TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WTXL) - A Leon County Sheriff’s Office corrections officer has been arrested on felony charges after a timesheet audit revealed he was paid nearly $20,000 extra for work he didn't do.
LCSO says Corrections Officer James McClendon, 48, was arrested Tuesday after an audit of his timesheets. The audit was conducted after LCSO Detention Facility staff noticed irregularities in his timesheets.
The audit showed he had turned in 23 fraudulent timesheets since February of 2017, falsely claiming to have worked overtime, holidays, and additional shifts when he did not. In total, McClendon claimed to have worked an extra 619 hours.
He was paid an additional $17,165.10 by LCSO due to these fraudulent timesheets.
According to a probable cause affidavit, McClendon's key fob activity didn't match up with the dates indicated on the timesheets. There was also no listings on the 'Squad Logs' indicating that he had worked these shifts.
During interviews with McClendon's supervisors and peers, investigators noted that McClendon should've been familiar with the procedure and knew he should've reported any payroll issues, including excess overtime.
Documents say that when investigators showed McClendon the timesheets in question, he admitted that he didn't work the indicated shifts. When asked why he did it, he stated, "I was just caught up in the moment, trying to stave above water," and said he was "desperate" when he started turning in fraudulent timesheets.
When asked where the money went, the probable cause document says McClendon stated he was trying to pay his bills and maintain a household as he was the only income.
Deputies say McClendon has been suspended pending an internal investigation in accordance with agency policy. He has been charged with one count of grand theft (between $10,000 - $20,000), one count of organized scheme to defraud, one count of uttering, and one count of forgery.
He was originally hired with the agency in 1996 and retired as a Corrections Sergeant in 2013. He was rehired with the agency in 2015.