HARTFORD —— State Rep. Hector Robles, a former city police officer who is accused of defrauding the police department of more than $10,000, has applied for a special form of probation.
Robles is charged with two counts of first-degree larceny. His attorney, Mathew C. Sorokin, last month submitted an application for accelerated rehabilitation, which if successfully completed would allow Robles' criminal record to be expunged.
Robles is due back in court on Jan. 7. Sorokin declined to comment on the application Wednesday.
The two-term state representative turned himself in to investigators with the chief state's attorney's office on March 1, 2011. He was released on a written promise to appear in court.
Investigators say Robles, a 15-year veteran of the Hartford police force, falsified timecards to show that he was on duty while working private-duty jobs — a move that defrauded the department of $10,651 between September 2008 and September 2009. He was fired from the department on Nov. 2, 2010.
Prior to his firing, Robles was found to have violated several articles of the Hartford Police Department code of conduct, including conduct unbecoming an employee, knowingly or willfully making a false entry in a department record and intentional failure to comply with lawful orders, procedures, directives or regulations, oral or written.
According to a Hartford police internal affairs investigation, Robles was in contact with the police dispatch center during some of his assigned shifts. On others, his reported activities didn't match what was reported on the dispatch log system, an internal affairs report said.
The report detailed numerous occasions in which Robles wrote on his timecard that he worked a regular shift when, in fact, he was working a private-duty job, collecting an amount identical to his hourly pay.
Robles worked private jobs for Connecticut Natural Gas, the Metropolitan District Commission, Flow Assessment Construction Co. and Seaboard Drilling Assessment Construction Co.. according to the report.
R. Bartley Halloran, another Robles attorney, told the Courant in 2011 that the police department's system for keeping track of the hours officers spend on private-duty jobs was so flawed it's unfair to prosecute one person for double-dipping. He said the police department didn't keep computerized records of officers' private duty slips or time cards.
Later in 2011, police said they installed a new scheduling and payroll system that uses computer software instead of paper cards.
Despite his firing from the department, Robles went on to win a second term as a state representative in November 2010, defeating three write-in candidates. He represents the 6th House District, comprising a large portion of south Hartford.
But in 2012, he lost the primary election to Democratic opponent Edwin Vargas. The party had endorsed Vargas in May.
Robles' term ends Jan. 9.
Reprinted with permission of the Hartford Courant.
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