Fort Lauderdale cop arrested on grand theft, fraud charges

The department says that James McDowell, 37, "signed on to work off-duty details while still working his regularly scheduled shift."

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. – A Fort Lauderdale police officer was arrested Thursday after an investigation revealed he fraudulently billed work hours, the department said.

James McDowell, 37, turned himself in to the Broward County Main Jail on Thursday morning to face three counts of grand theft and one count of organized scheme to defraud, police spokeswoman Casey Liening said.

“Preliminary details from the investigation have revealed several instances where McDowell signed on to work off-duty details while still working his regularly scheduled shift at the Fort Lauderdale Police Department,” Liening said in an emailed statement. “This resulted in several hundred fraudulently billed hours and the loss of thousands of dollars.

“These alleged actions do not reflect the character and professionalism of the men and women of this agency.”

James McDowell was arrested Thursday and has been placed on administrative leave without pay, the Fort Lauderdale police department said.

The department placed McDowell on administrative leave without pay pending the outcome of the criminal prosecution to be handled by the Broward County State Attorney’s Office.

McDowell declined comment leaving jail Thursday afternoon after posting bond.

Fort Lauderdale’s public corruption unit conducted the initial investigation, Liening said.

About the Authors:

Alex Finnie joined the Local 10 News team in May 2018. South Florida is home! She was raised in Miami and attended the Cushman School and New World School of the Arts for high school.