LMPD detective suspended 20 days for taking overtime pay he didn't earn; no charges filed
Det. Matt Bower collected more than $800 in overtime he didn't work, but prosecutors declined to charge him.
LOUISVILLE, Ky., (WDRB) – A Louisville Metro Police detective was recently suspended 20 days for claiming more than $800 in overtime pay he didn’t actually work – but prosecutors chose not to charge him with any crime.
Det. Matt Bower submitted payment for overtime he was not entitled to 25 times between January and October 2014, according to a disciplinary letter sent to the officer by LMPD Chief Steve Conrad in March.
An internal investigation found that on days Bower had morning and afternoon court, he would remain “logged into court” after leaving in the morning and then come back and get prosecutors to sign off on his overtime verification when he left at the end of the day.
Under LMPD guidelines, officers are supposed to log out when they leave and then log back into the system if they receive a second court pay on the same day, provided the appearances are at least four hours apart.
A criminal investigation by police was presented to Commonwealth’s Attorney Tom Wine, whose office prosecuted former Officer Chris Thurman for falsifying his time sheet and claiming more than $10,000 overtime he didn't work.
In a letter to police last year, Wine declined to charge Bower with a felony, instead recommending the case be turned over to the County Attorney’s office for possible misdemeanor charges. And Wine said “there are administrative remedies available to recoup the $830 for improperly billed overtime.”
The County Attorney’s office also declined to prosecute Bower, in part because of the “verbiage” of LMPD’s standard operating procedure, which was somewhat unclear about when officers were to sign in and out of court, according to records obtained by WDRB.
Josh Abner, a spokesman for the county attorney’s office, said prosecutors declined to discuss specifics of the case.
In a statement, he said the office “concluded that misdemeanor charges were not appropriate as there would not be a reasonable likelihood of conviction.”
LMPD did not immediately respond to a question as to whether Bower reimbursed the department. Bower's personnel file was not immediately available.
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