ITEAM: Former BRPD officer arrested, accused of double dipping

Dwayne Lee, former BR Police officer, was arrested after he was accused of getting paid from working extra detail and also from BRPD (Source: EBRSO)
Dwayne Lee, former BR Police officer, was arrested after he was accused of getting paid from working extra detail and also from BRPD (Source: EBRSO)

BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - A now former Baton Rouge Police officer was arrested after he was accused of getting paid from working extra detail and also from the Baton Rouge Police Department.

Fairfield Medical Center is a medical clinic in north Baton Rouge on N. Foster Dr. Three different BRPD officers provide extra duty security there, but the problem is, one of those officers is accused of double dipping.

"As much as I've known of Dwayne, for the 20 years I've known him, I would've never guessed this, no," said BRPD Chief Carl Dabadie.

Chief Dabadie said officers were in the middle of a different investigation when they happened to come across Lt. Dwayne Lee, 52. Undercover officers had been investigating the Fairfield Medical Center since late 2013. As part of that investigation, officers found on video, Lee's police unit parked at the medical center.

"We noticed that his vehicle was going to the place of business on a regular basis at the same time and generally leaving at the same time 2-3 times a week," said Chief Dabadie.

Investigators said one of the problems is Lee was scheduled to be at BRPD's Misdemeanor Investigations office on Gus Young Ave. during the same time he was working extra duty.

After the department launched an Internal Affairs investigation, detectives noted in their report that a witness said "several times when he had gone into the clinic, there was a BRPD uniform officer that appeared to be working security there."

The detective then went back and looked through the recorded videos saying "Lt. Dwayne Lee was seen in the footage numerous times arriving at this clinic, parking his marked police unit out of sight, and entering the clinic."  

Chief Dabadie said there are policies and procedures in place for any officer who wants to work extra duty.

"Officers are required to get approval to work an extra duty detail before they begin working it. That detail has to be approved, and once the detail is approved, then officers have to monthly turn in their logs and rosters of the hours and dates and times that they're working," said Chief Dabadie.

When asked if Lt. Lee had prior consent to work the medical clinic or any records of him working there, Chief Dabadie said, "No."

Investigators say surveillance video shows Lee working at the clinic eight different times:

March 26
April 2
April 3
April 4
April 9
April 10
April 14
April 16

Records show on average, Lee worked 2-3 hours a day. Investigators said often, he put down working his BRPD hours at the same time.

Lee's schedule with BRPD was from 7am till 5pm Tuesday through Friday at the Misdemeanor Follow-up Division. The I-Team looked at his duty rosters for those eight days.

One of the days at the clinic was his off day, Monday, but according to his roster, Lee did charge the department four hours of overtime, which was roughly the same amount of time he worked extra duty at the clinic that day. The other seven days, investigators said there was an overlap. Lee marked working 10 hours a day at the Misdemeanor office, while investigators said he was at the clinic for some of those same hours. Then on April 16th, he marked working five hours at BRPD and used five hours of comp time.

"There are consequences for our actions, and we're not going to tolerate that type of behavior, and we have to do our due diligence," said Chief Dabadie.

Which is why detectives turned the Internal Affairs investigation into a criminal investigation. But before Lee was arrested, he sent Chief Dabadie a letter on May 20th saying he was retiring early after 27 years on the force with his last day being May 23rd.

"The police dept. was conducting an investigation both internal(ly) and criminal(ly). He (Lee) knew that, at which point, I assume Lt. Lee decided that he would like to take his retirement, which is what he did," said Chief Dabadie.

The following week, on May 29th, Lee was arrested for public payroll fraud and malfeasance in office. Lee had just made Lt. August 2013.

"It's disappointing. It's sickening to an extent. It's one of those things as a chief, or any supervisor, you don't ever want to handle," said Chief Dabadie. "We have a lot of good officers out here who work very hard every day and do everything the correct way, and this is not a reflection on the department itself as a whole," said Chief Dabadie.

The case has yet to go before District Attorney Hillar Moore. Once he gets it, Moore said he will seek restitution, but no word yet on how much that would be. A call into Lee was not returned.

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