New Haven employee accused of stealing overtime pay turns herself in
A New Haven official who allegedly stole more than $11,000 in overtime pay was arrested Friday afternoon after turning herself in, city officials said.
Police obtained an arrest warrant for Dennice Pair, an employee with the city’s Office of Building Inspection and Enforcement, according to Mayor Justin Elicker. Police said Friday that attempts to locate Pair had been unsuccessful and were asking her to surrender herself.
“We are urging Ms. Pair to turn herself in and face accountability for her actions,” Elicker said.
Pair turned herself in to police Friday afternoon, city officials announced.
Pair is facing first-degree larceny charges. Elicker said she fraudulently obtained $11,485.39 in overtime hours for herself from July to October of last year.
Pair was placed on administrative leave in November. If she is convicted, she could face serious jail time.
“Ms. Pair faces arrest charges on larceny in the First degree — a Class B felony — and if convicted, it carries a penalty of one to 20 years jail time and a fine of up to $15,000,” Elicker said.
Police attempted several times to look for Pair after obtaining an arrest warrant on April 6, Elicker said. Police attempted to locate her at her home. They also looked for her in the immediate area and even tracked down her phone records for any clues.
Pair is still an employee with the building department and will face a disciplinary hearing, officials said.
Elicker said Pair may have also fraudulently given herself overtime before 2022. She has been working for the city for 12 years and received a total of $145,000 in overtime pay since she started to work for the city.
According to a police report, Pair was allegedly able to give herself overtime pay due to her role as an executive administrative assistant. That role gave her access to employee timecards and the city’s payroll software known as MUNIS.
The report also revealed Pair faced disciplinary action over her performance. It said she clocked in and out at irregular hours. The police report also said Pair expressed dissatisfaction with her job and wanted a higher salary but was refused. Pair’s annual salary is $57,177.
Pair had been on the city's radar for months after an internal investigation revealed she obtained thousands of dollars in overtime pay without getting approval from superiors. Pair was investigated after the city’s Budget Department found out the overtime she was paid was half of her department’s overtime budget.
Elicker said the city has made improvements since then in payroll auditing to lessen the chances of a repeat incident. New Haven Police Detective Matthew Collier and a partner attempted to contact Pair at her home in late January.
“Pair did not answer the door. I dialed her apartment and left a voicemail through the on-site intercom. As of February 10, 2023, I have not heard from Pair,” Collier said.
This story has been updated to indicate Pair turned herself in late Friday afternoon.