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Ex-Hartford Officer's Lawyer Criticizes Police Record-Keeping

Says It's Unfair To Single Out Robles, A State Legislator, With Double-Dipping Charge

Jenna Carlesso

April 21, 2011

The police department's system for keeping track of the hours that officers spend on private duty jobs is so flawed it's unfair to prosecute one person for double-dipping, an attorney representing state Rep. Hector Robles said Wednesday.

Robles was fired from his job as a city police officer in November after an internal investigation concluded that he fabricated time cards to show he was on duty while actually working private jobs. He was arrested in March and charged with two counts of first-degree larceny.

His attorney, R. Bartley Halloran, has requested the time cards and private duty slips for 66 police officers, saying Robles isn't the only one whose private duty hours overlapped with reported hours working as a city officer.

Halloran said the police department doesn't keep computerized records of officers' private duty slips or time cards. The paper private duty slips list a set amount of time that an officer spends working a private duty job, whether or not the officer stays for the full amount of time, he said.

Investigators say Robles, a 15-year veteran, defrauded the department of more than $10,000.

Robles, a Democrat whose district covers the city's South End, was elected to a second term in November.

Halloran has submitted a freedom of information request seeking the time cards, overtime cards, private duty slips and compensation cards for 66 officers. He said that the city so far has provided him with portions of that information for six officers, and that he noticed conflicts in those officers' time cards and private duty slips.

"What is occurring here is that the time cards that say someone is in a specific place at a specific time do not actually reflect what is occurring," Halloran said. "The same problem that they are alleging is theft on the part of Hector Robles is a pervasive problem from what I can see on the part of the Hartford Police Department.

"You can't have a time system that has conflicts all over the place and arrest one person. It just isn't fair."

Police Chief Daryl K. Roberts could not be reached for comment Wednesday.

Roberts ordered the police department's internal affairs division last year to investigate allegations of improper documentation in Robles' weekly time cards and conflicts in Robles' regular work schedule, private duty jobs and overtime hours. The investigation stemmed from a captain's review of the dispatch log system, which records officers' activities during their shifts.

Reprinted with permission of the Hartford Courant. To view other stories on this topic, search the Hartford Courant Archives at http://www.courant.com/archives.
| Last update: September 25, 2012 |
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