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Denver police officer suspended for sitting at home while billing the city for work

Officer Michael Piñeda was honest in investigation
Posted: 10:44 AM, Feb 06, 2019
Updated: 2019-02-06 17:44:16Z
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DENVER – The Denver Department of Public Safety has suspended a Denver police officer for 30 days after an internal affairs investigation showed he sat at his house while billing the city for the time.

Officer Michael Piñeda also admitted he drove to the Dacono area for personal reasons, in another instance, according to an investigation summary report.

Piñeda worked for the Homeless Outreach Team within the Denver Police Department.

In one case in September, Piñeda said he went home after feeling ill, but did not take sick leave and did not notify his boss. While at home, he did take several calls related to his job but did not respond to the calls in person, the investigation showed.

Dispatch tried to contact him several times that day but could not reach him. Hours later, when he responded to tell dispatch he was safe, internal affairs launched an investigation.

“Officer Piñeda admitted that there were times when his log sheets were inaccurate because they showed he was at a certain location when, in fact, he was at home, and that there were times … when he should have been working but instead went home,” said the departmental order of disciplinary action.

The order said the officer admitted the conduct had been going on for several months.

The order also says Piñeda was open and honest when confronted during the internal affairs investigation.

“He was candid about his behavior and did not engage in deceptive conduct,” the order said. “Further, he has taken responsibility for his actions.”

Piñeda will be off work from March 25 through May 3.

The Denver Department of Public Safety oversees discipline for the police, fire and sheriffs departments.