Friday night at 10:45, Charleston mayoral assistant Rod Blackstone e-mailed me a statement on behalf of Mayor Danny Jones and Police Chief Brent Webster (pictured below). The statement came in response to the acquittal of Keith Peoples less than an hour before. Peoples is a Charleston police corporal who was accused of double dipping.
Since the e-mail came too late to make it into the article I wrote for Saturday’s paper (deadlines, Rod, deadlines!), I thought I’d post the statement here:
â€œThe investigation into double-dipping by members of the Charleston Police Department began when the former Police Chief discovered that Officer James Nowling had been paid for the same hours on at least two payrolls, including the Charleston Police Department.Â An investigation produced evidence that Officer Nowling had been paid by Charleston taxpayers for 1700 hours for which he was on the clock for at least one other employer — and at times two others — for the exact same hours.Â He made allegations that such double-dipping was rampant in the Charleston Police Department.Â So in November 2006, we asked the Kanawha County prosecuting attorney to investigate whether that was indeed the case or not.Â As a result of that investigation, a jury found Mr. Nowling guilty, and three other officers pleaded guilty.
â€œWhen Officer Keith Peoples was indicted by a grand jury last year, he was placed on paid administrative leave and has not lost a single dayâ€™s wages while this case progressed. We accept tonightâ€™s verdict and note the brilliant legal representation provided by former Assistant United States Attorney Dwayne Tinsley for the defense.Â We expect Officer Peoples to be back on the job at the earliest available opportunity.Â We trust this puts an end to the investigation of double-dipping within the Charleston Police Department, and we are glad to put this matter behind us.â€
I hope to have more to report on double dipping soon. But in the meantime, I just ran into Peoples and Dwane Tinsley on Virginia Street, on their way back from City Hall. Peoples, still smiling from Friday, was carrying his service belt and other professional effects in a cardboard box. He said he had been cleared by Webster to go back to work.