City Investigating Runaway Overtime Paid To Police Officer
PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — The city has launched an internal investigation into Police Commander Eric Holmes, asking how — in addition to being a sergeant working full time for the city — was he employed as the director of public safety at Slippery Rock University.
And though performing both jobs would seem to require an 80-hour week — how did he manage to make $25,308 in overtime and premium pay from the city in 2010 and $36, 390 in 2011?
Councilwoman Theresa Kail-Smith confirms the internal probe.
“After my discussion this morning with Director Huss, both his status of having two jobs and his overtime are both under investigation,” she said.
“It seems physically impossible that that could happen, but what’s more disturbing to me is: how does the supervision in that bureau allow that to happen?” City controller and mayoral candidate Michael Lamb asked.
Lamb is concerned about Holmes and others who have made hundreds of thousands of dollars in runaway overtime in the past few years.
One squad that amassed much of that was called C-TIPS — the Community Technical Investigative Preparedness Section. In 2011 alone, the six officers assigned to C-TIPS made $180,055 dollars in overtime and premium pay, which comes to more than $30,000 each.
The unit has now been disbanded, but Lamb says the bigger problems is a lack of controls and accountability.
“The policies need to be made stronger both in regards to secondary employment and overtime,” Lamb said.
And Smith says there’s a danger in officers working excessive overtime in private details.
“If you’re calling for backup and an officer is suffering from sleep deprivation,” Kail-Smith said. “It is a concern not only for the public but for the officers as well.”