FORT LAUDERDALE — A decorated Fort Lauderdale police officer who allegedly spent time at home while he was supposed to be working will be fired from his $70,000-a-year job, according to sources.
Rick Burn, an officer with 25 years of service, will be terminated, possibly as early as this week, according to sources.
The termination stems from an internal affairs investigation initiated in February 2009. Burn’s supervisor, Capt. Ralph Nelson, looked into complaints from fellow officers that Burn was not responding to their requests to back them up on calls.
“No comment,” said Jack Lokiensky, president of the Fraternal Order of Police union that represents Burn. “As far as I know, it’s still an open investigation, so I can’t discuss it.”
Burn could not be reached for comment. His attorney, William R. Amlong, did not return calls.
The pending termination from employment comes three months after prosecutors with the Broward State Attorney’s Office decided in April that Burn’s actions were personnel matters, and that they did not amount to a crime.
A follow-up administrative review by the police department’s internal affairs division, however, determined that he violated department policies and personnel rules.
Sources say the policies Burn is accused of violating are: knowingly making or signing any false statements or records, failing to submit off-duty detail forms, and failing to notify dispatchers of his whereabouts when he was working off-duty detail assignments.
The internal affairs investigation reportedly found that Burn was at his Pompano Beach home on Dec. 8, 2008 instead of responding to requests from other officers to provide backup. Data from the city’s Automated Vehicle Locator (AVL), a GPS-based system, determined his exact location on that and other occasions. He received a three-day suspension as a result.
In the latest investigation, Burn was assigned to work off-duty detail at Fort Lauderdale Executive Airport, where he was paid $50.80 per hour for overtime. Investigators analyzed a sampling of his work habits from Nov. 14, 2008 through Feb. 13, 2009. Investigators determined that Burn was late arriving to detail duty 24 times, and earned $587.58 in salary when he actually was not working.
During that same time period, investigators determined that he left detail assignments early on 23 occasions, and earned $502.07 for work he did not perform. He also submitted forms requesting overtime pay totaling $1,160 for other periods in which he never worked. The investigation also found that on one occasion when he was supposed to be working, he was watching TV at a police substation
While undergoing questioning by internal affairs investigators on April 22, 2010, Burn responded, “No, I have no independent recollection” several times to questions about his whereabouts on different dates and times.