Thursday, August 25, 2011

Veteran Manatee sheriff's lieutenant suspended for three weeks

MANATEE -- A 26-year veteran sheriff’s lieutenant has been suspended for three weeks without pay for not putting in for overtime.
Lt. John Murrell, who oversees 18 school resource officers and two sergeants, was found to have “repeatedly failed to properly document his overtime hours on his time sheet,” according to an internal affairs report.
Murrell didn’t fudge his hours to get more overtime money than he was entitled. He simply didn’t submit his overtime hours for compensation.
“I do what I’m asked to do, and I probably do more, and the more got me in trouble,” he told the Bradenton Herald. “It was something I didn’t think would go to this point.”
Murrell said the discipline came about after he was the subject of an anonymous complaint, which the Manatee County Sheriff’s Office chose to investigate. The unsigned complaint even included criminal allegations.
“Everything else turned out to be unfounded,” he said. “But I still went through an eight-month investigation of the allegations.”
Murrell said he thinks the three-week suspension is a bit harsh.
“I think it’s a little too much, I really do,” he said.
Manatee County Sheriff Brad Steube disagrees.
“He’s a lieutenant who is held to a higher standard than rank-and-file employees,” Steube said. “Not only should he have known what he was doing was incorrect, he admits he did know it was incorrect. I don’t think it’s a harsh punishment at all.”

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