Former Transit Officer Charles Loubert admitted Friday he filed false overtime claims and collected $11,000 in unearned pay while working for the Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority.
Loubert, 39, pleaded guilty to two misdemeanors, petit larceny and falsifying business records, in Buffalo City Court.
The 12-year NFTA police veteran repaid the money and received a conditional discharge from Judge Craig D. Hannah.
Loubert’s thefts were discovered in April when other officers alerted superiors about irregularities in the time sheets, said authority spokesman C. Douglas Hartmayer.
NFTA Police Chief George Gast launched an internal investigation and suspended Loubert without pay on April 18, Hartmayer said. The authority fired him a week later.
“He falsified his overtime sign-in sheet, whereby he was signing for overtime he didn’t work,” Hartmayer said.
Loubert was accused of adding overtime hours to his line on the time sheet, after a captain already had approved the sheet, Hartmayer said.
The department has since changed methods for reviewing time sheets, he said.
Loubert expressed remorse for his misconduct and offered an apology to the department and his family, said Thomas J. Keane, his lawyer.
“He is very apologetic and has paid full restitution and has taken full responsibility,” Keane said. “It’s unfortunate. Another cost of this was that he lost his job.”
The case is unrelated to a 2010 audit by the State Comptroller’s Office that found 11 transit police officers had cheated the NFTA out of $25,000 by working part-time jobs while on the authority’s payroll.
The audit found some of the officers worked security jobs at other public institutions, such as the Buffalo Board of Education and Erie Community College, when they should have been on transit patrol.
Four of the 11 officers were suspended without pay for 10 to 25 days. Two transit officers who worked security at ECC were fired by the college after the double-dipping was uncovered, and the NFTA imposed new audits for hours officers work at part-time jobs.