A Kentucky state trooper has been suspended from his department and reassigned following an investigation by a local news outlet into the officer collecting massive amounts of overtime for hours he never worked.
In September, local media outlet Wave3 reported on Trooper Mitch Harris, a 12-year-veteran of the force, who was captured on camera by one of their reporters beginning his shift two-and-a-half hours late.
The officer was supposed to be on assignment patrolling an interstate for overtime – paid for by taxpayers, and had radioed in on time saying that he was ready for assignment.
Following this discovery, the news outlet proceeded to follow the officer for three more consecutive shifts. They determined that he did not report to his assigned task for any of the shifts – despite being paid for them anyways.
“On Aug. 4, 5 and 8 KSP logs show Harris clocked in a few minutes before 6 am. Yet undercover video shows him coming out of his house after 8 a.m. then hitting the road, but not hitting the interstate work zone he was collecting overtime to patrol.” Wave3 reported.
Following Wave3’s report, the police launched an Internal Affairs investigation. It was determined that Harris had collected $61,629 in overtime pay- which is more than a year of his salary.
After Internal Affairs investigated, they found that the officer was guilty of “inefficiency” and he was suspended for four days- hardly making up for all the money he had stolen from taxpayers.
To make the punishment even more laughable, the trooper only had to serve two of the days of suspension, with the other two suspended until he messes up again.
In 2012, the officer also served a two day suspension for “conducting himself in an inappropriate manner with a female,” although specifics on that incident remain unknown.
Harris is now assigned to administrative duties handing out uniforms and equipment to other officers.
It is refreshing to see a media outlet so actively acting as a watchdog instead of a lapdog to their local department.