Retired trooper accused of doctoring overtime pay, fixing parking tickets

SEATTLE -- A former Washington State Patrol trooper has been charged with official misconduct for allegedly doctoring his overtime pay and fixing parking tickets for himself and his friends.

William Gardiner is accused of bilking the state out of nearly $15,000 by claiming overtime hours that he didn't work.

According to charging documents, Gardiner, 51, spent 25 years with WSP before retiring in October 2011.

The state began looking into Gardiner's overtime pay in September 2011 after an audit showed that he had claimed an "exorbitant" amount of overtime compared to his peers. From Jan. 1 to Aug. 31 of last year, Gardiner claimed 482 hours of overtime, according to prosecutors. During that same period, his two fellow lieutenants in King County claimed just 5 hours of combined overtime.

Prosecutors say Gardiner's overtime claims increased dramatically during his final two years on the job. A trooper's retirement pay is based on the highest paid consecutive 24 months of work, and prosecutors say Gardiner upped his retirement pay by $3,522 a year by doctoring his overtime.

Among other incidents, Gardiner is accused of claiming 10 hours of overtime pay for escorting and working security for members of the band U2 during a June concert in Seattle. Fellow troopers who were working the concert told investigators they saw Gardiner at the event, but said he was wearing street clothes and was with a female companion. They said it appeared Gardiner was at the concert as a fan.

Gardiner is also accused of fixing four parking tickets by writing the Seattle Police Department and claiming he was on official WSP business when he received the tickets.

Gardiner's arraignment is May 23 at the King Co. Courthouse.