WSVN — Members of the Golden Beach Police Department were busted for double dipping, but the charges have since been dropped. And now those officers are fighting back, in court. Investigative reporter Carmel Cafiero is on the case.

For 16 years, Lyndean Peters was a man in blue, proud to be a police officer. But today, he's a construction manager reading blueprints. His policing days ended when he was arrested for corruption. Among the accusations, he worked off-duty jobs when he was also being paid by the town of Golden Beach to work on duty.

Lyndean Peters: "The only thing I did wrong was to work for free and accept flex time as compensation."  

Peters says he took time off instead of overtime pay he was was due, and he worked other jobs during that off time. For three years, he and two fellow officers lived with criminal cases hanging over their heads for issues related to their pay. But all charges were dropped.        

Lyndean Peters: "It has ruined my life, period. I'm trying best to do what I have, but it really has ruined my life."

A fourth officer, Jon Anterio, resigned and was not charged. However, he had a nervous breakdown.

James Anterio: "This incident has ruined my brother's life. I physically take care of him now."

His brother, James, talked with us via Skype from Missouri.

James Anterio: "I grew up looking up to him, but now I look in on him to make sure that he's OK."

Anterio's descent into mental illness is part of a lawsuit now pending in federal court on behalf of all four officers.

Carmel Cafiero: "The lawsuit names Miami-Dade County and the Florida Department of Law Enforcement and four of their employees. It accuses them of, in essence, creating cases despite clear evidence the officers did no wrong."

Attorneys for the officers maintain investigators misrepresented evidence in order to get the charges filed.

Rod Hannah: "There was no criminal activity from the beginning. There was substantial evidence that would have shown that."

Our requests for interviews with the defendants were turned down. In court filings, it's clear they will fight the lawsuit. And FDLE did tell 7News it stands by its investigation.

Meanwhile, Peters works to rebuild his life and hopes the lawsuit will help rebuild his reputation.

Lyndean Peters: "If they will do this to me, what do you think they will do to you, John Q. Citizen?

And that's why he thinks we should all watch this case very closely. Carmel Cafiero, 7News.


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