Fort Lauderdale police Sgt. James McDowell arrested

Police say sergeant worked off-duty details while still on duty
Fort Lauderdale police Sgt. James McDowell interviewed by WPTV in 2020
Posted at 11:59 AM, Jan 13, 2022
and last updated 2022-01-13 12:05:43-05

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. — A South Florida police officer has been arrested, accused of fraudulently billing his department for work hours.

Fort Lauderdale police Sgt. James McDowell turned himself in Thursday on three counts of grand theft and one count of organized scheme to defraud.

A preliminary investigation revealed several instances in which "McDowell signed on to work off-duty details while still working his regularly scheduled shift" with the Fort Lauderdale Police Department, spokeswoman Casey Liening said.

"This resulted in several hundred fraudulently billed hours and the loss of thousands of dollars," Liening said.

McDowell, who was interviewed by WPTV after winning a Father's Day contest in 2020, has been placed on administrative leave without pay pending the outcome of criminal prosecution.

"These alleged actions do not reflect the character and professionalism of the men and women of this agency," Liening said.