A former State Patrol lieutenant accused of falsifying overtime has been charged with official misconduct by the King County Prosecutor’s Office.
William Gardiner, who retired in October, is accused of claiming overtime he did not work and “miscoding” some overtime so that it would count toward his retirement, according to the charges. He also allegedly fixed four parking tickets for a friend, according to the charges.
The State Patrol launched an investigation of Gardiner in September after he collected an extensive amount of overtime pay. He was paid about $163,000 in 2010, more than any other State Patrol employee, including the chief of the Patrol, John Batiste, who earned $140,000.
In 2010 alone, Gardiner earned about $91,000 in regular pay, state records show. His overtime pay reached about $72,000, but may have been slightly lower with differential cost-of-living pay he earned for working in King County.
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Gardiner supervised troopers doing road work before he was placed on paid administrative reassignment to his home. He subsequently retired after about 25 years with the State Patrol.
The union representing State Patrol lieutenants assailed the department for opening the criminal investigation, declaring Gardiner’s overtime pay was legitimately earned. The Washington State Patrol Lieutenants Association called for an independent criminal investigation.
Gardiner is scheduled to be arraigned on May 23.