OAKLAND (CBS SF) — A former San Leandro police sergeant has been sentenced to two years probation and community service for illegally manipulating the payroll system he administered to pad his overtime hours that he did not work.

The Alameda County District Attorney’s Office said Robert Frank Sanchez was sentenced for felony grand theft from the San Leandro Police Department on Wednesday. He pleaded no contest to the charge in June.

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Aside from the probation and 240 hours of community service, Sanchez was ordered to pay a maximum of $46,815.88 in restitution.

Former San Leandro Police Sgt. Robert Sanchez (San Leandro Police Dept.)

In 2019 and 2020, Sanchez held the position of Professional Standards Administrative Sergeant and managed the department’s timekeeping and payroll systems.

According to the DA’s office, Sanchez approved personal overtime for time he did not work, added his unauthorized overtime and compensatory time into the payroll system, and edited the payroll systems to credit back vacation, sick and compensatory time already used.

The department referred the case to the DA’s office in April 2020 after concerns were raised internally that Sanchez claimed overtime in March 2020 that he had not worked.

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According to the complaint, investigators discovered that between August 2019 and March 2020, Sanchez claimed overtime and compensatory time while not working, including while on family trips or vacation.

Sanchez also erased vacation, sick and compensatory time he had taken, the DA’s office said. The total loss to the department was determined to be $16,702.88, which has already been repaid, the DA’s office said..

The rest of Sanchez’s restitution will include San Leandro city attorney fees, along with the cost of an independent audit not to exceed $27,940.

The San Leandro Police Department said Sanchez is no longer employed with the department, and the city has instituted new safeguards, including bi-weekly payroll audits, to ensure such an incident doesn’t happen again.

“This was clearly a violation of the public trust, but it is important to remember that it was our own women and men of the San Leandro Police Department that stopped this violation and made possible the justice we see today,” said San Leandro Mayor Pauline Russo Cutter in a press statement. “I am confident the proper steps have been taken to protect our hard-earned taxpayer dollars from a repeat of what was a painful and sad event.”

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