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Baltimore police lieutenant who oversees Horseshoe Casino district charged with overtime theft

Crime reporter Justin Fenton on Baltimore Police Lt. Steven Bagshaw charges of theft of overtime. (Baltimore Sun video)

A Baltimore police lieutenant overseeing the Horseshoe Casino district has been charged with theft of overtime after an internal investigation was sparked by an anonymous letter that said he was "never at work."

Authorities say Lt. Steven Bagshaw, a 21-year veteran, was earning fraudulent overtime, even in the wake of the federal indictments announced in March of seven officers accused of stealing overtime.

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The March indictments prompted Mayor Catherine E. Pugh to seek an audit of police overtime spending.

From April 1 through May 12, investigators concluded that Bagshaw was paid $8,628 for time he was not working, which included regular and overtime shifts, police wrote in charging documents.

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"Instances like this jeopardize public trust of the police department," said Baltimore Police Commissioner Kevin Davis. "Anyone who wears this uniform or works for this agency in any capacity should know that this type of behavior will not be tolerated."

City records show Bagshaw, 44, made $170,000 in fiscal year 2016, including a base salary of $106,000.

Bagshaw was charged Thursday with a theft scheme and with unauthorized removal of property for improperly using agency vehicles, court records show. He was released from custody on a $15,000 unsecured personal bond.

Bagshaw has been suspended without pay because he is facing felony charges, the police department said.

He could not be reached for comment. No lawyer was listed for him in court records.

The police department is on track to spend more than $40 million in overtime this fiscal year, while the police budget set aside $16 million for overtime.

Investigators began conducting surveillance on Bagshaw in late March. At one point they observed him at his home on the Eastern Shore using a department vehicle that he was not authorized to take home, according to court records.

Along with license plate-reading records and GPS technology, police monitored Bagshaw and determined he would "routinely report to work many hours late and/or leave many hours early, sometimes missing entire regular hour shifts or entire overtime shifts."

About $1,420 of the $8,600 Bagshaw received during the period he was being investigated was paid for by the Horseshoe Casino, which the city bills for secondary employment for officers who work the casino district, records show.

In late February, a federal grand jury returned an indictment against seven Baltimore officers who were members of an elite gun unit. Those officers were accused of robbing and extorting citizens, filing false police reports, and receiving fraudulent overtime pay.

Sgt. Wayne Jenkins, like Bagshaw a supervisor, is accused of being in Myrtle Beach, S.C., with his family on vacation when he submitted 40 hours of overtime that claimed he was conducting proactive enforcement and crime suppression on the streets of Baltimore.

"I need [an audit] done as soon as possible," Pugh said after the allegations against the seven officers were revealed. "We allow police overtime to run up when a lot of other areas of the city, like schools, housing and parks and recreation, could benefit from that money."

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Pugh's spokesman, Anthony McCarthy, said Friday that a vendor has been identified for an independent audit of police overtime.

"We're still in the process of negotiating their contract," McCarthy said in an email.

Police officials have said that they believe the majority of the overtime spending has been caused by a reduction in the number of officers — a drop of hundreds — and a police staffing schedule implemented in 2015 that called for increasing the number of officers. The city has been working to negotiate a new staffing arrangement with the police union for months.

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