LinkedIn11COMMENT11MORE11

ALAMOGORDO - A state police officer assigned to southern New Mexico is facing criminal charges for allegedly claiming he worked hours he didn't work and for writing as many as 600 traffic citations that he never actually wrote.

Joseph Andrew Gonzalez, 25, of El Paso is facing five felony counts of receiving public money for services not rendered and one felony count of forgery. The charges are fourth-degree felonies. Gonzalez is also facing discipline, including possible termination, according to a state police announcement.

Gonzalez, who has worked for the State Police since May of 2016, is stationed to patrol in Alamogordo but resides in El Paso.

The state police investigations bureau launched an investigation Oct. 9, 2018 after an allegation that Gonzalez had claimed hours on his time card that he hadn't actually worked.

RELATED: Alamogordo police officer Michael Dias pleads not guilty to DWI, weapons charges

That was after Gonzalez's supervisor noticed a discrepancy between the number of traffic citations the officer was claiming in his daily activity log to have written, compared to the number of citations he actually wrote and were logged in the state's computer system.

"As the investigation progressed, evidence was uncovered that supported the claim of fraudulent activity," the state police news release states.

Gonzalez was placed on administrative leave on Oct. 26, 2018. During a four-month long investigation, agents found discrepancies during a period from January 2018 through August 2018.

Gonzalez is accused of falsely claiming to have worked full shifts — 6 a.m. to 3 p.m. — on five days when he only worked a partial shift or none at all. Also, he allegedly claimed to have written 600 traffic citations that he never actually wrote.

RELATED: Alamogordo residents support suspended police chief at meeting

For a couple of the days in question, Gonzalez's vehicle activity log showed that he started the day at his home in El Paso, drove to the Alamogordo area for a few hours, and then drove back to his home in El Paso, court records allege. His vehicle then registered no further activity for those days.

State police filed a criminal complaint on Feb. 7, 2019, in Otero County Magistrate Court, charging Gonzalez with the six felony counts.

The sixth charge, of falsely making or altering a signature, relates to Gonzalez allegedly falsifying his daily activity log, according to court records.

Gonzalez is slated to appear Feb. 25 in Alamogordo Magistrate Court, 263 Robert H. Bradley Drive.

In a statement, NMSP said the agency "does not tolerate dishonesty or betrayal of the public trust by those sworn to protect it."

RELATED: Ex-Alamogordo detective charged with battery

LinkedIn11COMMENT11MORE11
Read or Share this story: https://www.alamogordonews.com/story/news/2019/02/08/nm-state-police-officer-joseph-gonzalez-felony-charges-traffic-ticket/2816856002/