blue, red, and white police lights
Credit: Darrow Montgomery/FILE

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D.C. Police Lieutenant Shane Lamond has attracted the attention of the department’s internal investigators at least three times in the past seven years. Most recently, the 22-year veteran of the force was suspended for alleged improper communication with the right-wing extremist group the Proud Boys. The investigation, which involves the Metropolitan Police Department and the FBI, is still ongoing.

In the summer of 2020, during the protests that followed George Floyd’s murder, Lamond was accused of time theft. Sources told City Paper they believe the department failed to fully investigate the allegations, which also involved his direct supervisor. The outcome of that investigation, including whether the allegations were sustained or whether Lamond faced any discipline, is unclear.

And in 2015, Lamond was accused of violating MPD’s policies on outside employment, according to internal documents City Paper obtained. The department’s internal investigation revealed that Lamond failed to mark his court attendance paperwork appropriately. As a result, MPD paid Lamond for working as a security guard for local retail stores while he was off the clock. 

MPD’s Disciplinary Review Branch recommended a 25-day suspension without pay and a prohibition on working outside employment for one year according to internal documents. But then-Chief Cathy Lanier significantly reduced Lamond’s final discipline, despite finding one of his explanations “not credible.”

The 2015 incident, details of which have not been previously reported, is described in more than 350 pages of internal disciplinary documents that hackers stole from MPD’s internal computer network last year. The documents, which are marked confidential, offer a glimpse into the department’s opaque and drawn-out internal investigatory process and how the level of discipline the department initially recommended was slowly reduced through multiple levels of appeal. An MPD spokesperson declined to comment on personnel matters. Efforts to reach Lamond were unsuccessful.

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By 2015, Lamond had 15 years of policing experience under his belt, including at least eight years of police work outside the department. He typically supplemented his salary by working security for local retail stores. As a high-ranking officer with this many years of experience, he was expected to know the rules around off-duty work. 

In general, D.C. police officers are allowed to work second jobs, often as security officers or part-time instructors, so long as they have the approval of higher-ups. There are some restrictions, including no work for “sexually oriented businesses,” no work for companies that provide private security guards for individuals or commercial businesses (though they can work as security guards directly for commercial businesses), and no work for liquor stores. Officers also cannot start their own private security company and are not allowed to work off-duty in public spaces, such as directing vehicle or pedestrian traffic.

Officers also have to abide by MPD’s general orders, which say they can’t work more than 18 hours in a 24-hour period, and more than 98 hours in a seven-day calendar week. Outside, off-duty employment can’t exceed 32 hours per week, the orders say.

The orders also specifically spell out how officers will be paid for work they do while they’re off the clock:

“Members shall not be compensated by the MPD for court appearances made in conjunction with arrests in the course of outside employment,” the orders say. And to avoid any confusion between court appearances for MPD versus appearances for off-duty work, “members shall write ‘OUTSIDE EMPLOYMENT’ at the top” of the forms that record their courtroom appearances, according to MPD’s orders.

That’s where Lamond messed up.

In April of 2015, Sgt. Joi Bower notified Lamond that an upcoming court date for a person he arrested while working off-duty as security for a retail store had been canceled, according to internal records. Lamond called to ask for an explanation, and Bower told him it was because the court date had been scheduled on a District holiday—Emancipation Day.

The inquiry prompted Bower to look more closely at the case and eventually others where Lamond had appeared in court. She discovered “that these cases were also related to his outside employment,” according to MPD’s internal records. “However, Lieutenant Lamond had been compensated by MPD for these court appearances.”

An MPD internal investigator ultimately found that from February to June 2015, Lamond filed multiple “PD 140” forms, which track officers’ court attendance, but did not indicate on the forms that the appearances were for outside employment, as required. All told, IAD Agent Wandella Fields found that Lamond was paid $881 for 17.51 hours of court appearances related to off-duty arrests, internal records show.

Fields noted in her investigatory report that Lamond had worked outside employment for eight years prior to 2015, but did not look into whether he’d incorrectly charged MPD for that work before February of that year. “Without reviewing each of the [arrests] in ILeads, there is no way to determine if they were associated with outside employment,” Fields wrote in her report. (ILeads is MPD’s internal data management system.)

After Fields completed her investigation, MPD’s Disciplinary Review Branch recommended Lamond serve a 25-day suspension without pay and lose the privilege to work while off duty for one year. Lamond appealed that recommendation, claiming the discipline was overly punitive. At each stage in the process, officials chipped away at the severity of the discipline he would receive.

In an appeal letter contained in the internal documents, Lamond addressed each of the 12 “Douglas Factors,” a set of criteria that guide whether a government employee should face discipline for misconduct and how much. The factors include the seriousness of the offense, an employee’s job level and type of employment, past disciplinary record, past work performance, the potential for rehabilitation, the notoriety and impact on the reputation of the agency, and the effectiveness of alternative sanctions, among others. Each factor is considered “mitigating,” “neutral,” or “aggravating” in helping supervisors and arbitrators arrive at a final decision.

In his initial appeal, Lamond admitted that he violated MPD’s general orders and acknowledged that, as a lieutenant, “I should be held to a higher standard than an officer or sergeant, and that I should have a thorough understanding of the Department’s General Orders.”

But, he also wrote, his violation was “completely unintentional.” 

“I realize there are consequences for my actions and I fully accept responsibility,” he wrote.

Lamond explained that he “erroneously” believed his outside employer would pay him for initial court appearances and that MPD would pay him for any subsequent appearances.

Lamond estimated that even a six-month suspension from working while off duty would cost him $10,000 to $15,000. The “punishment seems excessive,” he argued in his appeal.

MPD’s human resources division then reduced his recommended discipline from 25 days to 15, with five of those 15 days held in abeyance and the option to use PTO for another five days, plus a six-month ban on working off-duty assignments, down from one year, according to internal records.

Lamond then appealed that recommendation directly to Lanier. But before Lanier made a final decision, an MPD labor specialist weighed in again, recommending that Lamond reimburse the department the $881, receive no more than a five-day suspension, and receive a written warning about outside employment. The labor specialist dropped the prohibition on working while off duty altogether.

Lanier got the case in November 2015. In her letter laying out her decision, she was generally sympathetic to Lamond’s case and looked favorably on his “excellent employment record” and the fact that he “took immediate steps” to fix potential future violations. But she didn’t buy his explanation that he believed MPD would pay him for court appearances related to outside work beyond his initial appearance.

“Your claim that you were operating ‘under the (erroneous) belief that first appearances were compensated by the employer, and subsequent appearances would be compensated by MPD,’ is not credible,” Lanier wrote in her final decision.

That determination—that Lamond’s explanation was “not credible”—could have significant implications for the lieutenant. Prosecutors rely on the credibility of police officers, whose testimony has the power to sway judges and juries in the courtroom. Any sort of official finding that calls their credibility into question opens the door for defense attorneys to cast doubt on those officers’ courtroom testimony and potentially puts criminal cases at risk.

Prosecutors in D.C. keep a confidential list of discredited officers, and MPD Chief Robert Contee has said in court records (when he was an assistant chief in 2015) that those officers are not given assignments that could land them on the witness stand. Being included on the list hurts their chances of advancing within the department, Contee said.

Lanier also disagreed with Lamond’s argument in Douglas Factor No. 1, which deals with the nature and seriousness of the offense, “including whether the offense was intentional or technical or inadvertent.” 

Lamond argued in part that he was not charged with “double dipping,” and was not paid by MPD and his outside employer, which he offered as evidence that the violation was not intentional or fraudulent.

“The fact that you engaged in outside employment for eight years without educating yourself regarding the applicable rules, policies, and procedures, is unacceptable,” Lanier wrote in response, internal records show.

Still, Lanier granted his appeal. She ultimately ordered Lamond to reimburse the department the $881 he had incorrectly received (which he did, records show), and gave him a 10-day suspension without pay, holding all 10 days in abeyance for one year, according to internal documents. It’s unclear from those records whether he abided by those terms. But, at least according to Lanier, as long as Lamond stayed out of trouble for one year, he would face no discipline at all.

This story is based on records provided by Dhruv Mehrotra of Reveal from The Center for Investigative Reporting.