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INDEPENDENCE, Mo. — Independence City Manager Zach Walker said an initial investigation into claims of overtime mismanagement within the Independence Police Department found a whistleblower’s concerns are credible.

In a statement, Walker said the whistleblower raised concerns about the misuse of police overtime for non-law enforcement activities, saying a department employee was paid “a significant amount of overtime” for construction work at police headquarters.

“This incident is inconsistent with our purchasing policy, our collective bargaining agreements, and our organizational values. I have already issued an immediate cease and desist on construction work and non-law-enforcement overtime for the department,” Walker said.

Walker said his staff will use a third-party firm to investigate and review management practices that led to the incident.

“We will reserve judgement until the conclusion of this investigation, and we will share findings to the greatest extent allowed by law,” Walker said.

Walker said Independence leaders worked with the community to come up with a plan to improve fiscal responsibility, trust and other issues. He believes that helped encourage the whistleblower to report the issue in the first place.

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