Sun Sentinel examines Sun Pass records to see if cops are leaving before their scheduled shifts are over.

Police Maj. James "Brad" Carney's job perks allowed him to take one of every four work days off. Yet he was rarely in Davie for a full day when he did work.

The major — who was paid $120,061 a year — left the town after putting in less than eight hours on at least two of every three workdays from October 2011 through early August, according to his SunPass times.

Fridays were particularly light for Carney, one of the three top-ranking officers in his department. On just about every Friday he worked, Carney hit the highway and was headed home to Palm Beach County after three to seven hours on the job.

Carney, 52, announced his retirement in August, two days after the Sun Sentinel took his SunPass times to a Davie councilman. Reached on his cell phone, Carney said, "I have no comment."

The Sun Sentinel's analysis of the major's toll times and payroll records found he spent less than eight hours in the town on at least 107 of 165 days he was on duty over the nine months.

During that period, Carney took 52 days off, using vacation or paid leave. Twelve of those were "executive days," a perk Davie gives high-ranking employees who conduct "town business in excess of their normal work hours."

Davie police Chief Patrick Lynn showed little concern, initially declining to meet with a reporter or discuss Carney's SunPass times. When the Sun Sentinel e-mailed questions to a police spokesman in July, he forwarded them to the chief — and to Carney.

"Please advise on how you would like me to handle," wrote Sgt. Christopher Chastain. There was no record of a reply from either recipient.

The Sun Sentinel showed Carney's SunPass records to Davie Councilman Bryan Caletka on Aug. 23. Two days later, the major sent an email to the chief: "I would like to inform you of my intent to retire."

Caletka said he was told Carney was going to be investigated. But the chief said in an interview last week that he had no plans to investigate, and defended the major.

"SunPass doesn't reflect all the hours he worked," Lynn said. Carney made phone calls from home on weekends and on occasion attended meetings in Davie in his personal vehicle — time that would not show up on his police toll records, the chief said.

Carney was not forced to retire, Lynn said, and his decision "was not a surprise to us."

In a memo to police department employees on Aug. 27, the chief congratulated Carney. "We wish him the very best in his future endeavors,'' Lynn wrote.

The chief's aide ordered a plaque commending Carney for his "dedicated service and loyalty," offering to pay a rush fee for a speedy delivery.

Carney left the town with $50,499, payment for unused time off. He's also now collecting a pension of $82,450 a year.

Carney joined the Davie force in 1989 as an officer, working his way through the ranks to supervise criminal investigations and the administration bureau — records, dispatch and evidence. He received commendations and high praise from his bosses for his work ethic, including this note from a 2009 evaluation: "He is seldom away from work."

Caletka said the SunPass records clearly showed a pattern of the major leaving early. "For $120,000," the councilman said, "I think we expect more."

skestin@tribune.com, 954-356-4510, Twitter @SallyKestin