WRAL Investigates

SBI to investigate Durham police overtime case

Posted October 2, 2009

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— The State Bureau of Investigation will try to determine whether the payment of about $60,000 in overtime to a Durham police officer over the past year involved any criminal activity.

A city audit released Wednesday found that Durham's deputy police chief approved most of the overtime paid to Alesha Robinson-Taylor and that Chief Jose Lopez dismissed concerns about the excessive overtime when managers raised the issue with him in April.

A review of Durham Police Department payroll records by WRAL News shows Alesha Robinson-Taylor was paid $59,545 from last October through July. The overtime was more than her $52,665 annual salary.

WRAL News reviewed overtime records for the rest of the police department and found no similar cases in recent months.

Auditors determined that time sheets, phone records and e-mail logs couldn't substantiate the amount of overtime Robinson-Taylor accrued.

City Manager Tom Bonfield turned the audit findings over to the Durham County District Attorney's Office, and prosecutors called in the SBI for an independent review.

Robinson-Taylor, who has worked for the police department for 12 years, coordinates off-duty jobs for officers, handles alcohol permits and schedules towing services.

She is on administrative leave with pay, and officials have declined to comment on possible disciplinary actions she might face, citing personnel privacy laws. The audit notes that her duties have been split among other officers.

Deputy Chief B.J. Council has filed her retirement notice, effective Dec. 31. She plans to begin using her accrued leave next week, he said.

Bonfield said the city would seek reimbursement of about $40,000 to $45,000 from Robinson-Taylor.

31 Comments

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  • chichi Oct 2, 2009

    Does anybody really know what's going on in Durham? I doubt it. Just another scam being buttered up.

  • LocalBoy Oct 2, 2009

    Believe it or not, the LEOs on this forum are probably more disgusted or outraged about this incident due to the blemish it casts upon all LEOs. PrivateCitizeninRTP

    You could not be more correct.

  • whoami1969 Oct 2, 2009

    Again....Council should be FIRED and not allowed to jump ship in her golden retirement parachute. And the officer should be fired as well. Embezzlement and conspiracy, plain and simple, and if were any average joe in your company or mine, that is exactly what would happen.

  • wbearp Oct 2, 2009

    At the new conference the other day the Chief resembled the look of a deer caught in the headlights. If this matter WAS brought to his attention and he dismissed it he needs to resign. The many good men and women working on the force deserve a better leader than this guy. He is too busy traveling around the country promoting himself.

  • PrivateCitizeninRTP Oct 2, 2009

    There's really no way or reason that the 99% of honest LEOs would defend this behavior. What people don't realize is that Council ran the department with an iron fist so when the abuse was brought to her attention and she said that she would handle it, NO ONE would dare protest for fear of reprisal. Believe it or not, the LEOs on this forum are probably more disgusted or outraged about this incident due to the blemish it casts upon all LEOs.

  • Journey985 Oct 2, 2009

    And I completely agree Localboy. as I stated, I was waiting for the normal LEO supporters to come out and try and defend these officers actions. I never said "ALL" officers are corrupt. I do feel as though the vast majority act or give off the perception that they are "above" the law or answering for their mistakes.

  • LocalBoy Oct 2, 2009

    Journey985, Gandalla, just so you both know most officers in the Durham PD wanted this exposed and dealt with. Not all officers are dirty. Yes some are but the vast majority are not. I personally feel that when an officer is truely in the wrong they need to be treated the same as the citizens that they protect.

  • 2Leo Oct 2, 2009

    I must say, I am EXTREMELY surprised, I was expecting SO many LEO supporters to be out here wving the Big Blue flag, defending these officers, guess it's hard to defend such a blatant disregard for the law!Journey985

    Contrary to what you may believe, many LEO supporters want those who are corrupt to be outed....don't be so surprised. The mistake that is made is when people assume all LEO's everywhere are corrupt.

  • Journey985 Oct 2, 2009

    I must say, I am EXTREMELY surprised, I was expecting SO many LEO supporters to be out here wving the Big Blue flag, defending these officers, guess it's hard to defend such a blatant disregard for the law!

  • concerncitizen Oct 2, 2009

    What a ride..............we are just going down hill fast! Someone much smarter than me has got to explain to me what is going on! Has some being from another planet come here and took over the bodies of all the civil employees! They are stealing money and not even trying to hide the fact! We need a special prosecutor or a ray gun to fix this mess! How does 1 person get paid more in overtime than they make in regular pay? A man steals 80 million dollars and you barely here a peep out of people? A 2 year old committed suicide or was murder and we don't even riot in the streets for gun control or someones head? The next day we just go back to our dull little lives! Where have the people decent people gone? The moral balance that made this country great! "who the hell are you people"

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