CINCINNATI — Ohio State Auditor Keith Faber on Tuesday demanded three Cincinnati police officers pay back the $17,500 they were cumulatively overpaid for misrepresenting their time worked.
An internal city investigation in 2019 found officers Brian Coates, Lakisha Gross and Darren Sellers were paid for a total of 95 days they never worked. CPD announced its suspension of Gross and Sellers in mid-May 2019. On Jan. 3, 2020, the department revealed the pair repeatedly reported for duty hours late or left hours early and failed to document when they took time off.
In one case, according to a report, Gross threw vacation request forms for herself and another officer in the trash. They were both paid for days off as though they had worked, and that time was not subtracted from their vacation balance.
“Misrepresenting timesheets for personal gain is completely unacceptable, especially for law enforcement officials paid by taxpayers,” Faber said in Tuesday's release. “I commend the city’s recent enhanced internal audit team for helping uncover this abuse; the city must continue to identify issues like these that unnecessarily allow a few bad apples to reflect negatively on the majority of hard working city employees.”
Gross agreed to a settlement which will garnish her wages for the next 39 weeks to return the $8,692 she was overpaid. She will return to work in May 2020.
Coates's attorney is currently negotiating a full repayment settlement of $6,734 for 22 days he was absent from work and didn't use available leave time, according to Faber.
A letter was sent by the city to Sellers demanding full repayment of $2,156 for 62.2 hours over 19 days where he arrived late for work but did not use available leave.