Dallas Firefighter Charged With Felony Theft For COVID Related Sick Leave Abuse

A Dallas firefighter who took COVID-related sick leave earlier this year, is facing criminal charges for stealing $12,548.86 in wages from the city. William Carter, 38, was arrested and charged by the Dallas Police Department last week.

According to WFAA.com, Carter initially took sick leave March 24, 2021 because his wife tested positive for COVID. The following week he claimed he needed additional sick leave because his daughter tested positive. The next week he claimed he tested positive and was not feeling well. Such COVID related absences are not chargeable to a member’s sick leave account because the city is reimbursed for the costs by the federal government.

When Carter was asked to produce documentation of his positive test, he was unable and admitted he had never been tested. According to the Dallas Police Department, Carter was similarly unable to produce documentation for his family members’ tests. When confronted, he attributed his behavior to “Greed, I guess.” Police allege Carter spent some of the time at a recreational water park.

Given the wages in question, the theft charge is a felony. Carter is on administrative leave from Dallas Fire Rescue. More on the story.

About Curt Varone

Curt Varone has over 45 years of fire service experience and 35 as a practicing attorney licensed in both Rhode Island and Maine. His background includes 29 years as a career firefighter in Providence (retiring as a Deputy Assistant Chief), as well as volunteer and paid on call experience. He is the author of two books: Legal Considerations for Fire and Emergency Services, (2006, 2nd ed. 2011, 3rd ed. 2014, 4th ed. 2022) and Fire Officer's Legal Handbook (2007), and is a contributing editor for Firehouse Magazine writing the Fire Law column.

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