BALTIMORE (WJZ) — The fallout continues after the indictments of seven Baltimore Police Department officers for alleged corruption.
Baltimore Mayor Catherine Pugh is among those outraged, and some council members are also speaking out.
The allegations include officers putting in for overtime when they weren’t in the area, sometimes even when they were out of the state.
The question everyone keeps asking: how this could happen for so long, and how it could be done with such ease?
Some officers doubled their salaries, making six figures on the city dime, leading the mayor to demand an audit.
“This is taxpayer dollars,” said Mayor Pugh. “Taxpayers are the ones who are footing the bills.”
Some officers lounging while clocking overtime. One accused of doing so while on vacation in Myrtle Beach. Another accused of raking in overtime while playing poker at Maryland Live.
“When I look back at last year’s budget, we ran up $1.6 million in overtime every other week,” said Pugh.
This alleged corruption pickpocketing the taxpayers of Baltimore.
“You can’t help but feel for the citizens of our city because this is our money,” said Pugh.
On Monday, some city council members put together a letter to the police commissioner calling for time sheets and salaries of all officers in specialized units.
All records dating back to 2015, along with a detailed explanation of the overtime approval process.
“Enough is enough,” said councilman Brandon Scott. “Enough has been enough.”
Like many, councilman Scott wonders how this could fly under the radar for so long.
“There should be checks and balances,” said Scott. “There should be supervisors looking at signatures and looking at who is signing which time sheet and things like that.”
A city that can’t afford to leave any stone unturned.
“We know this is a lot of money these folks were spending and abusing, and we want to make sure no one else is doing same thing,” said Scott.
Baltimore City Police Department officials tell WJZ that a supervisor was part of this indictment, and they’re currently reviewing all policies and procedures to see if there are any shortcomings that allowed officers to get overtime for unworked hours.
Also police say changes are occurring and other changes are expected, including demotions and transfers.
Overtime has to be signed by a supervisor and then a second supervisor, and there’s also a weekly report where every unit in the agency must report on overtime expenditures.
The police department is on pace to spend more than $40 million on overtime this fiscal year.