The thin blue line (Part II)

Yesterday I posted the guts of the indictment against Minneapolis police officer Michael Roberts. This afternoon, MPR’s Brandt Williams has more reaction to the indictment, including particulars on Roberts’ day in court.

But not every interesting nugget made the story.

Brandt has sent along this tidbit:

According to Minneapolis police officials, officer Michael Roberts was one of the highest paid officers on the force. Public information officer Sgt. Jesse Garcia III, didn’t have the exact figures in front of him, but estimated that for the last three or four years, Roberts was making well over $100,000 per year – including overtime.

However, MPR reporter Elizabeth Stawicki, who covered the hearing in federal court Tuesday morning, says Roberts requested a public defender. In order to qualify for free legal representation, the defendant has to prove they need it. According to Stawicki, Roberts kept a mere $400 in his checking account, around $10 or $25 in savings and despite having the same employer for nearly 30 years, his 401K was worth $50,000.

Roberts also reported that he was upside down on two vehicle loans worth $48,000 and owed another $9,000 on a credit card.

He reported his net income at $3,000 a month on paid administrative leave.

Magistrate Judge Susan Nelson determined that his debts were substantial enough to qualify him for a public defender.