DeKalb County

Former DeKalb Co. SRO accused of taking thousands of dollars for overtime he didn’t work

DEKALB COUNTY, Ga. — Channel 2 Action News has learned a former DeKalb County School Resource Office has lost his job, following an October 2023 audit into his timesheets.

He’s been accused of collecting tens of thousands of dollars in overtime pay for work he never completed.

Channel 2′s Michael Seiden and partners at the Atlanta Journal-Constitution started digging into the allegations last year.

After five months, Seiden got a copy of an internal audit that shows the former SRO is accused of lying about working more than 24 hours in a day on multiple occasions.

Now, a state lawmaker wants an independent investigation.

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State Sen. Emanuel Jones, who represents Decatur, said he was disgusted at the audit’s findings.

“I’m certainly appalled,” Jones said about the report, which audited the time sheets of former SRO Victor James.

Three independent sources told Channel 2 Action News that James had received tens of thousands of dollars in extra work for pay that he never did.

“I’m suggesting that outside sources do get involved and look at if there’s any potential criminality,” Jones said.


In the report, the DeKalb County School District’s director of internal audits and compliance, Joel Thibodeaux, said he found “evidence of payroll fraud by school resource officer Victor James” for fiscal years 2022 and 2023.

The evidence in the report “includes numerous instances where SRO James reported overlapping times for different job assignments in different departments. Within these instances are several occasions where SRO James claimed to have worked over 24 hours on a single date,” Thibodeaux told Channel 2 Action News.

In December, the DeKalb County School District placed James on paid administrative leave.

The district fired him in March.

While the district’s report doesn’t list the total amount of money James collected during his time, multiple sources close to the investigation told Channel 2 Action News that in 2023, James earned more than $227,000. That’s three times his base salary.

“It’s very alarming,” said forensic accountant Marc Efron of the White Elm Group in Atlanta.

Efron said the report exposes some problems with how officers are paid.

“Officers are able to submit time reports to multiple departments and without a reconciliation between those departments, they weren’t able to determine that an officer was submitting time in excess of 24 hours,” Efron said.

Requests for comment from James by Channel 2 Action News have not been answered, but when asked about the issues in his time sheets, James said they were “errors” and “oversights” on his part.

An attorney for James told Seiden that the report was inaccurate, but would not explain to Channel 2 Action News what he meant.

A spokesperson told Seiden the school district is still deciding whether or not to pursue criminal charges.

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