cbs4 My 33 Header Logo

I-Team: Money For Nothing

View Comments
CBS4 Investigates
Read More

A CBS4 I-Team investigation into your tax dollars has uncovered questions about how they are used by some of those sworn to uphold and enforce the law.

According to pay records obtained by CBS4 from Miami’s police department, city taxpayers spent nearly $4 million paying overtime to police officers in the last two years.

Miami Police pay records show that one shift, the “C”, or night shift, on the North upper east side of Miami spent nearly $50 thousand in overtime alone.
Now, the I-Team has uncovered questions about one of that shift’s top cops and his overtime pay, paid by taxpayers, that he wasn’t due.

Why? Records show he double-dipped and got paid for hours where he did not work.

I-Team Related Links
Original IA Report
IA Report After Changes Were Made
Lt. Jeffrey Locke’s Response

CBS4 I-Team Investigator Stephen Stock uncovers the history and the questions surrounding the man once called the “night shift” chief.

Lt. Jeffrey Locke has worked for Miami’s police department since the 1980’s.
As the Lieutenant on “C” or night shift, covering the Upper East Side of Miami, Locke supervises patrol officers who answer to him.

“It never dawned on us that you have to actually go out and watch or closely supervise your Lieutenant,” said Lt. Locke’s supervisor Major Roy Brown on an audio-taped statement given to police internal affairs investigators.

“The Lieutenant operates on a system of trust,” Major Brown said on the audiotape. “The rules are very relaxed when it comes down to a Lieutenant.”

Miami Police major Roy Brown, along with police commander David Magnusson asked for this latest in a long history of internal affairs investigations into Lieutenant Jeffrey Locke. This time the internal affairs investigation alleged misconduct.

I-Team Related Links
Original IA Report
IA Report After Changes Were Made
Lt. Jeffrey Locke’s Response

CBS4’s I-Team obtained copies of audio-taped statements made as part of this internal affairs investigation into allegation Lt. Locke double-dipped on his payroll records and filed overlapping overtime slips (Miami Police IA Case #08-164.)

The Internal Affairs (IA) report alleges that Lt. Locke violated the trust put in him by “manipulating his days off”” in order to work overtime” and “has been double dipping in regards to his duty hours.”

Miami Police Major Roy Brown, who supervised Lt. Locke, explained to IA investigators why he asked for the internal police probe.

“I kept hearing the same rumors that from the officers on the midnight shift that he was never there, but he always appeared on the overtime sheet,” Major Brown said on the IA audiotape.

“Several officers had approached me that Lt. Locke wasn’t showing up on midnight shift and that there were (claims) that he was making enormous amount of overtime,” Major Brown told IA investigators.

The CBS4 I-Team obtained two years worth of Lt Locke’s timecards, paychecks, and overtime requests. The I-Team also obtained internal daily police staffing and unit report logs.

The records show that on 38 different occasions in 2007 and 15 different occasions in 2008 Lt. Locke claimed he worked 12 hours or more on each day.

I-Team Related Links
Original IA Report
IA Report After Changes Were Made
Lt. Jeffrey Locke’s Response

On one of those days, January 9, 2007, he put in that he worked 18 and a half hours. On another day, January 31, 2008, he put down that he worked 19 hours. In fact, on one day, November 15, 2007, Lt. Locke put in for 20 hours of work in one day. That did not leaving much time for sleep, meals or anything else.

At least twice, in November of 2007 and February 2008, the records show Lt Locke submitted two different overtime requests on the same day! Getting paid for both sets of overtime.

Police internal affairs investigators wanted to know how this could happen.
“We want you to clarify some issues,” said IA investigator Anita Narcisse on the audiotape. “Basically I want to know, were you being untruthful when you were filling out these OT slips?”

“It was an accident,” Lt. Jeffrey Locke said on the audio-taped statement.
“I was neglectful when I did it,” Lt. Jeffrey Locke told Miami Police Internal Affairs investigators as part of two different statements he gave on audiotape. “You know, I made a mistake that was it,” Lt. Locke said.

Three different police officials who asked to remain anonymous for fear of their careers say the current police payroll system allows manipulation.

They point to overtime requests which were filed late, sometimes months late, after the pay period ended. These late overtime requests were filed again and again.

The three different high level police sources say the department’s computer payroll system is not set up to catch redundant claims of work hours if the overtime requests are turned in after the payroll period has expired.

I-Team Related Links
Original IA Report
IA Report After Changes Were Made
Lt. Jeffrey Locke’s Response

“Question, how were you able to assist Sgt. Pino from 0900 to 1800 on your e-day, which is Oct. 15th and also attend court at 9:48 until 10:14 that same morning?” said IA investigator Anita Narcisse on the audiotape.

“Again, I think I made an error on my start time,” Lt. Locke replied on the audiotape.

And many times, the records show that Lt Locke’s overtime requests carried the approval signature, not of his immediate supervisors, but the signature of deputy police chief Frank G. Fernandez.

After a six-month investigation, Internal Affairs found Lt Locke had indeed been overpaid several times.

The IA found he had been paid twice for the same hours by you the taxpayer on at least seven different occasions.

The original IA reported submitted in September, 2008, showed Lt. Locke received at least $1382.32 dollars in pay for time he hadn’t actually worked. The original IA report substantiated the charge of “misconduct.”

But then, these records show the charges recommended in the original IA were reduced, from misconduct, to the lesser charge of “neglect of duty.”

And the new, reduced IA changed the instances of extra overtime pay from the original seven instances to six for a total of $1165.84. On the IA you can see the handwritten note making the changes and the initials “JFT” by the changes in two different places. With it, you can see the signature of “JFT”, Miami Police Chief John F. Timoney.

We tried to ask Deputy Police Chief Frank Fernandez and Miami Police Chief John Timoney about this, but neither responded to our requests for comment.

We gave Lt. Locke two weeks to speak to us on camera.

Instead Locke sent us an e-mail response saying this entire investigation was part of a personal vendetta by other police officers. He called the claims baseless. And the one page statement reads in part: “At all times that I listed hours worked, I worked. Never did I get paid for hours not worked.” And later in his written statement Lt. Locke said “Mine were innocent mistakes, not criminal acts.”

I-Team Related Links
Original IA Report
IA Report After Changes Were Made
Lt. Jeffrey Locke’s Response
(© MMX, CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved.)

View Comments
blog comments powered by Disqus
Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 1,469 other followers