Former Joliet police officer Brian Nagra faces felony theft and official misconduct charges for allegedly accumulating more than $10,000 in unearned pay by submitting false time sheets for 3½ years.
The charges against Nagra were filed Friday in Kendall County.
Nagra was released from the Kendall County Jail after posting 10% of his $100,000 bond.
Just what Nagra was accused of doing when he was taken off the job in January officially surfaced last week when he was arrested and charges were filed. Joliet police on Thursday also released the termination order that accused Nagra of falsifying records to get extra overtime from 2014 to 2018.
Nagra never was terminated.
Instead, he resigned July 5, only three days before he was scheduled to face a termination hearing before the Joliet Board of Fire and Police Commissioners.
The day he resigned, Nagra also paid the city $10,063, Assistant City Attorney Chris Regis said Friday. Regis said the amount covered full restitution for what Nagra was accused of obtaining through false time sheets.
Nagra may have been able to pay the restitution out of the $80,579 in gross pay he collected in the almost six months he spent off duty but on the payroll before submitting his resignation.
Regis said the decision to keep Nagra on the payroll was based on state Supreme Court rulings preventing police officers and firefighters from being deprived of pay while awaiting hearings on their terminations.
“Brian Nagra got the same treatment as every other police officer in the state of Illinois in that situation,” Regis said. “The only thing remarkable about Brian Nagra is the speed that we got him out the door. Anyone will tell you that these things can take years.”
Nagra, while awaiting a hearing, also reached his 20th anniversary with the Joliet Police Department, a benchmark that would allow him to begin collecting a pension at age 50 instead of 60. The extra 10 years could be worth about $500,000 if Nagra collects it.
Nagra’s pension can be taken away if he is convicted of a felony in the course of his duties as a police officer.
Defense attorneys likely will raise the restitution paid by Nagra as a mitigating factor in the case against him.
But Kendall County State’s Attorney Eric Weis said restitution will not deter his office from prosecuting the case.
“I know there has been some payment to the city,” Weis said. “In my opinion, it would not change the case.”
Weis compared restitution to “if you break into somebody’s house and steal money, and then go back and pay it back. The case doesn’t go away.”
Nagra faces three counts of official misconduct and two counts of thefts – all felonies.
The complaint against him charges Nagra with falsifying time sheets from October 2014 to May 2018.
The charges were filed in Kendall County because Nagra submitted the time sheets at the police department’s West Substation, which is located in Kendall County, Weis said.
Will County cases against police officers typically referred are to outside special prosecutors. That occurred in 2018, when the Joliet Police Department took a reckless discharge of a firearm case against officer Nicholas Crowley to the Will County state's attorney. Crowley was found not guilty.
Weis said he did not expect to use a special prosecutor for the case against Nagra.
“It’s unfortunate that it was a police officer,” he said. “But we’ll handle it just like any other case.”