CAPE CORAL, Fla. - Eleven Cape Coral police officers have been ordered to pay back nearly $100,000 in pay raises, after a city review found the officers never completed required classes to earn the increases.
Interim Police Chief Jay Murphy sent letters to the 11 officers Wednesday, informing them they would need to pay back the raises.
According to the letters released by the police department, the overpayments for the officers ranged from about $3,500 to a high of more than $23,000. Cape officers are required to complete 60 education credits to receive the raises.
"It appeared that paperwork on an annual basis was filled out as if they had substantiated that requirement and they enjoyed the step increases," city council member Bill Deile told WINK News in a previous interview.
The interim chief's letter informs each officer their pay will be reduced to the pre-raise level, and docked an additional 10% for failing to complete the course work.
The officers then must pay back the raises, either through payroll reductions or earned vacation time. Each officer must complete the 60 required credits in the next four years.
Following the review, the department is also changing its policy, requiring all future hires to already have the required educations before even being offered the job.
During the review, the department also found one officer who did complete the required education, but did not receive a raise. A city spokesperson says that officer will receive retroactive pay to make up for the missed raise.