leaves his wife, Adeline, three daughters, and three grandchildren.

Friends of DiPaola said they were baffled by his apparent suicide. One, who did not want to be quoted by name, said it was completely out of character for the sheriff, who was outgoing and affable, and seemingly well-adjusted.

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  • Photo_user_blank_big


    over 3 years ago

    RIP brother. God Bless You

  • Photo_user_blank_big


    over 3 years ago


    RIP Sheriff, may you be remembered for your devotion to your constituency and may our Heavenly Father give your family the strength needed during this difficult time.

  • Slide1_max50


    over 3 years ago



  • In_remembrance_of_oakland_pd_max50_max50_max50_max50_max50


    over 3 years ago


    Very sad tragedy.

  • Photo_user_blank_big


    over 3 years ago


    Rest in peace Sheriff DiPaola. Only you knew you reasons and you can no longer tell them. Sad tragedy indeed.

  • Lpd_1__max50


    over 3 years ago



  • Photo_user_blank_big


    over 3 years ago

    Incredibly sad for all involved. RIP Sheriff DiPaola, and prayers to your family.

  • Blue_crop380w_max50


    over 3 years ago


    R.I.P. Sheriff DiPaola.

  • Radio2_max50


    over 3 years ago


    Rest in Peace Sheriff DiPaola

  • American_first_responder2_max50


    over 3 years ago


    This is a story of a very sad situation with a lifelong Public Servant, and his death is to be remembered for the good he stood for and the many things he did for mankind. My condolences to his family in this time of sorrow.

  • Image_max50


    over 3 years ago


    Very sad.

  • 309


    over 3 years ago


    very troubling to hear..

  • 375956_401447159923274_1109023972_n_max50


    over 3 years ago


    R.I.P. Sheriff DiPaola,

  • Screen_shot_2011-04-10_at_8


    over 3 years ago


    This is a sad story and a horrible way to end a life of service to others. I did not know the sheriff or his practices, but some good has to be said for the good that he did accomplish in 30 years. RIP sir and may you be remembered for all the good you did.

  • P6300003_max50


    over 3 years ago


    In Ohio double dipping is legal and lots of public service employees do it, its called the drop program. Many of the employees in it however need to retire as they are no longer or never have been capable or performing their duties, especially in law enforcement. I have mixed feelings on the drop program. And BUMP to alorenzen16, trust me there are more than one !!

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