DENVER (KDVR) — Two Denver Police Department officers have been arrested after an investigation uncovered an accusation of felony theft.
Officers Michael Pineda, 50, and Santana Pineda, 26, father and son respectively, worked off-duty at a business they allegedly billed hours to and never worked.
An investigation began after the two were not at the off-duty business during their scheduled time to work on April 15. Another Denver officer went to the business to discuss an unrelated matter with Santana and he and his father were not there.
Denver police internal affairs investigators learned that the officers began working off-duty for the business in October of 2021. After reviewing months of video from the business that dated back as far as Feb. 28 this year, it was discovered the two were billing and getting paid for hours they did not actually work.
Affidavits provided to FOX31 said timesheets and video reviewed in the investigation found that Michael billed the business for 108 hours but only actually worked 51.67 hours. At a rate of $90 per hour, he was paid $5,070 for hours not worked. Santana billed 71 hours and only worked 29.32 of those hours. At a rate of $90 per hour, he was paid $3,751.50 for the time he did not work.
The two were placed on paid administrative leave on July 11 when the internal affairs investigation evidence panned out to be credible and have since been placed on nonpaid administrative leave since the felony arrests.
Michael has been with the DPD since 2004 and Santana joined in 2019. Both were assigned to the patrol division.
The officers will be fired if they’re found guilty of felony theft charges and will no longer be able to work as police officers in the state of Colorado.
According to internal disciplinary records, Michael Pineda was suspended without pay and fined another seven days’ worth of pay in 2019 after the department found out that he had been leaving his patrol district to go home during working hours.
“Certainly we’ll be talking about it in the future but I’m not sure we’ve seen trends or indications that this is a widescale problem,” Julia Richman, chair of the Denver Citizens Oversight Board, said. “In every workplace, there are employees who make bad choices and this is likely the case.”