May 5, 2016

State cops looking into APD time card fraud

The New Mexico State Police has launched an investigation into alleged time sheet fraud at one of the Albuquerque Police Department’s area commands.

The State Police confirmed the investigation Thursday to ABQ Free Press, but said it couldn’t comment on the details.

Sources told ABQ Free Press that the investigation and possible fraud centers around members of APD’s command structure.

“State Police recently received information about alleged fraudulent activity within the department [APD] and the NMSP Investigations Bureau is investigating these allegations,” State Police Sgt. Elizabeth Armijo said in an email to the newspaper. “Because the investigation is ongoing, we cannot comment on the case at this time.”

Armijo’s email was in response to an ABQ Free Press inquiry about the investigation into APD. The newspaper specifically asked if the State Police had initiated an investigation regarding possible time card fraud at APD. The inquiry said the allegations of impropriety involved a commander, a lieutenant and a sergeant and that it dated back to at least August of 2015.

The inquiry also said that one of the persons involved was allegedly allowed to claim at least 10 hours of overtime each pay period — overtime that apparently was never worked.

APD spokeswoman Celina Espinoza did not respond to two requests by ABQ Free Press — one by text message, and the other by email — for comment on the investigation.

It is not clear if any of those who are targets of the investigation have been placed on administrative leave by APD.

This is a developing story. We will keep you updated.