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Investigators: DeKalb chief took 56 unapproved comp days
DeKalb County’s top cop took more than $35,000 in comp days even after his supervisor refused to sign off on them, investigative records show.
Terrell Bolton was fired as police chief in February for, among other things, abusing comp time. Although DeKalb’s police manual forbids executives from accruing comp time or overtime pay, the chief insisted that his 80 comp days in 2007 and 2008 were approved by CEO Vernon Jones’ office.
But Jones’ chief of staff, Ann Kimbrough, told a Bolton aide in October 2007 that she would not approve any more comp days, according to a newly released investigative report prepared for new CEO Burrell Ellis.
“I am no longer signing these for the chief,” Kimbrough said in a handwritten note, according to the report, in response to a request for her signature on more comp time reports.
Investigators said records showed Kimbrough had previously OK’d 190 hours of comp time for Bolton – the equivalent of nearly five weeks.
Bolton took an additional 448 hours of comp time after that, or 56 days, according to time reports that were submitted but never approved, the investigators said. Those comp days were taken between September 2007 and December 2008.
The comp time reporting form was revised in late 2008 to exclude the space for a supervisor’s approval. Bolton took 7.5 hours in comp time on that form.
The former chief was paid $162,000 a year, or about $623 a day. At that rate, the unapproved comp time would be worth more than $35,000. The approved comp time, accrued while Bolton was earning less, would be worth about $13,000.
Bolton, who has maintained a home in Texas since taking the DeKalb job, was out of town at least every other weekend, Assistant Chief Karen Anderson told sheriff’s investigators. She said he typically left at midday Friday and returned Monday night or Tuesday morning.
“Bolton did the things that he did because he did not think that he could be ‘touched,’” Anderson told investigators.
AtlantaUnfiltered obtained the investigative report, compiled for Ellis by Sheriff Thomas Brown’s office, through a request under the Georgia Open Records Act.