Breaking! ABQ Inspector General to Investigate Simon Drobik's Overtime Claims
- Because the IG is an independent agency, it means that Keller's office will have to do a real review and not merely cover up for Drobik and APD.
- Drobik has been paid $154,418 so far this year. Of that, $88,946 has come from various types of overtime, and $36,676 from his regular pay.
The city of Albuquerque Inspector General's office has decided to open an investigation into the overtime pay claims of Albuquerque Police Department public information officer Simon Drobik, who has made $89,000 in overtime so far this year.
Acting Inspector General Jovonne O'Connell told ABQReport Wednesday that her office decided to investigate Drobik's overtime pay after meeting Monday with staffers from the city's Office of Internal Audit. The IG's office is an independent agency that is charged with investigating allegations of waste, fraud and abuse in city government.
“We will look into this,” O'Connell said, adding that she did not know how long the investigation would take.
On Tuesday, Mayor Tim Keller's office said that it would review Drobik's overtime charges and that it was limiting the amount of OT he can work or claim in the future.
“Under the Mayor’s direction, we will do a comprehensive review to ensure hours claimed are accurate and properly accounted for,” mayoral Communications Director Alicia Manzano told ABQReport in an email Tuesday. “Officer Drobik’s overtime hours will also be limited moving forward and the Department will cover some of the PIO duties using other resources.”
Because the IG is an independent agency, it means that Keller's office will have to do a real review and not merely cover up for Drobik and APD.
So far this year, Drobik, who is a patrolman first class with a pay rate of $31.50 an hour, has been paid $154,418, according to city payroll records. Of that, $88,946 has come from various types of overtime, and $36,676 from his regular pay.
It means that Drobik has made more than twice as much in overtime as he has from his regular pay, and it means that, on average, Drobik has been working 100 hours a week since the beginning of the year.
So far this year there have been only four days in which Drobik, one of APD's public information officers and an hourly employee, has not billed the public for working. Drobik appears to have worked while on vacation, and while on paid time off, and on one occasion he billed the public for 26 hours of work in a single 24 hour day, according to city of Albuquerque payroll records.
And in one two-week pay period, Drobik billed APD for an astounding 275.66 hours of work. That apparently included 84 hours of overtime, 57 hours of regular pay, seven hours of chief's overtime and 22 hours of something called contract based overtime. But while putting in more than 160 hours of regular work and overtime, Drobik still managed to get 10 hours of holiday pay and 13 hours of paid leave, according to payroll records.
Albuquerque Police spokesman Gilbert Gallegos has failed to respond to two emails from ABQReport asking who at APD has been approving Drobik's time sheets and overtime hours.
Here's what the IG's website says about its mission:
The Office of Inspector General priorities are the prevention, deterrence, detection and investigation of:
- Potentially significant contract fraud that can lead to the recovery of monetary losses to the City and ensure projects don't pose health and safety risks to the public.
- Corruption of City elected and appointed leaders, as well as employees entrusted with important responsibilities -- we must ensure the integrity of the people and processes are not compromised.
- Systemic occupational fraud - we endeavor to fight the abuse of one's position to perpetrate fraud against the Citizens.
- In addition to conducting investigations of alleged wrongdoing, we will proactively conduct inspections and reviews of programs and projects to ensure the compliance of all federal, state and local laws, ordinances, regulations, policies and processes.