Former detention deputy arrested for fraudulently collecting overtime pay
POLK COUNTY, Fla. (WFLA) — A former Polk County detention deputy was arrested Thursday after stealing thousands of dollars from the department by falsely claiming overtime hours, authorities said.
According to the Polk County Sheriff’s Office, an investigation found that 33-year-old Bruce West, Jr. embezzled over $15,000 by falsely claiming overtime hours he did not work.
When confronted Thursday at the Central County Jail in Bartow where he was assigned, deputies said West admitted to falsifying his time cards.
“It’s a major disappointment when someone working in law enforcement runs afoul of the law, but it stings even more when it’s someone within your own work family,” Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd said. “He knew better and still betrayed his co-workers, his profession, and the taxpayers of Polk County, and we arrested him.—we intend to not only hold him criminally accountable, but also to recover taxpayers’ money.”
West, was charged with grand theft between $10,000 and $20,000, obtaining property by fraud of less than $20,000, and false entries to corporate books.
West was hired by the sheriff’s office as a detention deputy on Aug. 30, 2021, and was sworn in on Oct. 19, 2021.
“He resigned upon his arrest, but had he not, his employment would have been terminated,” the sheriff’s office said.
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