NM state auditor probing overtime practices at APD
New Mexico State Auditor Brian Colón says his office has been conducting an ongoing probe into overtime practices at the Albuquerque Police Department and that his report could be complete in a month or so.
Colón made the statement when we emailed him to ask if he had any comment to our story last week about how APD's overtime king, officer Simon Drobik, had racked up $82,000 in pay for the first four months of this year. Drobik's base salary is $31.50 an hour, and by our calculations, more than $50,000 of what he has made so far this year has come from overtime. Drobik is on track to make $247,000 this year.
Here's what Colón emailed us:
"Thank you for your coverage on this issue. In terms of a statement, I’m happy to provide the following:
“This is a concern we take seriously. I can confirm that the Office of the State Auditor has an ongoing examination related to overtime at APD. I look forward to providing a report in the not too distant future.”
We emailed APD and Mayor Tim Keller's office 10 questions last week regarding Drobik's astonishing amount of pay for the first four months of the year. So far, not one of our questions has been answered.
This isn't the first time that APD has been under fire for sloppy overtime practices. In 2014 an audit by the city's Internal Auditor found that APD had no system to control its court overtime costs. Read that audit here.
And in 2017, another city audit found that APD exceeded it FY2016 overtime budget by $3.9 million.
Over the years, even after damning audits, APD has failed to control its overtime costs. Last year, the Civilian Police Oversight Agency recommended that Drobik be fired for violating APD policies 51 times in a year in which he made $192,000 as a basic cop. APD Chief Mike Geier rejected the CPOA's recommendations and refused to even discipline Drobik for violating department policies 51 times in a single year.
We're looking forward to reading Colón's report. We're wondering if Keller and Geier are feeling the same.