Fraud and public theft of funds – those are the allegations against Anaheim’s two top ranking police officers, outlined in a confidential memo obtained exclusively by Eyewitness News.
The memo is from an Anaheim police captain addressed to the city manager, city attorney and human resources director. The captain cites specific discrepancies between the calendars of Chief Raul Quezada and Deputy Chief Dan Cahill and their time cards over the last year.
“We have brought in an outside law firm to take a look at the issues that have been raised in the memo,” said city spokesperson Mike Lyster.
The memo alleges Quezada took 27 days off scheduled work, 16 marked vacation from September 2015 to September 2016. The captain cites a payroll report which shows the chief only marked two vacation days and eight sick days.
In Cahill’s case, the memo alleges he took 46 days off work, including five sick days in a row. The report shows he used four vacation days and zero sick days.
Mayor Pro Tem Lucille Kring says she supports the chief, but this needs a hard look.
“I hope there’s great explanations,” Kring said. “And we don’t know, this is just the beginning, this could be completely innocent. That’s why we’re doing a thorough investigation.”
The memo says if the discrepancies are true Quezada could have been paid more than $24,000 for time he didn’t work and Cahill would’ve been paid more than $38,000.
City employees are allowed to cash out paid time off and sick days if not used.
A city spokesperson says there could be an explanation for this.
“Department heads including the chief, do have discretion as part of our policy to grant time off, that can reflect good performance on the part of an employee,” Lyster said.
The chief reports to the city manager.
While the investigation is ongoing, the city says both men are allowed to keep working.
That’s a concern for the Anaheim Police Officers’ Association.
“That gives off that appearance that somehow this investigation is being treated differently than any administrative investigation,” said union president Edgar Hampton.
We requested comment from both men through the public information officer for the department. He responded with this statement: “Both have expressed the fact they would love to be able to provide the truth of the allegations. However, as there is an ongoing investigation, they are prohibited from making any kind of statement.”
If the allegations are true, Hampton fears what this will do for officer morale. “If someone’s not doing their load, their fair share, then yes that will cause morale problems.”