Hundreds of thousands of dollars spent on paid leave

YAKIMA COUNTY, Wash. -- Teachers investigated for getting too close to their students. Police called into question for abusing their power. Real cases that brought suspensions. But, these employees were still getting paid.

"Do you feel sorry for these people?" KIMA asked.
" No, they made their mistake," said Patty Bost.
"Definitely for sure no pay until they figure it out," said Max Irwin.
"They shouldn't be rewarded for their dirty deeds," said Sheena Carector.

KIMA filed public record requests to see how much money was spent to put these people on paid leave.

There's the notorious case of former YPD Sergeant Erik Hildebrand. The one-time leader of the gang unit was accused of taking a prostitute to a motel while on duty. Yakima paid him almost $7,000 during his suspension.

Former Wapato jail sergeant Bruce Benscoter paid almost $23,000 for staying home. He's currently under investigation on accusations he stole thousands of dollars from a local youth league.

Recently in Sunnyside, two high school teachers came under fire for assigning sexually explicit poems to students. Sacha Mike and Maria Preston each received more than $60,000 while on leave.

A former Selah Junior High School teacher accused of taping girls in class made over $16,000. David McMillen was paid for three months for not working.

And, remember Michele Taylor? The former East Valley P.E. teacher was put on administrative leave while she was investigated for improper contact with a student. The school district paid her more than $121,000 over three years. The superintendent wishes his district still had that money.

"To put a district in a position where they need to continue to pay that person for a period of three years, I'm just not a strong supporter of that," said John Schieche.

In the case of the Sunnyside High School teachers who were suspended. The school district told KIMA it is trying to recoup some of that money through an insurance claim.