Ex-San Leandro police sergeant sentenced for embezzlement

A19-year San Leandro police veteran, who also served as the union treasurer, has been sentenced to two years probation after he pleaded guilty to embezzling and misappropriating funds, specifically for approving overtime for time he didn't work, the Alameda County District Attorney said. 

Sgt. Robert Sanchez must also participate in 240 hours of community service and pay $46,000 in restitution after pleading no contest in June to grand theft, the DA said on Wednesday. 

Police Chief Jeff Tudor called what happened "unfortunate and disappointing." 

San Leandro police brought the matter to the DA in April of 2020. 

The Rains law firm is representing Sanchez but was unavailable for comment on Wednesday.

In a news release, the District Attorney said that Sanchez had used his role as the administrative sergeant in charge of payroll to approve personal overtime for time he did not work. He also added his unauthorized overtime and compensatory time hours directly into the payroll system, prosecutors said, and edited the payroll systems to credit back vacation, sick and compensatory time already used. 

The DA Inspector investigation discovered that between August 2019 and March 2020, Sanchez claimed overtime and compensatory time while not working, including while on family trips or vacation.

 Other times, prosecutors said he erased vacation, sick and compensatory time he had taken. The total loss due to fraud was determined to be $16,702.88, which he has since repaid. 

The remainder of the restitution includes San Leandro city attorney fees. In addition, he will repay the cost of an ongoing, independent audit, for an amount not to exceed $27,940.