On October 16, 2018, reporter and editor Dennis Domrzalski of ABQ Report published an investigative report that APD’s Public Information Officer and Patrolman First Class Simon Drobik has earned $146,000 so far this year and is on track to make $200,0000 this year as a result of overtime pay.
You can read the entire ABQ Report here:
According the ABQ Report article, Drobik’s’ base pay is around $48,500 a year but he has made nearly $100,000 in overtime so far this year.
That works out to 60 hours a week in overtime.
If you count Drobik’s regular 40-hour week, he appears to be working, or claiming to work, an average of 140 hours each and every week.
ABQ Report sent APD spokesman Gilbert Gallegos an email asking for an explanation of how Drobik has been able to make $146,000 so far this year.
APD Spokesman Gilbert Gallegos’ responded to ABQ Report in an email as follows to:
“Officer Drobik has historically worked overtime, doing duty as a master patrolman and as a uniformed Public Information Officer, often working 7 days a week. When the new administration took over, we advertised for a full-time, uniformed PIO to help carry the workload, but no other officers expressed interest. We appreciate that Officer Drobik stepped up and continues to do patrol work in addition to PIO duties. We are cognizant of the need to reduce overtime in the department. With the influx of new recruits and lateral officers being hired, we plan on filling many positions where we currently rely on overtime to cover essential services. Officer Drobik has agreed to serve as the full-time PIO during weekdays as his primary assignment.”
Readers may recall that former APD officer James Geha was indicted in early October for time card fraud while he was employed by APD.
Geha is alleged to have bilked the city out of $13,000 through the time card fraud.
FORMER APD SARGEANT DAN KLEIN
On October 17, 2018 an article by former APD Sergeant Dan Klein was published in ABQ Report.
You can read the entire Klein ABQ Report article here:
Dan Klein demands to know who at APD has been approving Drobik’s time sheets and overtime.
Klein proposes to put APD’s payroll and human resources functions under the city’s Human Resources Department
Another point raised by Klein is it appears Drobik is claiming he is working 100 hours each and every week, seven days a week
Klein goes on to suggest the payroll records and time sheets of Simon Drobik need to be audited to find out who at APD has been signing off on what looks like an outrageous and impossible amount of overtime.
COMMENTARY AND ANALYSIS
Under the City’s personnel rules and regulations, supervisors and managers, such as department heads and deputy positions, are not paid any overtime.
Supervisors and managers are paid significantly more than the average employee and for that reason are expected to work whatever time is necessary to get their jobs done.
APD patrolmen first class are all part of the police union bargaining unit and are paid hourly and are entitled to be paid time and a half for anytime worked over a 40-hour work week so long as they get approval in advance and apply for it.
APD Sergeants and Lieutenants, although supervisors and managers, are part of the police union bargaining unit and can be paid time and a half for all overtime.
Patrolmen first class earning excessive overtime is nothing new and has been going on for years at APD.
In March of 2017, a city internal audit report revealed that the Albuquerque Police Department spent $3.9 million over its “overtime” budget resulting in $13 million paid in overtime when the actual budget was for $9 million.
In 2016-2017 fiscal year, five (5) APD Patrol Officers First Class were listed in the top 250 city wage workers as being paid $146,971, $145,180, $140,243, $137,817 and $125,061 respectfully because of overtime making them the 6th, the 7th, the 10th, the 12th and the 20th highest paid employees at city hall.
What is new is that a person holding a public relations position of public information officer (PIO) is being paid almost $200,000 a year claiming they are holding and performing two separate jobs at one time and demanding time and a half of hourly pay for overtime pay for both positions.
The big difference between all other patrol officers first class and Simon Drobik is that he is a public information officer (PIO) for APD.
Simon Drobik has become the face of APD given his repeated-on camera and media appearances, briefings and interviews and by all accounts is the main spokesman for APD over all other PIO’s for the department.
Simon Drobik should be classified as a supervisor because he has the supervisor authority to demand information from anyone at city hall when it comes to APD issues including sworn officers as well as others in the chain of command.
APD Public Information Officer Simon Drobik has been given unprecedented authority to speak for Chief Geier and Mayor Tim Keller.
It is common to see Drobik on all 3 local TV news casts on any given day when there is a major crime being reported on when it would be far more appropriate for the Chief or a Deputy Chief to brief the media.
On May 30, 2018 Mayor Tim Keller and Chief Geier called a press conference to announce an Internal Affairs Investigation to investigate if policy and procedures were violated by APD’s encounters with relatives and teachers of a 7-year-old female child.
The child’s blood-stained underwear was collected by a teacher and APD refused to tag it into evidence and just threw it away.
Mayor Keller made the stunning admission that he and Chief Geier were not initially given the full story of the police department’s handling of the case, something that should have been investigated and known by Simon Drobik.
Keller and Geier spoke initially at the press conference for about only 5 minutes each and then sat down at a table turning the entire press conference over to APD Spokesman Simon Drobik for 45 minutes.
Drobik then proceeded to contradict the need for the Internal Affairs investigation when he said “We can’t just generate complaints based on speculation. … Somebody has to say something happened.”
The fact that the child was reported to have been unkept, smelling of urine time and again and had blood stained underwear was sure hell not “speculation” of child neglect and screamed out something was happening.
Normally, Public Information Officers for APD do not carry any kind of caseload, make no arrests, do not wear an APD uniform and do not appear in court.
APD is claiming that APD Public Information Officer Simon Drobik works full-time as PIO during weekdays as his primary assignment, working 7 days a week, and he also works as a patrol officer entitling him to be paid for that position as well, in essence holding down and being paid for two positions.
APD Public Information Officers do not need to be sworn police officers and should not be paid an hourly wage of a sworn police with the duties assumed by citizen staff under the direction and supervision of the Mayor’s Office and the Mayor’s Public Information Officer.
A mandatory “cap” on the amount overtime any sworn police office can be paid needs to be established that is fair and equitable for all sworn personnel to make available overtime to more sworn police officers in the department.
All Public Information Officers for the City should be made at will employees amd paid a set yearly salary with no overtime paid and work out of the office of the Mayor under the direction of the administration.
APD Sergeants and Lieutenants are supervisors and managers and should be removed from the police union bargaining unit and be prevented from being paid time and a half for all overtime.
Mayor Tim Keller campaign and promised transparency and accountability and he should order a payroll audit of APD.
An audit of APD payroll clearly needs to be conducted to determine if there is yet another abuse of overtime pay and policies within APD.
For other articles on APD overtime abuse see: