Former Polk County firefighter arrested after falsifying timecard to make extra money, deputies say
LAKELAND, Fla. - A Polk County firefighter resigned his position after being arrested for grand theft and fraud.
According to the Polk County Sheriff’s Office, on September 13, 28-year-old Lance Taylor Dunn accessed his online employee payroll information and added his name to a roster for a 24-hour shift he did not work and was paid for that unworked shift.
Investigators say he did the same thing on October 22 and November 21 and was paid a total of $1,265.04 for three 24-hour shifts he did not work.
According to policy, only chiefs are authorized to add members to a shift within the scheduling system. Deputies say the battalion chief provided documentation showing Dunn had made the illegal changes to his time card. The battalion chief also told detectives that members are assigned to specific positions when scheduled. He did not schedule Dunn for any shifts on the three dates in question.
According to investigators, Dunn had accessed the system after the shift assignments were completed and added himself to the shift as "unassigned." Detectives say Dunn also added himself to an unassigned shift on November 30, 2022, that he did not work, but it was caught by supervision before payroll was finalized.
READ: Polk County firefighter arrested after double depositing paycheck to pay for bills, vacation, deputies say
Dunn told detectives that the first time he added himself, he didn’t realize he had the permissions in the system to do so. He then used those permissions to add himself two more times to make extra money.
Investigators say Dunn had been on unpaid personal leave since November 16, 2022, because he ran out of paid sick/vacation time.
"Dunn not only stole money from Polk Fire Rescue, he stole taxpayers’ money. In addition, he embarrassed his colleagues who risk their lives for this community. Dunn resigned, and that is good because he no longer meets the high standards expected of public servants," stated Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd.
Dunn was arrested and taken to the Polk County Jail where he was later released after paying a $2,000 bond.