DENVER — Three Denver sheriff’s deputies and one sergeant have been disciplined for falsifying timecards and getting paid for hours supervisors found, they didn’t work.
Disciplinary documents and surveillance video show at least three of the employees leaving their posts without clocking out.
It was another employee of the Denver Sheriff Department that tipped off supervisors.
The deputies, assigned to work security for traffic court and the cashier’s office at the Denver City and County Building, had been leaving their posts early on a regular basis.
In video surveillance from April 2016, deputy Jon Bruno, a 25-year veteran of the department, left more than an hour early. The next two days, the same thing occurred.
During the investigation, the department found he was paid for more than 11 hours that he didn’t work during a two-month period.
More video showed another deputy, Jharquis Scott, doing the same thing, leaving more than an hour before his 8:30 p.m. shift ended on 10 occasions in April 2016 and getting paid for more than 12 hours he didn’t work.
Deputy George Rodriguez, the third person often seen in the video leaving early together, is accused of doing it on nine occasions during the investigation.
All three men told investigators it was common practice to leave early if the courtrooms were clear. Bruno said in his 10 years there, it had always been done.
The fourth person disciplined for the practice is the night shift supervisor, Sgt. Gabriela Valez.
According to the disciplinary documents, she told investigators she doesn’t know who put the practice in place before her, but it’s been going on for years.
“They used to cut out three or four hours at a time … now it’s a problem?” she said.
The department said she approved the practice and left early on six days in June 2016.
All four employees were suspended for 18 days last month without pay.
Another deputy retired before the disciplinary process was finished.
The department is reviewing records of other personnel to see if the practice of leaving shifts early and lying on timecards is more widespread in the department.