Local News

Former Police Sergeant Pleads Guilty in Double-Dipping Case

Posted December 7, 2006 1:55 p.m. EST
Updated December 7, 2006 10:36 p.m. EST

— A former Raleigh police officer pleaded guilty Thursday to larceny following an investigation into officers working off-duty jobs while still on patrol.

Sgt. David Murphy, a 27-year veteran of the Raleigh Police Department who retired on Aug. 1, was one of two officers charged following a departmental probe into allegations of double-dipping. Authorities said he billed the department and the North Ridge Country Club for the same 29 hours of work.

District Judge Robert Rader sentenced Murphy to 45 days in jail, suspended to one year on unsupervised probation. Murphy also was ordered to repay the police department and the country club $710.10 and to perform 29 hours of community service.

"This obviously is very difficult for him. It's very difficult for the police department. This is a way to resolve the case for everybody involved," defense attorney Joe Zeszotarski said. "He was universally known as an outstanding officer."

In May, a routine internal police department audit of work records since January 2005 showed 104 officers compiled 150 violations, almost half of which involved working more than 14 combined hours a day on- and off-duty.

More than 100 officers were disciplined internally by the department for violating off-duty work policies, and six cases were turned over to the Wake County District Attorney's Office for review. Murphy and former Lt. Charles Bryant were charged.

Bryant pleaded guilty last month to three counts of larceny and was sentenced to one year of probation and 51 hours of community service and was ordered to pay nearly $1,700 in restitution and court costs.

The department in September adopted new rules to provide better oversight of officers' off-duty work.

Officers must submit a detailed report of their off-duty work every two weeks, and all assignments must come through the department. Also, businesses must pay officers with a corporate check for their security services and can no longer pay them in cash.

About 600 of the department's estimated 730 sworn officers are authorized to work two jobs.