Failures in DPD secondary employment oversight rampant prior to OT scandal | News
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Friday, October 23, 2009

Failures in DPD secondary employment oversight rampant prior to OT scandal

Posted by on Fri, Oct 23, 2009 at 6:45 PM

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Long before a city audit revealed excessive overtime being paid out to the Durham Police Department's coordinator for secondary employment, an internal review showed many problems with oversight. The issues ranged from a failure to adhere to policies to possible "hoarding" of work, according to a report from 2008 posted today by WRAL.

Photos in the inspection even show forms the coordinator was supposed to be using for records keeping tucked in a manila envelope under a desk.

Although the name of the officer who served as the secondary employment coordinator was not immediately apparent in the 63-page document, it was listed as a police corporal and not Alesha Robinson-Taylor, the officer at the center of the overtime pay scandal. At the time of the overtime investigation last month, police representatives noted Robinson-Taylor had been on the job just one year.

Among the findings of the report, produced in June 2008 by the Durham Police Department's staff inspector Duane Hampton, were that monthly reports weren't being filed, limits on how many secondary jobs police were allowed to work weren't being heeded and that many off-duty jobs were being scooped up by certain officers without being offered equitably to others.

The environment allowed for favoritism and even "hoarding" of extra hours by certain officers. There were also no clear rules or penalties on officers who showed up late to off-duty work, canceled or shifted work to other officers without using the proper channels.

Hampton made several recommendations, including housing the secondary employment coordinator in a neutral site (not the police department) and assigning the job to a civilian, not a sworn officer, so he or she would be less subject to pressures from officers to funnel work their way, etc. The recommendations also included running all pay for off-duty jobs through the city, as has been done in other municipalities, and reassigning duties related to ABC permits, which also fell upon the same worker.

From the audit report released by the city Sept. 30, it was clear that none of these recommendations had yet been heeded. Alesha Robinson-Taylor, a low-ranking officer, was the secondary-employment officer, the specific type of worker Hampton's inspection had recommended against. Managing ABC permit matters was still part of her duties, and her office was not in a "neutral" location.

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