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Sunday, March 07, 2021

GPD officer confesses and apologizes for prostitution

After seven months of investigations, a Gainesville Police Officer was charged with three felonies, including grand theft valued at $5,000 or more, official misconduct and scheme to defraud and obtain property.

In a related investigation, Bill Billings, 51, was charged Jan. 28 with having sex with prostitutes while on duty.

At 4:30 a.m. Wednesday, Billings turned himself in and was released from jail under the condition that he would return for his court date, according to an Alachua County Jail employee.

In July, Billings was placed under secret surveillance after his fellow police officers were tipped off that he'd paid prostitutes to have sex with him in the back of his patrol car.

During the surveillance that lasted from July 7 to Aug. 25, a GPS placed on Billing's car revealed that he was getting paid for overtime assignments that he was not working.

According to the GPD arrest report, Billings was assigned to be the Gainesville Police Department Recruiter as part of his overtime duties.

The GPD internal investigation revealed that Billings took care of personal business in other cities while he was supposed to be recruiting, the report stated.

Billings signed his time sheets every pay period knowing that the information on them was false, the report stated.

According to the report, Billings received $5,409.38 during the seven weeks he was under surveillance.

Billings was placed on administrative leave on Aug. 26. When confronted by officials about the surveillance, Billings apologized for his actions for dishonoring the department, the report stated.

Billings resigned on Aug. 29.

"The Gainesville Police Department concluded the investigations into former employee Bill Billings," said GPD Chief Norman Botsford. "His arrest today is the next step in the case."

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