SBI looking into DPD's overtime case | Durham County | Indy Week
Pin It

SBI looking into DPD's overtime case 

It has been a week since Durham's City Manager Tom Bonfield released an audit report that showed an embarrassing lack of oversight at the Durham Police Department that allowed one police officer to take home more than $62,000 in overtime in one year.

This chart shows what else that money could have funded, including officers, police dogs and weapons. During city budget hearings last spring, DPD Chief Jose Lopez approached City Council bemoaning the lack of pay for his officers.

Meanwhile, the State Bureau of Investigation is looking into the matter and will consider whether criminal charges could be brought against Officer Alesha Robinson-Taylor, who filed for the overtime, or anyone else who might have been involved.

Robinson-Taylor, 39, worked in an administrative position tracking the off-duty employment of other Durham officers and also handled ABC permits and issues related to towing in the city. The audit found that even after being notified of excessive hours, Deputy Chief Beverly "B.J." Council, a 31-year veteran of the Durham Police Department, approved most of the overtime for Robinson-Taylor.

To work the 1,837 hours she claimed in overtime, Robinson-Taylor would have had to average a 16-hour workday for most of the past year. One month, she even took home more than $8,000 in extra pay. She also claimed 904 hours in compensatory time, which is awarded as time off. City officials said they are looking into recouping the money she was paid.

The $62,513 in cash pay Robinson-Taylor received was in addition to her salary, which topped $52,000 after she received a small raise in July. The overtime payments alone represent more than half the $106,000 the department has spent from its main fund on overtime so far this year.

Even more damning, the audit showed that even after Chief Lopez found out about the overtime in April, he didn't stop Robinson-Taylor from earning overtime, but instead formed a committee to look into the issue, the audit said. Robinson-Taylor took home more than $24,000 while the chief knew about the issue.

Lopez has promised immediate corrective action. Bonfield backed the chief, saying Lopez would not still be leading the department if he didn't have the city manager's full confidence. Several City Council members and the mayor also said they supported Bonfield's decisions, as he oversees the police department.

The city cannot release Robinson-Taylor's employment status due to privacy laws. At the time of the audit, she had been an officer for 12 years, driving a patrol car and working as a detective.

Council submitted her retirement papers with the release of the audit. She is on personal leave until her retirement kicks in at the end of December. Council, 52, spent her career climbing the ranks of the department, starting in street patrol. She has worked as an investigator, has managed an entire police district and finished her career overseeing operations. She is eligible for full retirement benefits, which includes city group health insurance for the next 13 years.

Comments (2)

Showing 1-2 of 2

Add a comment

 
Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-2 of 2

Add a comment

INDY Week publishes all kinds of comments, but we don't publish everything.

  • Comments that are not contributing to the conversation will be removed.
  • Comments that include ad hominem attacks will also be removed.
  • Please do not copy and paste the full text of a press release.

Permitted HTML:
  • To create paragraphs in your comment, type <p> at the start of a paragraph and </p> at the end of each paragraph.
  • To create bold text, type <b>bolded text</b> (please note the closing tag, </b>).
  • To create italicized text, type <i>italicized text</i> (please note the closing tag, </i>).
  • Proper web addresses will automatically become links.

Latest in Durham County



Twitter Activity

Comments

Sounds like vigilantism to me. But at least it should take any supporter out of consideration for Steve Schewel's seat. …

by MJKopechne on Will the Felony Charges Against Defend Durham Demonstrators Be Dropped? (Durham County)

People's tribunal?

by John Trololo on Will the Felony Charges Against Defend Durham Demonstrators Be Dropped? (Durham County)

Most Read

Most Recent Comments

Sounds like vigilantism to me. But at least it should take any supporter out of consideration for Steve Schewel's seat. …

by MJKopechne on Will the Felony Charges Against Defend Durham Demonstrators Be Dropped? (Durham County)

People's tribunal?

by John Trololo on Will the Felony Charges Against Defend Durham Demonstrators Be Dropped? (Durham County)

White supremacists call this progress, the klan would be proud of black families being pushed out of durham.

by lamer99 on For Two Decades, Durham’s East End Neighborhood Hosted Horseshoe Matches With No Complaints. Then the Developers Came. (Durham County)

What happens with respect to Councilwoman Cole-McFadden? Would she be able to vote, or is it the newly elected council …

by arrbeejay on What Happens to Steve Schewel’s Council Seat if He Becomes Mayor? (Durham County)

Durham and Duke need to finally follow Chapel Hill/UNC's lead and offer fare-free service for all.

by walty on With Duke University Pulling Its Funding, What’s the Future of the Bull City Connector? (Durham County)

© 2017 Indy Week • 320 E. Chapel Hill St., Suite 200, Durham, NC 27701 • phone 919-286-1972 • fax 919-286-4274
RSS Feeds | Powered by Foundation