Loose Lips

MPD Cop Alleges Double Standard in Overpayment Clawback

When top police brass were improperly overpaid by the city, they weren't asked to pay the money back, and in fact, got significant raises. When it happened to a lower-level cop who was overpaid while serving in Afghanistan, the city ordered him to pay back every red cent.

Double standard? So says Master Patrol Officer Michael O'Harran, who says the city is trying to get him to reimburse nearly $30,000 it overpaid him while he was deployed in the Army Reserves. When MPD officers are called up to serve in the military, the city offsets their military pay to make sure their salary levels stay the same. O'Harran says the city only noticed that he was overpaid after he inquired about a pay increase he was supposed to have received. He says the overpayment was the city's fault, and his wife didn't notice the extra income being deposited in their bank account while he was serving abroad.

O'Harran, who makes about $70,000 a year and is his family's sole breadwinner, says he can't afford to pay the city back. He says the city has asked him to pay $50 per paycheck to reimburse the city, which would take several years longer than O'Harran plans on working as a cop to cover the $30,000 in extra pay.

Personally, LL thinks anyone who gets overpaid should repay the money. But it's not hard to be sympathetic to O'Harran's plight, considering what MPD has done with top officials in similar situations. LL chronicled how three top police officers got huge raises after the city found that they'd been improperly receiving both a pension and a full salary. And The Examiner has reported how Assistant Police Chief Alfred Durham got a pay boost after it was discovered that he'd improperly been given a longevity pay bonus (though an MPD spokeswoman says Durham "has reimbursed the city for any monies which he was inadvertently over paid.")*

"It's a huge double standard," says O'Harran.

The Fraternal Order of Police Union has filed a complaint on O'Harran. The D.C. Department of Human Resources did not immediately responded to a request for comment. The FOP's complaint, posted after the jump:

*This post has been updated.

  • Drez

    Huh. I had no idea we pay our police officers more than we pay our active duty military who are deployed in war zones.

  • Star Spangled

    Dear Honorable Mayor Gray,

    Please waive the repayment. This police officer/soldier officer is an American PATRIOT!

    His family has already sacrificed a lot.

    gracias!

  • Lynn

    Sole breadwinner. Is he single?

  • Ward 4 Voter

    LOL@Star Spangled

  • Truth hurts

    How about all of DC's elected pols take fifty bucks out of their paychecks until the 30k is repaid?

  • womanizer

    Appalled, but not surprised. This is the fraternal odor of police, after all.

  • Throw The Book

    WoW.....and there were people complaining about Orange when he wanted to help the teachers out...Who was the guy talking about the police force has not received any good benefits in a while? You all are crooks yourselves smh...

  • Oliver Stone

    Police officers are not patriots. They are civil servants and they do not serve the country, they serve the local municipality they are paid by. Soliders are patriots and serve this great country. Please dont confuse the two.

  • SEis4ME

    His wife didn't notice the extra 30g's?

    I think they should be able to work something out but he most definately SHOULD pay the city back something. Him being a soldier really isn't an excuse.

  • Throw The Book

    Why would the wife notice an extra 30K? More than likely she is just happy with the increase in pay.

  • DC Lee

    The story says the FOP file the complaint on O'Harran. That is a typo, the FOP filed the complaint on O' Harran's behalf. If Durham and the rest of the top brass did not have to repay the city, then why treat this officer any different? Durham should take some of that pay raise and help this officer out.

  • cminus

    @Oliver Stone, I don't get the distinction you're trying to do. I mean, I do, soldiers serve the entire country but police serve just a part of it, but in this case we have a policeman who is also a soldier in the Army Reserve, a national force (as opposed to a state-level force like the Guard). So, even if you're going to argue that someone can't be a patriot unless they work for the federal government (an idea I can't take seriously), he would still be a patriot, at least while he's been called up.

  • Drez

    Rarely a good position to be in when the best you can do is say: "but they're crooks too!"

  • GJ

    Once again the FOP makes us all look like a bunch of greedy ass police. MPO O'Harran was paid money he is not entitled too. End of story. I know it sucks for him but, even if he was active duty Army and they over paid him they would take the money back. Oh and they would not be as nice to say $50 every two weeks. The FOP has declared war on Chief Lanier. There are plenty of things that go wrong on MPD. However, there was a time when the Chief and the FOP Chair could be resonable with each other. Now there is nothing but hate and who suffers, the members. Baumann has done nothing for the membership except raise their dues to line the pockets of his lawyer buddies. I would ask anyone to name one thing that has be accomplished since he has been chair. Baumann you are the Chairman of the Labor Committee and before that you were a slap that I never saw do anything but bitch and cry. For better or worse Chief Lanier is the boss, mine and yours. The sooner you realize that the better life will be for your memebers. After all this is who it's really about not your ego. To the public, Baumann is not represenative of the majority of officers on MPD. Most of the men and woman on MPD are hardworking honest people, who do a really hard job.

  • DC Lee

    @GJ you demonstrate what is wrong with the MPD. This story is not about "greedy ass police" as you write; it is about two standards one for managers and a different one for rank and file officers. It's called fairness. The chief is the boss and she is the worse we've had. She cares only about herself and those in her inner circle, I suspect you are a member of that inner circle and have benefited from that relationship.

    Just don't go crying to the Union when you fall out of favor and she puts the cross hairs on you.

  • GJ

    @Lee First I am in no ones favor. Second I wouldn't cry to the FOP about this. Third I've spent my entire 23 years on the street so I owe nothing. This should be between O' Harran and the city. Fairness, who did not pay money back? Chief Durham? According to the story he did. People who were collecting a pension and working for the city. That was the AG who decided not to get that money back because they dont have a legal argument. Believe me I know things are F&*ed up. I deal with it all the time. The point I am making and you should start to realize that the public preception of the FOP sucks. The public loves the Chief regardless if you or I like it. Wake up and look around, unions are under attack all across the USA. I've been on this job for along time and it is the worse I've ever seen it. I have also never seen a Chairman of the FOP that would display such open disrespect toward the Chief as Baumann does. The tactic of attacking management is not working, crying about AHOD is not working. Ask Baumann how much money did the latest whistleblower suit cost the union? The FOP needs a serious PR campaign. When Anthony Williams was mayor the citizens held the police officers and the FOP in high regard. That translated into the best pay raises I had seen. We need that support and stuff like this doesn't help

  • DC Lee

    @GJ you still don't get it, Durham also received a raise to cover the loss in pay and the story did not say he paid the money back; did the Chief treat O'Harran the same way? Believe the chief and her advisers at your own peril. The problem is not the FOP, it is the leadership of the department and the city. The FOP and Baumann would be derelict in their duty if they ignored this double standard.

  • Landis McDowell

    DC Lee please clarify somethigfor me. A DC jury ruled against Baumann and his inner circle just this past week. He filed
    suit against Chief Lanier and the city alledging retaliation for her revoking him and Delroy Burton for failing to attend PDT training. The law requires that every sworn member of the MPD attend 32 hours of training per year. Baumann and Burton consider themselves the privileged few who does not have to attend like every other sworn to include the leadership of the department. I have been in class with a few of them. They are paid taxpayer monies and do not perform any police duties whatsoever. Baumann our union dues so that he can defend himself and Burton in an attempt to make Chief Lanier look bad. I would like to know how much The law firm of Conti and Finn milked from us dues paying members. And by the way, I have never had to use the union for anything but I am still a dues paying member.

  • MPD Sucks

    Things are not what it used to be at the MPD but here are people who far about the department . They perform their duties with passion and rigor to ensure th safety of those who live and work in the city. Unlike Baumann who I have never seen in a police uniform. He is always accusing folks of being incompetent. Why don't Baumann put on a uniform, hit the streets and show Chief Lanier how to do real Police work! And by the way, since he's been the chairman we have yet to see a pay raise. Get us a raise or stop running for office so that we can gt someone in who cares and can pro with management. We're tired of your excuses.

  • GJ

    DC Lee right now there are five officers at the Fifth District that are on non-contact pending termination on what by all accounts are bull shit charges. In the past the relationship between FOP chair and the COP was such that the chair could go to the COP and say hey this is bullshit what can we do to work it out. There are many officers on this job who are here today because of those relationships. I know that the current COP can be difficult. However, the FOP's position is to sue about everything. Look around these cases are not going the FOP's way. The COP is not going anywhere. The funny thing is Baumann does the same things in the FOP that he accuses the COP of. Example, why wont he release the election results? Since its public, the city wanted the Chair of the FOP to have to resign from MPD during their tenor and can come back at the discression of the COP. Where did she get that idea from? If you guessed Baumann you would be correct. He wanted members assigned to IAD to leave the union and could only come back at his discression when they were no longer at IAD. He is everything that he accuses the Chief of being. The wrong guy is running the FOP. He is making his furure on the backs of the members. It's true that Lanier is all about Lanier and Baumann is all about Baumann. When his time is up do you think you will see hime back on the street? I would bet he has a partner spot waiting for him at Conti and Finn.

  • I Luv MPD

    Mr. Suderman since Kris Baumann is the source for all of your negative press, please ask him why both he and Delroy Burton are withholding the monthly pay of the elected union secretary. He is owed well over $20,000. Unlike Baumann, I will not disclose his name out of respect to him. However he is a sergeant assigned to the First District. And while you are at it ask Baumann how much he is paid to serve as the union chairman. He does not do anything as it relates to policing the city but receives well over $70,000 in compensation. I think that you should run a story about his committing fraud. Let's see if his misdeeds make it in your column.

  • I Luv MPD

    GJ- It appears that DC Lee is waiting for Baumann to post the response for him. I have to agree with you that we have recieved nothing since Baumann has been chairman. All he does is attack and that has gotten us nowhere. I have hear d that he is now threatening the members who were reinstated with removal from the union because he wants them to pay back dues from when they were separated from the department. Sounds like the union is going broke from him padding the pockets of Conti and Finn. We have been asking for an audit of the union finances but he refuses to have an audit done. He always is calling the chief to task. When are the dies paying era goin to hold Baumann and Burton task. I do agree that the union should pay his salary if he is not performing any law enforcement duties.

...