SPOKANE, Wash. - Double dipping: That's what one Spokane County Sheriff's deputy is accused of doing. Deputy Charles Sciortino is on paid administrative leave for allegedly taking an off-duty security job while on the clock with the Sheriff's Office.
Sciortino is essentially accused of stealing $350. He allegedly signed up to work an off duty security job at a big box store, common work for police officers or deputies, except in this case he's accused of not doing his job and still billing the company.
It's not uncommon for deputies to take side jobs working security for private companies. You might see them in full uniform at businesses during Black Friday sales and other private functions.
"He signed up to work an off-duty job at the same time he was scheduled to patrol. He didn't work that off-duty job and still billed them for it," said Spokane County Sheriff Ozzie Knezovich.
Sciortino is accused of taking $350 in payment, an action that could lead to a misdemeanor charge if he's found guilty.
"Theft is theft. I don't care if it's a nickel or anything less," Knezovich said.
Knezovich has been trying unsuccessfully to pass a law that would let police chiefs and sheriffs fire employees caught breaking the law or lying while on duty. If passed, it would allow Knezovich to fire someone in Sciortino's situation, provided he's found guilty.
"Right now it goes to the arbitrator and if the arbitrator, even if he sustains it, he can still give the job back, and we've seen that time and time again," said Knezovich.
Sciortino has a long history in law enforcement. According to the Riverside Police Officers Association in California, Sciortino was shot in the neck while on duty. He flat lined that night only to return to law enforcement 14 months later, declining a retirement pension.
He went on to work for the Kootenai County Sheriff's Department. Published reports mention Sciortino was cleared of wrong doing in a deputy involved shooting as well as cleared of accusations that he groped a man he arrested for DUI while working in Idaho.