By Mindy Ragan Wood
A Yukon Police sergeant with nearly 20 years on the force turned himself into custody Friday after a warrant had been issued for his arrest, but a lawsuit against the city could be forthcoming.
Timothy Lee Peters, who was hired in 2000, is the second officer who is accused of falsifying his timesheet for financial gain. The complaints include unlawful use of a computer and obtaining money by false pretenses. He has been placed on suspension without pay, Chief John Corn said Tuesday.
The case is remarkably similar to that of another officer who was arrested three week ago. Captain Christopher Brent Cunningham was booked on the same complaints. Cunningham was accused of defrauding the city for time he did not work, a total of 27 hours and $1,175.31. Peters is accused of fraudulently submitting 30.48 hours of pay totaling $1,141.35.
Investigators used the same methods to audit their time sheets and for the same period of time. Cunningham was audited from March 1, 2018 to August 3, 2019 and Peters from March 3, 2018 to August 6, 2019. Both officers work on the night shift. Unlike Cunningham who was fired as the result of an internal affairs investigation, Peters is only the subject of a criminal probe.
There is a difference in the two cases. Major John Brown stated in court documents that he noticed Cunningham begin his shift two hours later than his time sheet indicated. The incident prompted Brown to investigate. It was less clear how the investigation began into Peters. Court records show that “Your Affiant (signed Terry Prigmore) received information” that Peters may have falsified his timesheets.
Peters’ attorney David Slane said the city could face a lawsuit.
“The city has a problem. They’re going to get themselves in trouble. These are officers with 20 years, both of them, as policemen and I think the city is going to end up getting themselves sued,” Slane said. “I can tell you these are policemen who dedicated their career to following the law. What’s happening is not right. They’re (city officials) going to find themselves on the end of a million-dollar lawsuit. I’ve known him (Peters) longer than he’s been a policeman. He’s a man of integrity. We served together in the Army.”
Slane hinted the problem lies with issues between the department and the Fraternal Order of Police.
“Sgt. Peters is the (local) president of the FOP,” Slane said. “I believe this is retaliation for him acting on behalf of the FOP.”
Slane was confident his client is innocent and he urged the public to consider the long years of service to his community.
“His name will be cleared,” he said. “He’s a very nice man and I feel bad that he and his family have to go through this.”
Peters surrendered to custody Sept. 27 and posted a $500 bond for each complaint.