Durham Police Officer Alesha Robinson-Taylor was fired Wednesday, the City of Durham announced this morning.
A recent audit found that Robinson-Taylor, who worked in an administrative job managing towing issues, ABC liquor permits and tracking the off-duty work of Durham officers, took home more than $62,000 worth of overtime from September 2008 to September 2009. Robinson-Taylor also earned a base salary of more than $52,000, and had worked with the police department for 12 years as a patrol officer and investigator.
Robinson-Taylor has been on administrative leave with pay since the audit report was released on Sept. 30.
The audit was initiated at the beginning of last month by City Manager Tom Bonfield, and also found that Deputy Chief Beverly "B.J." Council had signed off on nearly all of the overtime Robinson-Taylor claimed, and that Police Chief Jose Lopez also learned of the excessive overtime in April. From the time Lopez was first notified, to the time Bonfield initiated an audit after an anonymous tip, Robinson-Taylor took home more than $24,000 of the overtime money. >> Read more details
As reported in our article and graphic last week, Council submitted her retirement papers with the release of the audit. She is on personal leave until her retirement kicks in at the end of December. Council, 52, spent her career climbing the ranks of the department, starting in street patrol. She has worked as an investigator, has managed an entire police district and finished her career overseeing operations. She is eligible for full retirement benefits, which includes city group health insurance for the next 13 years.
Meanwhile, the State Bureau of Investigation is looking into the matter and will consider whether criminal charges could be brought against Robinson-Taylor, who filed for the overtime, or anyone else who might have been involved.