INDEPENDENCE, Mo. – The city of Independence has hired an attorney to look into whether a police officer should be punished for racking up thousands of dollars worth of overtime pay by doing tasks that weren’t part of his job.
Attorney Dan Nelson will serve as an independent Special Counsel to oversee the investigation. Nelson is the former chief deputy prosecutor for Jackson County, Missouri, and former assistant U.S. attorney for the Western District of Missouri.
The city said the investigation is already underway, and Nelson is working to review all evidence in the case.
Nelson issued the following statement to FOX4 on Friday:
“As special counsel, I will gather information and conduct interviews as necessary to independently evaluate the appropriateness of certain overtime practices in Independence, Missouri. The taxpayers of Independence deserve answers to questions recently raised. I would encourage any individual with relevant information to send it directly to me at email@example.com.”
The city said it will use Nelson’s findings to determine any discipline or change in policies and procedures.
Last week, City Manager Zach Walker said an internal investigation found that an Independence police officer logged more than 2,800 hours of overtime for construction work at the Independence Police Department’s headquarters.
Walker said the city learned about he massive overtime after a whistleblower complained about it.
The city said earlier this week that one police department employee has been placed on administrative leave amid the investigation. Spokespersons for the city and police department refused to identify which employee was placed on leave, but did confirm there is a new acting interim police chief at this time.
The officer who was paid all of the overtime remains on the police force at this point.