ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – The Albuquerque Police Department says a high-profile former spokesperson would have been fired if he hadn’t stepped down for collecting tens of thousands of dollars for work he didn’t do. For years, Simon Drobik was the face of APD, frequently appearing on KRQE News 13 in his role as public information officer. Drobik resigned back in July, after APD launched an internal investigation into possible time card fraud, making him at one time the city’s highest-paid employee.
Now, investigators say Drobik was committing rampant fraud, possibly at a criminal level. The department says he was “gaming the system” by working private security at local businesses know as chief’s overtime while he was on regular duty. He is also accused of negotiating his way out of taking service calls as well as showing up late and leaving early along with dozens of other violations during a five-month period at the beginning of the year.
In a release, the department pointed the finger at Drobik’s supervisor, former Deputy chief Elizabeth Armijo, all the way to former chief Mike Geier and his chief of staff John Ross. At this time, Geier said there was confusion about overtime practices. Interim Chief Harold Medina says he is introducing a new overtime policy to bolster supervisor accountability and discipline. The state’s Auditor’s Office is conducting its own investigation into Drobik’s time card practices with help from the Attorney General.
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