SAN LEANDRO (CBS SF) — A San Leandro police sergeant in charge of payroll functions has been charged with embezzlement and misappropriation of funds, authorities announced Tuesday.
The Alameda County District Attorney’s Office charged Sgt. Robert Sanchez Tuesday following an internal investigation and audit conducted by the San Leandro Police Department.
Investigators who looked at discrepancies with funds and overtime requests determined that Sanchez, a 19-year veteran of the department, was manipulating the payroll systems for personal gain, police said.
The department alerted the district attorney’s office of the findings and Sanchez was placed on administrative leave.
“As public servants we have an obligation to hold ourselves to a higher standard,” said San Leandro Police Chief Jeff Tudor in a prepared statement. “Unfortunate and disappointing incidents like this will never be tolerated in this department and we will continue to review our internal processes to ensure something like this does not happen again. Although I am highly troubled by these allegations, I am pleased that our oversight systems caught this alleged wrongdoing and that our leadership team took immediate action to investigate it and report it.”
San Leandro Mayor Pauline Russo Cutter said the city has hired a forensic accountant to review the department’s internal processes.
“There is no room for dishonesty among our own employees and while the news is disappointing, I am grateful for the honest and diligent officers and staff that reported this activity,” said Russo Cutter in a statement. “Their actions are representative of the integrity and professionalism we all expect from our public servants.”
Police said the district attorney’s office would be conducting the criminal investigation, and a third party would be conducting an internal affairs investigation.