For as many people that police officers encounter that are stealing, whether it is property or money, some officers are not above the allegation of taking things that are not theirs. According to a recent news report, four police officers face felony charges after being accused of fraudulently documenting overtime hours.
The officers reportedly forged documents to collect thousands of hours in overtime that they did not actually perform. The accusations stem from an assignment with the FBI to perform a special drug investigation in 2015, where they reportedly performed additional surveillance duties. At the same time, the department’s internal affairs division launched a probe into improper overtime practices.
One officer collected nearly $3000 for 15 instances of overtime work, another collected $2000 for 14 instances. A third officer collected $2500 for similar surveillance duties, and a fourth officer stands accused of improperly collecting $500. All told, department led surveillance of the officers allegedly found that the officers were not working at the time they reported their surveillance duties.
While prosecutors believe that the officers were stealing from the public and violating the public’s trust in law enforcement, attorneys for the officers sharply deny the claims and assert that mere accounting errors are the real reason for the dispute.
Nevertheless, the story exemplifies the need for officers accused of felony charges to have an experienced criminal defense attorney at their side to defend against such charges. Police officers must remember that the legal system can be just as harsh on them as it is on criminal defendants who do not wear badges.
The preceding is not legal advice.