Texas Southern University has placed police chief Mary Young on administrative leave with pay amid fraud allegations. According to court documents, TSU alleges that Young, “committed fraud against the university by implementing and sanctioning an overtime and payroll abuse scheme that cost the university and taxpayers thousands of dollars in officer hours that were not actually worked.”
An internal audit said Young also authorized two types of compensation by verbally OK’ing the pay and when she signed the weekly time reporting packages provided by the DPS timekeeper.
Neither of the compensation described in the complaint was discussed or approved by TSU human resources, the president or board of regents, the university said.
- “Lead officer” compensation: A flat $25/hour of additional compensation for security officers and dispatchers that were designated as the lead officer for a shift where their immediate supervisor was absent. Court documents said officers were instructed by the DPS timekeeper and/or Young to use a code in the special events section of the weekly time report and record the actual number of hours worked as “lead officer” but to record it for different hours: either before their shift worked, after their shift worked or on their day off.
- Field training officer compensation: This is an additional two hours pay at the respective officer’s overtime hourly rate for each day that they were training an officer. This additional compensation was to complete paperwork associated with assessing an officer’s performance during training.
TSU goes on to accuse Young of abusing her power, using the university’s police force in improper ways, refusing to follow the school’s clear instructions on what she is and isn’t allowed to do, continuing to violate the conditions of her paid administrative leave, and making various misrepresentations to multiple Harris County judges and the media.
Court documents show that TSU also alleges Young “presents an ongoing threat to the safety and welfare of the University and its faculty, staff, and students.”
TSU issued a statement in regards to the case:
“Texas Southern University is committed to maintaining fair employment practices and actively ensuring a safe and productive environment for all employees for the benefit of our number one customer…TSU students. For the sake of the entire TSU community and valued stakeholders, the university will continue to handle this personnel matter and allegations of fraud within the appropriate private and legal forums and out of the media.”
Young, who has served as TSU’s chief of police since mid-2017, had already filed a lawsuit against the university to protect her job. According to court records, Young was placed on administrative leave with pay on Dec. 1. and was notified as such that afternoon.
In Young’s petition, she claims being placed on leave is an “adverse employment or disciplinary action” against her.
The school argued the opposite, adding that its directives that Young remain off campus and refrain from using university property during her leave also weren’t adverse or disciplinary action.
Despite the administrative leave, TSU said Young worked at Saturday’s commencement ceremony, even though she is on leave.