One Prince George's County policeman was dismissed and four other suspended yesterday following an internal police investigation into allegations that they defrauded their part-time employer as well as the county Police Department by accepting pay for work they never performed.
Originally 10 county police officers were accused of overlapping their regular duty shifts with their after-hours jobs and collecting pay from both employers, according to county police spokesman.
Police said two of the 10 accused of officers resigned, two were cleared of the charges outright, and one was dismissed in connection with an unrelated case.
None of those suspended or dismissed could be reach for comment yesterday.
Administrative action was taken against the five employees yesterday as a result of their part-time employment at Eastover Shopping Center in Oxon Hill between August, 1975, and August, 1976.
Prince George's County Police Chief John W. Rhoads, who took the administrative action, would not comment on the cases because he said the five officers have 30 days to appeal the decision in the county Circuit Court.
The investigation, which began 11 months ago, was prompted by county officers who observed the actions of the fellow officers and "did not believe it was right," said John Hoxie, county police spokesman.
According to Hoxie, the officers were working on regular county police patrols, but, at the same time, were clocking in at their part-time job at the Eastover Shopping Center. In at least one case, Hoxie said an officer took sick leave in order to work his part-time job.
Hoxie said there were no indictments returned by the county grand jury that looked into the incident.
Dismissed was Cpl. Roger P. Burnette, 34, an investigator assigned to Seat Pleasant, police said. Burnette was in charge of the security guards at the shopping center, police said.
Those suspended for 20 days without pay were Cpl. Robert A. Hee, 29, Officer Glenn Pember, 28, and Officer Howard E. Shook, 26, a spokesman said. The officers, assigned to Seat Pleasant and Oxon Hill, will not be permitted to work for six months in an off-duty job, he said.
Another officer who was ordered suspended for 10 days will be permitted to work in an off-duty capacity immediately. He was identified as Cpl. John W. Hardester, 31, assigned to Seat Pleasant. Police said the penalty was lower in his case because he discontinued the allegedly unethical practice before the investigation began.
Police said about 30 per cent of the 880-officer force hold legitimate part-time jobs, mostly in the security field.