MERCED -- A police officer with 21 years of experience has been charged with two misdemeanors in Merced County Superior Court for allegedly falsifying his timecard for about $1,600, according to the Merced County district attorney's office.
Roderick Dash, a sergeant with the Merced Police Department, was charged after police investigators and the district attorney's office found that from April 30 to May 2 he allegedly falsified his timecards, adding hours that he never worked.
If Dash had been paid for the falsified hours, he would have gotten more than $1,600 in pay for which he never worked.
The charges were filed July 9.
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Bruce Gilbert, deputy district attorney, said an investigation into Dash's timecards by the Police Department found other anomalies but they weren't able to prove that the anomalies meant Dash had broken the law in other cases.
The charges against Dash were reduced from felonies to misdemeanors, Gilbert said, because it was Dash's first offense and the amount of money was relatively small. He added that because the falsified timecards were discovered before Dash received pay, the charges were reduced.
Gilbert said Dash could face jail time, fines and probation if he's convicted.
Dash didn't return a call for comment.
He has been with the department for 21 years.
Merced Police Chief Norm Andrade said Dash is on paid administrative leave. Andrade said he couldn't discuss the matter further because it's a personnel matter.
Andrade said the internal investigation of Dash has been completed and Dash will be able to defend himself before a hearing.
After the hearing, Andrade will make a decision on Dash's future. According to the department's policy manual, Dash could face anything from discipline and demotion to termination.
An arraignment date for the criminal case hasn't been set.