Two Mountain View police officers indicted over alleged defrauding of CDOT grants

Posted at 1:33 PM, Apr 19, 2017
and last updated 2017-04-19 16:27:40-04

JEFFERSON COUNTY, Colo. – Two Mountain View police officers have been indicted over allegations they falsified field reports and time cards in order to get paid thousands of extra dollars in grant money from the state.

Leonard Portugal, 47, and Ricardo Hernandez, 43, face a combined 35 counts in the indictment, including attempting to influence a public servant, forgery, embezzlement of public property and theft.

The indictment alleges that the two officers utilized Mountain View’s ability to receive grants from CDOT for traffic enforcement in the small home rule municipality near Lakeside and Wheat Ridge to pocket the money by making false timecard reports.

Since Mountain View is so small, it receives three grants via CDOT in order to pay overtime to officers for doing patrol work in the town.

Portugal was in charge of applying for the grants, organizing officers to work the extra shifts and reporting the required stats back to CDOT.

The First Judicial District Attorney’s Office says each officer in the department was required to tally his or her grant-funded overtime and report it to the police chief, who would pass the sheets on to Portugal to compile. But it says that the documentation sometimes bypassed the chief and went straight to Portugal.

The indictments claim that between January 2015 and June 2016, Portugal was paid out $24,935 in grant-funded overtime money that he didn’t earn. He allegedly submitted at least 31 false field activity reports and time sheets.

Hernandez allegedly falsified his overtime hours and was paid out $2,735 he wasn’t afforded.

Both men turned themselves in to the Jefferson County jail on Wednesday and had their bonds set at $10,000.

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