No criminal charges in Durham police overtime case
Posted September 14, 2010
Durham, N.C. — State authorities have decided not to press criminal charges against a former Durham Police Department employee who racked up almost $60,000 in overtime last year, but city officials said Tuesday that they might pursue the case in other ways.
A review of Durham Police Department payroll records by WRAL News shows Alesha Robinson-Taylor was paid $59,545 from October 2008 through July 2009. The overtime is more than her $52,665 annual salary.
Following a city audit, Robinson-Taylor was fired last October. A 12-year veteran of the police department, she had coordinated off-duty jobs for officers, handled alcohol permits and scheduled towing services.
Auditors determined that time sheets, phone records and e-mail logs couldn't substantiate the amount of overtime Robinson-Taylor was collecting.
The audit also found that Deputy Police Chief B.J. Council approved most of the overtime. Council retired from the department at the end of last year.
The Durham County District Attorney's Office asked the State Bureau of Investigation to determine whether the case involved any illegal activity. Based on the SBI's findings, the Special Prosecutions Unit of the state Attorney General's Office decided not to pursue criminal charges, according to Noelle Talley, a spokeswoman for the Attorney General's Office.
Durham City Manager Tom Bonfield said that, although the city respects the state's decision, local officials aren't yet ready to close the case.
"While the city has recovered some of the money in question from Ms. Robinson-Taylor, a decision has not been made whether or not the city will pursue other legal remedies at this time,” Bonfield said in a statement.