TSU Police Chief Placed on Paid Leave Amid Fraud Allegations
Police Chief Mary Young says TSU violated state laws in handling the allegations against and didn’t give her the chance to refute the claims.
Houston, Texas – Texas Southern University’s (TSU) Police Chief Mary Young is facing fraud allegations and has been placed on administrative leave with pay. Young has also been granted two temporary restraining orders against TSU to prevent the school from putting her on leave.
TSU claims that Young “committed fraud against the university by implementing and sanctioning an overtime and payroll abuse scheme that cost the university and taxpayers thousands of dollars in officer hours that were not actually worked,” reports KTRK.
The university alleges the pay was not authorized by human resources, TSU’s president, or its board of regents. TSU also accuses Young of abusing her power, improperly using the school’s police department, refusing to follow TSU’s instructions, and making misleading statements to local judges and the media.
Young, however, claims TSU violated state laws in handling the allegations against her, saying the university didn’t have a legal basis for putting her on leave or disciplining her, reports Houston Public Media. Because of this, Young has continued reporting to work.
Young alleges that the anonymous complaint against her mysteriously came after she told her officers to “maintain professionalism” and avoid giving the appearance of serving as “chauffeurs, errand-runners, and personal assistants” while working for TSU’s president, reports Forward Times. She says the complaint against her wasn’t signed, which is required by Texas law. The chief also claims she never had the chance to tell her side of the story or provide any evidence refuting the allegations against her.
Additionally, Young’s attorney, Ben Hall, says that the chief’s department has a system of checks and balances that prevents overtime submissions from being authorized improperly. All overtime requests must be approved by two supervisors before they reach the chief, he claims.
An audit completed by TSU and included in court documents shows Young authorized nearly $28,000 in additional officer compensation that wasn’t approved by HR, the school president or board, reports Houston Public Media. Lead officers input twice as many hours as they actually worked, and two hours of overtime pay for training, despite the training not lasting the full two hours.
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