Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Former Tarpon Springs police officer sues city for overtime

TARPON SPRINGS — A former Tarpon Springs police officer who resigned amid an internal affairs investigation earlier this year is suing the city for overtime pay he says he didn't receive while working as a K-9 officer.

In a federal lawsuit, Michael Kazouris contends that Tarpon Springs violated the Federal Fair Labor Standards Act when it did not pay him for the time he worked after 40 hours.

Kazouris, 36, "worked in excess of forty hours per week without overtime compensation because, in addition to his normal duties, he was responsible for caring for the K-9 police dog that he boarded at his private residence," according to the lawsuit filed in April.

Tarpon Springs denies Kazouris' assertions.

"There has been no violation of the law," said Erin Jackson, an attorney with Thompson, Sizemore, Gonzalez and Hearing, the law firm that's representing the city in the matter.

Kazouris, the leader of the police department's school resource officer team, resigned March 6 after being under scrutiny for several months over his involvement with a Tarpon Springs High School student.

"The frivolous allegations and one-sided investigation against me have made it impossible for me to return to this department," he wrote in his resignation letter to acting police Chief Robert Kochen.

Kazouris was put on administrative leave last November after the department received the complaint.

In February, he was cleared of criminal wrongdoing on an allegation that he had improper contact with the student, but remained the subject of an internal affairs investigation until his resignation.

Kazouris joined the police department in 2004. The school resources officer team that he led was named the unit of the year by the Florida Association of School Resource Officers in 2008.

The investigation determined that he started a relationship with a female student while she was still at Tarpon Springs High, a school where he worked.

The 16-page criminal investigation report revealed that Kazouris called or sent text messages to the student under his authority more than 5,300 times over the course of five months.

The investigation also found that Kazouris and the student had sex at Kazouris' home on at least three occasions after she turned 18 in May 2008.

Kazouris also was a K-9 officer with the police department from November 2006 until his resignation.

Kazouris' attorney, Matthew K. Fenton, said his client was doing work that benefited Tarpon Springs and should be paid.

"If they have knowledge that the work is being done, they have a legal requirement to pay for it," Fenton said. "It's not up to the employee to go and ask their employer to comply with the Fair Labor Act."

Demorris A. Lee can be reached at (727) 445-4174 or

Former Tarpon Springs police officer sues city for overtime 06/11/09 [Last modified: Thursday, June 11, 2009 8:32pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Review / photos: Sunset Music Festival brings Major Lazer, safety upgrades to Raymond James Stadium in Tampa


    Somewhere beyond the barricades and mountainous LED stages of the Sunset Music Festival, there had to be worry. There had to thousands of parents in parking lots and empty kitchens, anxiously distracting their minds, every now and then checking their phones.

    Major Lazer headlined the Sunset Music Festival on May 27, 2017 at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa.
  2. 24-year-old man charged with murder in shooting at Andrea Cove Motel

    LARGO — Pinellas sheriff's officers arrested a 24-year-old transient man Saturday in connection with a homicide at the Andrea Cove Motel in unincorporated Largo.

  3. Photo gallery: Calvary Christian rolls to state title


    View a gallery of images from Calvary Christian's defeat of Pensacola Catholic 11-1 in six innings Saturday night at Hammond Stadium in Ft. Myers for the Class 4A title.

    Calvary Christian players circle up on the field before the FHSAA class 4A baseball championship against Pensacola Catholic on Friday May 27, 2017 at Hammond Stadium in Fort Myers, Fla. Calvary scored 6 runs in the first inning, and had 7 hits.
  4. Two girls found safe after being reported missing in New Port Richey

    UPDATE: Both girls were found safe Saturday night, police said.

  5. IT failure blamed for British Airways cancellations (w/video)


    LONDON — British Airways canceled all flights from London's Heathrow and Gatwick airports on Saturday as a global IT failure upended the travel plans of tens of thousands of people on a busy U.K. holiday weekend.

    Passengers wait at a British Airways check-in desk after the airport suffered an IT systems failure Saturday at London''s Gatwick Airport. [Associated Press]