By: Jolanda Jones
Short of winning the lottery your best bet of getting paid while staying at home on your butt with your feet kicked up is to be crooked Houston Police Department officers, who lie, and get caught. Here’s the deal: Sgt. Paul S. Terry, Senior Police Officer Matthew L. Davis, Officer Steven L. Running and Senior Officer Kenneth Bigger, collectively received $943,000 of overtime pay, of taxpayer dollars, based on a traffic ticket scam and received “suspensions without pay” of 45, 30, 30 and 20 days, respectively.
In other words each officer received this many dollars for each day and the corresponding dollar per hour that they had off: Sgt. Terry’s $347,000 overtime scam payout (45 day suspension) translates into $7,711.11/day and/or $778.13/hour; Senior Officer Davis’ $347,000 overtime scam payout (30 day suspension) translates into $11,566.67/day and/or $1,445.83/hour; Officer Steven L. Running [there’s been no indication of how much both Officers Running and Senior Officer Bigger got out of the remaining $249,000, therefore I will divide up the remaining $249,000 equally between the two of them which totals $124,000].
With that being said Officer Running’s $249,000 overtime scam payout (30 day suspension) translates into $8,300/day and/or $1,037.50/hour; and Senior Officer Bigger’s $249,000 overtime scam payout translates into $12,450/day and/or $1,556.25/hour.
The absurdity of getting those suspensions, without pay which people where I grew up would call a vacation, is laughable. To add insult to injury, they all still have jobs as HPD officers.
Are you kidding me?! To make matters worse, Terry, Davis, Running and Bigger each had previous disciplinary actions which were included but were not limited to suspensions for a variety of deceitful and dishonest shenanigans. I wonder how many tickets these dishonest officers wrote. As if that’s not enough to stomach, their union president Ray Hunt continues to make excuses for bad officer behavior.
The height of hypocrisy is that the city laid off hundreds of excellent workers who committed no bad or deceitful acts and came to work every day and worked more than 40 hour weeks with no overtime all in the name of saving the city money while saving Terry, Davis, Running and Bigger’s jobs under a last chance agreement whereby they couldn’t appeal their punishment.
Where was that due process with the laid off non-public safety city workers? To make matters worse, the City of Houston put a bond item on this November’s ballot to give the police department more money and they want us to foot the bill.
Why hasn’t the City of Houston made Terry, Davis, Running and Bigger’s pay back the taxpayer money they scammed to get? How do we stand by and allow this? All I know is that taxpayers should do something on this issue. At the end of the day, it is what it is – the City of Houston makes excuses for many HPD officers bad behavior because they are afraid of standing up to the union and risk the tens of thousands of dollars of campaign contributions or hundreds of thousands of dollars of independent expenditure campaigns and/or they believe that by any means necessary is okay if it deals with public safety and/or collateral damage is okay with public safety. I feel sorry for the good HPD officers because they can’t catch a break due to the malfeasance of their bad brothers/sisters. My Grand Mommy taught me that “one bad apple…”.
To be clear, I believe most HPD officers are honest but the bad ones they have are wreaking tons of havoc and ruining this city and certain classes of people. Rhetorical question: When will the people with power have the courage to stand up for what’s right for ALL of the people?
Before anyone moves their lips to say that this is an anti-police story nothing could be further than the truth. This is a story about truth telling – calling out bad cops like they call out whoever they believe is a bad citizen. They perp walk us on a daily basis. They should expect the same. What’s good for the goose…
By: Jolanda Jones