Ret. General weighs in on military officers' overpayment

Posted at 10:20 AM, Mar 30, 2018
and last updated 2018-03-30 16:16:33-04

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) -- Dozens of civilian police officers working on San Diego County military bases continue to worry about how they will pay back thousands of dollars the federal government says they owe after a payroll glitch resulted in them being overpaid. 

Michael Neil, a retired Brigadier General and attorney who also served as commander at Camp Pendleton, says if the officers were indeed paid what they were initially offered they had no reason to suspect anything was wrong. 

"To me, it's an offer and acceptance and I have a real difficult time seeing the federal government being entitled to get any of the money back," he said. 

According to the Department of Defense Finance and Accounting services, the Navy mistakenly paid the officers the rate for San Diego  "city" instead of "county". 

The error began in 2008 but wasn't caught until 2016.

Last year, thousands of National Guard soldiers who mistakenly received bonuses and other payments had their debts forgiven. Neil thinks these officers have a stronger case.  

In the meantime, Neil also thinks the officers should reach out to lawmakers.

Congressman Darrell Issa's office sent this statement to 10News. 

"More needs to be done to ensure our brave law enforcement receive all the pay they are due and are not unfairly penalized for compensation they received in good faith. My office continues to work with affected officers and stakeholders to rectify this issue swiftly."