Five Prince George's County policemen face administrative disciplinary action stemming from allegations of fraud and misconduct involving part-time security jobs at the Eastover Shopping Center in Oxon Hill.
The five officers, who remain on active duty pending disposition of their cases, are charged with offenses that include "immoral and unethical" conduct, violation of the department's offduty employment policy and giving false statements to supervisors, the county police department announced yesterday.
Police officials would not be specific yesterday on precisely what the policemen allegedly did to merit the disciplinary proceedings or what was meant by "immoral" conduct. They referred reporters, to published allegations last summer that some police officers were being paid for private guard services they did not perform during hours for which they were also compensated as police officers.
The alleged misconduct occured between August, 1975, and August, 1976. The investigation was begun by the department's internal affairs section last June after other county police officers complained about the alleged activities.
According to police, all information was turned over to the State's Attorney's Office in Upper Marlboro and presented to a local grand jury, which decided not to indict the men.
In a press conference announcing the internal investigation last August, County Police Chief John W. Rhoads refused to name the part-time employers. He would say only that they were businessmen who needed security guards, such as parking lot operators.
"They (the policemen) would collect pay but they wouldn't show up," Rhoads said at the time. He was out of his office and could not be reached for comment yesterday.
The original investigation involved allegations against 10 officers. In addition to the five facing charges, two have been cleared of any wrongdoing, two others have resigned and a fifth has been dismissed on unrelated insubordination charges.
Of those whose cases are unresolved, two were assigned to the Oxon Hill precinct and three to the adjacent Seat Pleasant precinct. Three of the men are corporals and two are rank-and-file officers. Their service on the force ranges from two to almost 10 years.
Charges against them will be prosecuted by a member of the county attorney's office at hearings open to the public. The three-police hearing panel will then recommend to action or a variety of penalties up to and including dismissal, to Rhoads, who has final say.
Those charged are Cpl. Robert P. Burnett, 34, a plainclothesman in the investigative section at Seat Pleasant: Cpl. Robert A. Hee, 29, also a Seat Pleasant plainclothesman; Cpl. John W. Hardester, 31, a Seat Pleasant patrolman; Officer Howard E. Shook, 26, an Oxon Hill plainclothesman and Officer Glenn Pember, 28, an Oxon Hill patrolman.
Administrative hearings are scheduled for Feb. 2 for Hee, Feb. 8 for Pember, Feb. 15 for Shook, and March 3 for Burnett. Hardester waived his right to a hearing, leaving his fate directly up to Chief Rhoads.