Charlotte and the city at the far western end of the Tennessee may have more in common than the love of barbecue and television crime reality show "The First 48".
Several Memphis Police Department officers who owned a private business to teach law enforcement techniques received improper overtime payments and other reimbursements for teaching those courses.
The audit of the department's Organized Crime Unit also determined that former police director Larry Godwin appeared to influence the career progress of a son assigned to the unit.
The draft audit said MPD officers who served as instructors with a company called Investigative Techniques Unlimited wrongfully got $183,555 in overtime pay from the department's drug fund for teaching the courses.
Over the past several years the Memphis Police Department used crime forfeiture money in a free and easy manner, spending the funds in any way the former police director saw fit, including payments to his son and using forefiture funds to pay for department operational expenses which is not approved.
According to the Memphis Daily News:
An audit of the Memphis Police Department’s Organized Crime Unit (OCU) says the unit, which includes undercover drug investigations and other covert operations, “needs significant improvement” in obeying guidelines for the use of money in the OCU drug fund.
The completed internal audit by city’s audit team released Thursday, Jan. 26, also concludes eight OCU employees should not have been allowed to work as training instructors for Investigative Techniques Unlimited because of a conflict of interest.
ITU is a company founded by former OCU officer Paul Sherman, who coordinated OCU’s undercover program. ITU had a contract to provide instructors for classes given by the Regional Counterdrug Training Academy, which is where OCU officers receive specialized training. RCTA paid ITU for the instructors who taught officers from police agencies including but not limited to the MPD.
Sherman also recommended which Memphis police officers received the RCTA training while he was still with the department, according to the report.
The report specifically concludes $183,555 in overtime paid to OCU officers from the drug fund as they worked as instructors at a training facility was not a “drug enforcement expense.”
It is the largest single amount of a total $245,710 questioned in the audit findings.
More details from the Memphis Daily News here.