DENVER -- A Denver sheriff’s deputy lost four days of pay for napping in a supply closet while working overnight shifts as a guard in Denver’s downtown jail.
Deputy Onesimo Garcia admitted to using a supply closet in the housing pod where he worked to nap out of sight of surveillance cameras, according to a disciplinary letter obtained by The Denver Post via a public records request.
Internal affairs investigators watched surveillance footage for 18 of Garcia’s shifts from March and April of 2019. During those shifts, Garcia spent more than 12 total hours in a utility closet while the inmates in his pod were locked in their cells for sleeping. While the majority of the trips to the closet lasted less than 10 minutes, 14 trips lasted longer than 15 minutes, according to the letter.
One video showed Garcia dragging a jail mattress into the closet.
Garcia admitted to internal affairs investigators that he sometimes napped in the closet or used the time to pray or exercise. He said he was experiencing personal issues that caused him to not get much sleep between shifts and that the 15 hours of overtime he worked didn’t help.
“I continued to try to perform my duties throughout the night and I just — I — I did — like a few times I did start going into the closet to close my eyes for about 15 or 20 minutes just to make it through the night ’cause I was just so tired and exhausted,” Garcia told investigators, according to the letter.
Garcia said he always had his radio with him in the closet and could hear the desk phone ring from there. He said he never missed a round. During the internal affairs investigation, he apologized for his lack of professionalism and for neglecting his duties.
Garcia’s exemplary discipline record — not a single discipline incident in the 22 years that he worked for the department — allowed him leniency in his punishment.
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