A Panama City Beach Police officer allegedly lied about getting an Associates Degree. As a result, she received more money in her paycheck and preferential treatment for promotions.
A Panama City Beach Police officer found guilty in an internal investigation of lying about a college degree. The lie allegedly cost the city about $4,000. It began with an audit on incentive pay for education.
Reports found that Sergeant Emily Melton was receiving pay from May 7th through August 27th for a degree she didn’t have. A News 13 records request revealed that in Melton’s first application in 2005, she said she attended Morehead State University but did not have a degree from the school.
Then in 2012 and in 2014 on two applications for promotions she wrote that she had received an Associates Degree from Morehead. When questioned about it Melton said that she believed she received an Associates Degree automatically after two years of college work.
Panama City Beach Police Chief Drew Whitman wrote in a letter to Panama City Beach City Manager Mario Gisbert earlier this month: “It is my conclusion Sergeant Melton fraudulently stated she had an associates degree to gain monetary benefits from the incentive pay program and to appear more qualified over her peers during the promotional process with civil service.”
He then requested that Sergeant Melton be demoted to the rank of corporal which later was approved by the city manager. On Monday, Melton turned in a two week notice. She stated the resignation was due to being placed on the same days off as her ex-husband.
She said the change will prevent her from seeing her family and children and her last day will be September 3rd. Although city officials provided records about the case they declined to comment on the situation.