FORT LAUDERDALE — The U.S. Air Force has opened an investigation of a Fort Lauderdale police officer who is already the target of a criminal inquiry by the city police department.
“He is on full-time Air Force Reserve duty,” Miller said.
At issue is McElligott’s 10 years of reserve assignments and the validity of military orders he submitted to the police department.
“At this point it is considered an active criminal investigation inquiring as to whether any laws were violated by the officer,” Fort Lauderdale Police spokesperson Det. Travis Mandell said.
McElligott, 47, is a K-9 sergeant with the Fort Lauderdale Police Department and also a senior master sergeant in the U.S. Air Force Reserve, stationed at Robins Air Force Base in Warner Robins, Ga. He was called up for duty on Sept. 22, 2001, shortly after the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks. At the time, he had worked for 10 years with the police department, but he has not returned to his police officer job since then.
His reserve duty came under scrutiny during a citywide review of all employees who are out on any type of leave. According to sources, the investigation surrounds whether the military reserve orders he submitted to the Fort Lauderdale Police Department may have been altered.
Even though McElligott is not directly under the police department’s authority while serving in the military, Fort Lauderdale Police Chief Frank Adderley, while notifying him of the investigation, ordered him to make himself “available to the Office of Internal Affairs from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday through Friday.”
McElligott could not be reached for comment this week but in a recent interview with South Florida Times, he said he had not done anything wrong. He also said his current tour of reserve duty would not be completed until at least another two years, at which time he expects to return to his job as a police officer.
McElligott was hired by the police department on Dec. 30, 1991. His military duty pay is not known. His regular police officer salary is $77,771.20 annually but he has been receiving only $542.92 of that amount every other week to supplement his military pay.
Even though nearly half his police career has been spent away from the job on military leave, he is weeks away from having 20 years of service and qualifying for a full city pension.
In 2002, McElligott and his wife sold their home in Davie and purchased a 2200-square foot home in Houston County, Ga., not far from Robins Air Force base. Their son attended school in the area and went on to complete Air Force basic training in Texas. The couple divorced in 2009 and McElligott still lives in the home, while his ex-wife relocated to Illinois.
**Pictured above is Fort Lauderdale police officer David M. McElligott