SPRING VALLEY VILLAGE, Texas (KTRK) -- Spring Valley Village Police Chief Loyd Evans is on paid leave after a city investigation found he paid himself almost $300,000 in overtime since 2020 and signed his timesheets.
The allegations came to light during a special city council meeting last week. A meeting was read into the record that alleged Evans was paid $189,038 in overtime during 2020 and $96,040 in overtime in 2021. That is on top of his base salary of $151,000. The city attorney said Evans apparently signed and authorized the time cards himself.
ABC13 went to the Spring Valley Village Police Department on Wednesday, but the doors were locked. We asked if anyone was available to speak about the police chief, but a voice over the intercom would only say, "You're going to have to talk to the city attorney."
ABC13 also tried to contact every city council member and the mayor on the issue. But the only elected official we located was Mayor Pro Tem Allen Carpenter, who called the issue a "personnel matter" that he could not comment upon. Carpenter then turned on his leaf blower.
Sources said Evans didn't take it well when city leaders confronted him about the overtime payments. Some of that was alluded to in the city attorney's letter and read aloud during the special city council meeting on April 1.
The origin of this situation for which this special meeting is being called was a special meeting which occurred on Feb 22nd of this year to discuss proposed job alignment and salary ranges for city employees. As a result of that meeting and discussion, additional information was provided later which revealed that in both 2020 and 2021 very substantial amounts of overtime had been paid by the city to an exempt employee. It is only in the rarest of occasions and under specific conditions that city policy permits OT for exempt employees. This single exempt employee over the course of a nine-month period in 2020 received $189,038 in OT plus base salary. In 2021, these OT payments continued for an additional $96,040 plus base salary.
This information was not well received by your city representatives. The lack of openness, transparency or even awareness by the individual responsible for the distribution of these OT funds (who was also the recipient of these funds) has left your city representatives questioning the judgment and their trust in this individual to continue their role with the city.
As a result, Spring Valley Village's duly appointed Police Commissioner and reserve Assistant Police Chief was asked by the mayor and mayor pro-tem to meet with this individual to initiate a discussion regarding the willingness of this individual to engage with council to formulate a retirement/separation agreement with the city. Unfortunately, this meeting did not go well or have the intended result.
Not too long after this meeting the Police Commissioner was contacted by phone by this individual. The result of that conversation, based on guidance of the city attorney, led to the current status of this individual being placed on administrative leave and all access to the city's non-public spaces (to include the police department) being revoked.
As a result of a confrontation between Evans and city leaders, there is now a police officer stationed outside Spring Valley Village's Mayor Marcus Vajdos' house for security.
Spring Valley Village's attorneys are working with Evans's attorney on a separation plan. His attorney released the following statement:
"Chief Loyd Evans denies any wrongdoing with the city of Spring Valley Village. He is hopeful for an amicable separation of his employment with the city."
The handling of the situation surprised former federal prosecutor Michael Wynne, who now specializes in white-collar criminal defense work.
"Fire this guy right now," Wynne said after reading the city attorney's letter. "Look, I've seen people prosecuted and investigated by the FBI for far, far, far less, and this guy is still getting paid? It's just outrageous, especially, in a small community like this."
Evans' attorney contends that all the overtime will be accounted for and that the police chief was "busting his butt" during the COVID-19 pandemic to cover for other officers who fell ill.
The two sides are still hashing things out behind closed doors. However, a public meeting is scheduled for next Tuesday. It's expected that Evans will end his employment at that time, though it's uncertain if that parting will be a friendly one.