Lake County jail officer accused of falsifying timecards
A Lake County sheriff's corrections officer faces felony charges after a criminal and internal investigation showed he stole more than $20,000 after falsifying time cards, officials said in a news release Wednesday.
Manuel Duarte, of the 38300 block of North Holdridge Avenue in Beach Park, has been charged with one count of theft and one count of official misconduct. Sheriff's office investigators said they determined he modified his electronic time cards to include overtime he didn't work.
"I am extremely disappointed that a member of our office would violate their oath and the public's trust," Sheriff John Idleburg said in the news release. "Neither I nor our staff will tolerate an employee violating the laws we are sworn to enforce."
In June 2019, officials found a discrepancy in Duarte's electronic time card and an internal investigation was ordered. Duarte was placed on administrative leave.
The investigation found Duarte falsified various electronic time cards dating back to November 2017, resulting in the payout of more $20,000 the news release said. The Lake County state's attorney's office approved the charges Wednesday, and Duarte was arrested at his home.
Duarte is being held at the Lake County jail on $200,000 bond. An employment termination process has been started, authorities said.