Police employee will appeal firing

October 15, 2009 10:14:23 AM PDT
A Durham Police Department employee said Thursday that she will appeal her firing over an overtime pay scandal.The statement came after Durham PD sent out a news release earlier in the day that said it had terminated Alesha Robinson-Taylor on October 14. She was the Secondary Employment Coordinator for the police department.

Robinson-Taylor was the subject of a recent audit report ordered by Durham City Manager Thomas Bonfield.

The report was released on September 30, and Robinson-Taylor had been on administrative leave since that time.

Bonfield's audit found there was an "abuse of overtime and compensatory time claimed" by Robinson-Taylor over the course of a year. It showed she collected $62,583 in overtime between September 1, 2008 and the end of August of this year. The amount is more than her normal annual salary.

But attorney Butch Williams - who's representing Robinson-Taylor - said Thursday that she's not leaving without a fight.

“[Taylor] plans to appeal the termination through the grievance process established by the city. Her termination is not final until she has exhausted all of her administrative remedies," he said in a written statement. "Until the completion of the criminal investigation, she will not give a statement relevant to the situation. However, she plans to vehemently and passionately contest any allegations of wrongdoing on her behalf."

The overtime was approved by Deputy Chief B.J. Council. The City announced earlier this month that as a result of the scandal, she is leaving the department.

Council will retire from her position effective December 31, 2009.

The case is now in the hands of the State Bureau of Investigation for a criminal investigation. The city said it will seek to recover money that was unearned based on the audit and further review.

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