On Friday, December 9, 2022, The County Sheriff’s Office arrested 28-year-old Polk County Firefighter Lance Taylor Dunn of Lakeland for Grand Theft (F3) and Fraud (F3) after falsifying his time card on three separate occasions. Dunn resigned following his arrest.
The investigation began when Polk County Fire Rescue supervision contacted PCSO detectives to report a possible payroll fraud incident. During the investigation, detectives learned that on September 13, 2022, Dunn had accessed his online employee payroll information using his assigned username and password and added his name to a roster for a 24-hour shift he did not work. He was then paid for the time he did not work.
He did this again on October 22nd and November 21st, 2022, and was again paid for time he did not work. He was paid a total of $1,265.04 for the three 24-hour shifts.
According to policy, only the Chiefs are authorized to add members to a shift within the scheduling system. The Battalion Chief provided documentation showing Dunn had made the illegal changes to his time card. The Battalion Chief 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 (September 13, October 22, or November 21, 2022).
Dunn had accessed the system after the shift assignments were completed and added himself to the shift as “unassigned.” Dunn also added himself to an unassigned shift on November 30, 2022, that he did not work. This was caught by supervision before payroll was finalized.
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 in order to make extra money. He had been on unpaid personal leave since November 16, 2022, having run 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.” – Grady Judd, Sheriff
Dunn was arrested and transported to the Polk County Jail where he was later released after paying a $2,000 bond.