Dallas Police and Fire Pension board member questioned over reimbursement

A financial mistake by a Dallas Police and Fire Pension Board member may now prompt a policy change.

A board member submitted a reimbursement request for a training course to the pension fund and got reimbursed for that expense, then submitted another reimbursement request for the same class to the city.

Joe Schutz, a Dallas police officer who serves on the pension board, said the reimbursement request was an honest mistake. He declined to talk on camera about a letter from May that recently surfaced and was critical of his actions.

The letter written by the previous board president is labeled privileged and confidential. It says the pension fund reimbursed Schutz $1,900 for a Michigan State University online class called “Developing Managerial Skills.” The money was paid on March 31.

But the letter says weeks later, he submitted another reimbursement request for the same class to the City of Dallas.

Pete bailey, a retired officer, obtained the letter and gave it to the newly-selected board at their first meeting last week.

"The documents speak for themselves,” Bailey said. “You clearly filled out requests for reimbursement from two entities at two different times.”

In a statement, Schutz said: "I have attended 8 different classes and in the process of requesting reimbursement for three of these classes, I inadvertently included the same class twice while accidentally omitting another. When it was brought to my attention I was transparent about the error and withdrew the request with the city."

The pension board, including the Dallas City Council members on the board, reviewed the issue and determined it was an honest error, with no malicious intent.

The board will review the policy on submitting expenses for reimbursement to see if any changes need to be made.

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