A former Joliet police officer who was never fired for submitting false time sheets will no longer have a felony conviction on his record, which his attorneys say will allow him to keep his police pension.
On Thursday, Kendall County Judge Robert Pilmer granted a motion from the defense attorney of Brian Nagra to vacate his felony conviction of theft and official misconduct following Nagra’s completion of his sentence.
Nagra was able to motion to have his conviction vacated after completing 30 months of probation and participating in a program called TASC, Treatment Alternatives for Safe Communities.
Nagra’s sentence was part of a plea deal between prosecutors with Kendall County State’s Attorney Eric Weis’ office and Nagra’s attorney, Michael Ettinger. Ettinger said in 2021 that Nagra participated in TASC because he had an “alcohol problem that led to these charges and this conduct.”
After Thursday’s court hearing, Nagra said, “I got nothing to say to you,” when approached by the Herald-News. He referred further questions to his attorney.
However, he later claimed he never submitted time cards in Kendall County. When asked why the case was charged in the county, Nagra said, “Better question for them,” but he did not specify anyone.
When Nagra was asked if he meant either former Joliet Police Chief Al Roechner or former Deputy Chief Marc Reid, who was in charge of internal affairs at one point, Nagra said, “Talk to them.”
Attempts to reach Reid and Roechner by phone were not successful Friday.
At his plea hearing Sept. 9, 2021, Nagra pleaded guilty to both official misconduct and theft.
Mark Shlifka, a former Kendall County assistant state’s attorney, said the evidence would show that between 2014 and 2018, Nagra submitted “falsified electronic time sheets for approval by his supervisor,” according to court transcripts.
Shlifka said some of those time sheets were approved at the Joliet Police Department’s west substation, 7196 Caton Farm Road, which is in the Kendall County portion of Joliet.
“In return for those falsified time sheets, [Nagra] received U.S. currency in excess of $10,000, also compensatory time for time he never worked,” Shlifka said.
“All right, and Mr. Nagra, is that what occurred?” asked Pilmer.
“Yes,” Nagra said.
Before Pilmer handed down his sentence, there was a closed-door meeting between himself, Ettinger and Shlifka in what’s known as a 402 conference. Those conferences, which are not public, are held to discuss the facts of the case and Pilmer’s potential sentencing recommendation.
Roechner wanted to fire Nagra in 2019 after determining he submitted overtime requests for work he did not do. However, a termination hearing for Nagra was delayed for months and he left the force on July 5, 2019, just days before a hearing was set before the the Joliet Board of Fire and Police Commissioners.
Nagra stayed on the city payroll past June 17, 2019, when he reached the 20-year anniversary date that allowed him to begin collecting a pension at age 50 instead of 60. The extra 10 years of pension income is potentially worth $500,000 to Nagra.