Baltimore Police Lieutenant Convicted of Theft and Misconduct
A city jury convicted a 45-year-old lieutenant of theft and police misconduct, reported The Baltimore Sun. The police officer allegedly claimed regular and overtime pay while he was not working.
After receiving a tip from a whistleblower, a team of investigators began to scrutinize the lieutenant’s work behavior and time sheets. Over the course of six weeks, the investigators claimed that the lieutenant made false claims for $8,600 in unearned pay, all from the comfort of his home on the Eastern Shore.
The investigators tracked the lieutenant’s GPS and license plate, cross-referencing that data with submitted timesheets. According to the investigator’s report, the lieutenant would arrive late and leave early on a regular basis, despite claiming pay for a full shift on his time sheets.
Until recently, the Baltimore Police Department used an “honor system” for timesheet submission and approval. Supervisors would rarely review their officers’ time sheets, trusting instead that everything was in order.
Certain police officers, including the lieutenant in question, abused this honor system to claim unearned pay. Official records indicated that the lieutenant earned $169,000 over the course of 2017. That is almost a 60 percent increase from his 2017 base salary of $106,000.
At this point, the lieutenant awaits his formal sentence. The police misconduct charge is a common law violation without a set structure for potential penalties. But Maryland law does provide guidance for theft crimes.
As established in Code of Maryland 7-104, the penalties for theft crimes depend upon the value of the money or property stolen. According to Maryland law, the theft of:
- Less than $100 is a misdemeanor crime punishable by 90 days in prison and $500 in fines;
- Between $100 and $1,500 is a misdemeanor crime punishable by 180 days in prison and $500 in fines;
- Between $1,500 and $25,000 is a felony crime punishable by 60 months in prison and $10,000 in fines;
- Between $25,000 and $100,000 is a felony crime punishable by 10 years in prison and $15,000 in fines; and
- More than $100,000 is a felony crime punishable by 20 years in prison and $25,000 in fines.
In addition to the incarceration periods and fines listed above, the thief is also responsible for returning the stolen property or money to the rightful owner.
Circling back to the police lieutenant, his conviction was for the theft of $8,600 in unearned pay. As that amount is more than $1,500 but less than $25,000, the lieutenant could face five years in prison and $10,000 in fines. The lieutenant will also be responsible for returning the $8,600 in unearned pay.
Do You Need Legal Help?
If you were the victim of police misconduct or crime, it can be extremely constructive to speak with a skilled police misconduct lawyer. The lawyers at Iamele & Iamele, LLP in Baltimore, Maryland, have years of experience handling police misconduct claims. If you need legal help with police misconduct or other areas of the law, contact us today for a free initial consultation.