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20-Year Sheriff’s Employee Fired After Investigations Into Timesheet Discrepancies

| April 30, 2018

Accusations focus on the way Nancy Birdsong filled timesheets through Executime, the software the Sheriff's Office uses for employees' time cards.

Accusations focus on the way Nancy Birdsong filled timesheets through Executime, the software the Sheriff’s Office uses for employees’ time cards.

Three months short of her 20-year anniversary at the Flagler County Sheriff’s Office, Nancy Birdsong, who worked in the judicial process fugitive unit at the county courthouse, was fired last week, a day after the agency completed an internal affairs investigation into Birdsong’s alleged fabrication of time cards.

Released today, the eight-page internal affairs investigation consists mostly of a summary of a 20-minute interview with Birdsong, who says she was not aware she was fabricating time sheets, only submitting time under various categories, including some that were legal but not provided for in the electronic system the agency uses for time cards.

The time in question adds up to 77 hours that Birdsong got paid for but allegedly did not work. The value of the time is $1,578. Birdsong claims the time was a combination of vacation and personal time and time, including time under the Family Medical leave Act from her account and that of other employees, who are allowed to donate such time to colleagues who need it. Birdsong has been caring for a grandchild after getting custody of the child by the state.

Birdsong was suspended without pay at the end of March when the allegations came to light after a supervisor who had just started looking timesheets over in her division noticed the discrepancies. Birdsong’s unit is located at the Flagler County courthouse. She was arrested and charged with grand theft following a criminal investigation, booked at the Flagler County jail and released on her own recognizance within an hour. She was fired on April 24, though the effective date of her firing, according to sheriff’s documents, is May 4. The charge is a felony.  

“It was a foregone conclusion,” Birdsong’s attorney, Josh Davis, said today. “You have the sheriff who went forward and had her criminally charged and approved of all of that stuff, and now you have his underlings and asking them to do an internal affairs investigation on her. I mean, it would kind of take someone be an idiot that they would not find an internal affairs violation after they’ve found a criminal charge.”  Davis said no sheriff’s subordinate conducting an internal investigation would counter the previous findings.

But Davis disputes both investigations’ conclusions. (Birdsong was arraigned the day before her firing before Circuit Judge Dennis Craig. She pleaded not guilty. Her first pre-trial hearing is scheduled for June 13.

Davis said the amount of money at the heart of the case should be indication enough that something is amiss in the sheriff’s claim of criminal or wrongful intent. “You have to be someone in my opinion with little to no brain to think a 20-year old employee is going to get fired over that kind of money,” Davis said. (Birdsong made $42,600 a year.) “If the public will buy that, they’ll buy anything.”

Birdson’s statements aside, the internal investigation adds little evidence or information that had not been revealed by the criminal investigation. The internal investigation consisted of examinations of time sheets, the benefits summary, Birdsong’s history of hours worked, the history of her entries and exits from her office (through an electronic door card), and 53 pages of email between Birdsong and human resources staff. The investigation was conducted by detective Nicole Thomas.

During her interview, Birdsong said she had mentioned the difficulties she was having in recording her time through the computerized system, but said she was told by one human resources employee that “if no one asked any questions, do not worry about it.” When Birdsong inquired about the limit on her family leave time, she claims to have been told by an HR employee, “do not worry about it mama if you are getting close I will let you know.”

“She went on to say no one ever questioned her about her timesheets,” the investigation states.

The investigator concluded: “All interviews conducted during the criminal investigation of her supervisor’s statements established that at no time she was instructed to fill out her time sheet in the manner she completed them,” nor did the director of human resources, Renina Fuller, or HR staffer Adrienne Felton grant permission for the timesheets to be completed the way they were.

Nevertheless, Davis says, every timesheet Birdsong turned in had to be signed and approved by a supervisor, including at different times Sgt. John Bray and Cpls. Eric Allen and Scott Wetherhold, but at no time the supervisors flagged anything wrong with the timesheets.

“It makes zero sense to me, so I’m looking for whatever really reason she got fired. Because if there was a target on her for some reason, I really don’t know what it was,” Davis said, intimating that the discrepancy and small amount of money involved doesn’t warrant what he sees as a draconian, immediate criminal investigation, with no attempt to discuss the matter more gradually. “Anybody with half of a brain knows something else is going on here. It’s not the way an employee with this kind of record over 20 years is handled.”

The internal investigation found Birdsong in violation of four policies and orders, including violations of rules, truthfulness, compliance with state and federal laws (the Family Leave act is a federal law), and falsification of records.

Birdsong had been the agency’s 2014 Employee of the Year. Her only other disciplinary issues date back to 2000 and 2001, when she once failed to follow the chain of command, and on a separate occasion conducted an “unprofessional non-work related conversation,” when she was a member of the 911 dispatch team. Birdsong is the ex-wife of Steve Birdsong, a deputy who was fired under the previous administration.

The Birdsong Internal Affairs Investigation (2018)

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22 Responses for “20-Year Sheriff’s Employee Fired After Investigations Into Timesheet Discrepancies”

  1. Ready says:

    Does seem a bit drastic considering but there again those in charge of approving her timecards in question need to be disciplined if not fired for poor workmanship and failing to notice this to begin with! Now then does it seem as if there is something amiss with the sheriffs department considering all that has been going on the past few months?? Perhaps a state audit of all personal including the sheriff himself and see what other irregularities can be found if any??

  2. Pogo says:

    @Rick Staly

    Heck of a high speed railroad. I’ll bet trump would love to replace Sessions with you.

  3. Wishful Thinking says:

    This woman can’t have an easy go of it , making only $42,000 after 20 years and now full time guardian of her grandchild without a job over $1,500? Gimme a break. This woman needs some counseling not an unemployment check. You don’t toss a person in the garbage after 20 years and how many sheriffs?????
    Give her back her job – deduct what she ‘stole’- teach her how to do her time cards and give her a pass for raising a child later in life. It’s an inhuman punishment after so many years of loyalty to Flagler County

  4. Daphne says:

    There’s no way she intended to do anything wrong. Who approved her time sheets??

  5. Anonymous says:

    This sounds fishy. Who did she piss off? If they want you gone, youre gone. She is not the first one nor will she be the last.

  6. Concerned Citizen says:

    It would be interesting to have an outside audit and have FDLE come in and review all time sheets. If Mrs. Birdsong is guilty of what they accuse I’m not justifying it by saying a broader review needs to be done.

    If she was doing it certainly there are others involved. Let’s not just go after one person then let it drop. This agency has a lot of issues that need addressing.

    I’ll sit back and wait for the Sheriff’s public statement on how he plans to address this issue along with Deputies driving drunk to work, racist supervisors and command staff that can’t command.

    He’s been silent on these issues which means he either condones this behavior or hopes by ignoring it it will go away.

    Thankfully we have Flagler Live to keep us in the loop.

  7. copland says:

    It’s a amazing how someone in law enforcement can be fired and charged so fast for something like that, but bullies and racist just float from one assignment to another.

  8. PTC Trader says:

    Thank you for rooting out a LEO who apparently doesn’t understand or respect te law, her oath of office, and the meaning or moral terpitude.

    Scary the commentors here who would defend a crooked cop. Shame. Guess you are still in “lie on my income tax mode” and think that is also OK.

  9. smarterthanmost says:

    She knows something about someone, it will come out. The crime doesn’t match the punishment.

  10. David Schaefer says:

    The Town of Maybery with Andy and Barney Fife still active in 2018.

  11. Chris A Pickett says:

    Rules are rules, and breaking them has consequences. We need to get back to that. I knew a guy in the military that had 25 years in, he was booted on a charge of adultery, with ZERO benefits, after his wife left him but without a divorce, He got a new girlfriend and it made the wife mad, I think this soldier had harder career than this female. Rules are Rules

  12. Flatsflyer says:

    The amount in question is $1,500. but her real loss is hundreds of thousands of dollars, as a convicted felon her pension will be lost. She would be only 52 when she qualifies for full rather than reduced Pension. With a life expectancy of 82 she could have collected a pension with a Cola or 30 plus years.

  13. Ellie says:

    I’m all for punishment when it’s deserved but I have an extremely hard time thinking their was any intent on her part over $1,500. I’ve worked in the public and private sector before and people have been fired and not prosecuted for allegedly “stealing” MUCH more than this measly amount. That doesn’t mean don’t punish her (she should have it payroll deducted and as someone else said, taught how to correctly complete her time sheets). However, to slap this woman with a felony which will ruin her life, Fire her from a job she performed well in, have her her lose her retirement, and take away income so she can no longer care for her grandchild is disgusting, irresponsible, and reals of a personal vendetta.

    I’m a big supporter of our Sheriff and feel he’s made a lot of good changes, however, I can’t help but wonder if this is a good ole boy system at work.

  14. Sherry says:

    WOW! Each comment above is reasonable, logical and fair minded. I especially agree with the thoughtful post by “concerned citizen”.

    If anyone had true “criminal” intent, why wouldn’t they figure out a way to extract much more money? It does seem like the Sheriff’s office has much bigger and more important personnel issues that are not being as aggressively addressed.

    I hope that FlaglerLive follows this story, and keeps us informed regarding any review of ALL time sheets.

  15. Outsider says:

    I do find it hard t believe someone would jeopardize a 20 year public service career over 1500 bucks. The fact she was able to quote the response from HR in my opinion, leads credence to her story. What happened to due process?

  16. Sherry says:

    Let me amend that, now that the usual suspects with their angry, fear filled “holier than thou” attitudes have replied. The “majority” of the comments above have been reasonable, logical and fair minded.

  17. FlagerRedo says:

    I wish Law Enforcement put this much time into finding out who burglarized my home. I tend to believe Ms Birdsong.

  18. Mothersworry says:

    I saw in somebodies comment “moral turpitude” thought for a minute I was watching “Porky’s” . Guess maybe we are.
    People have taken county cars out of state and received a slap on the wrist. Other transgressions are dealt with through suspensions and so on. This lady has close to 20 years in and she get’s fired??? Something really stinks here. This is so out of proportion it is crazy.
    My advice to this lady is get a good labor lawyer.

  19. Heading North says:

    A Corrections Deputy comes to work intoxicated (drives, no less!) Gets reported to supervisors who ignore it, and eventually gets sent home (driving again!) After all internal investigations, he loses two weeks pay, and gets a minimal suspension.
    This employee gets arrested, booked and fired??????
    Something rotten in Denmark, just saying!

  20. Anonymous says:

    Let us not forget about all the men and the wrong doing at the courthouse… keeping this out of the news a way of sweeping it under the rug? What about the man who drove to work at the FCSO intoxicated? What about the FCSO employees under Staly who resigned months ago for inappropriate behavior? This woman faces criminal charges and all the men walk free???? Something is wrong with this picture. No doubt Nancy’s supervisor that signed off on her time card is not facing repercussions and is a man too. SMH Staly needs to GO!

  21. Bc. says:

    Wow very fishy some one pissed off somebody it will come out.

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