The FBI and the Palm Beach State Attorney's Office have been investigating an overtime scam at the Riviera Beach Police Department for nearly two years. Yet the highest-ranking officer at the heart of the scandal, Sgt. Pat Galligan, has so far escaped criminal charges.
Det. Lee Ann Schneider faces 152 counts of forgery and official misconduct for allegedly signing her supervisor Galligan's name on probable-cause affidavits and property receipt forms for cases ranging from sexual battery to child abuse.
Galligan would allegedly sit at home and take calls from detectives while Schneider signed his name on case documents to make it look as if he were on duty, other detectives told the FBI. Galligan would then submit overtime slips as if he had been working extra hours.
"Sgt. Galligan will typically not have anything to do with the entire case aside from being notified of the call out [to a crime scene] and contacting the detective he is assigning to it,"
Riviera Det. Shawn Vance wrote in a March 2009 letter to the FBI. "Often Sgt. Galligan will have Detective Lee Ann Schneider make photocopies of the overtime slips and then give them to Sgt. Galligan to copy, or she will actually fill out overtime slips in his name. Det. Schneider has stated to other detectives that she does this so that Sgt. Galligan will get paid for the call out, despite knowing that he was never there or took part in it..."
"I have personally witnessed Det. Schneider sign Sgt. Galligan's name to official documentation."
Vance noted that this practice was extremely lucrative for Galligan. "Sgt. Galligan is openly estimated to be making anywhere from $20,000 to $50,000 extra a year in fraudulent overtime in this manner," he wrote. "Sgt. Galligan taking this money is a widely known secret and I have had other former detectives... speak of it often."
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Yet Galligan has never been charged in the scam. In October 2009, two months after a search warrant was served on the Police Department, Galligan retired after 23 years on the force.
Why has he not faced any charges? Through a spokesperson, Assistant State Attorney Danielle Croke said she won't comment on an open investigation. Galligan did not immediately respond to a request for comment today.
Schneider, 43, has pleaded not guilty and is out on bail awaiting trial.
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