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Officer abused sick time, Harvard says

HARVARD – A fired Harvard police officer indicted on forgery and official misconduct charges was calling in sick when he wasn’t ill and providing fraudulent doctors’ notes, officials say.

Phillip Held, an 11-year veteran of the department, was fired in August and indicted this month on 12 counts each of forgery and official misconduct. He surrendered Friday at the McHenry County Jail and was released after posting $4,000.

Harvard City Administrator Dave Nelson said that, to his knowledge, Held had not taken leave pursuant to the Family and Medical Leave Act. Instead, Held allegedly abused sick days by, for example, calling in and taking a long weekend.

“He would call in sick and then be gone three days, sometimes four,” Nelson said.

Held, 33, had been placed on a status that for “a couple of years” required him to submit a doctor’s note for time off because of illness, Nelson said.

“If you take too much time and call in sick too much, there are special rules in terms of how the administration handles that,” Nelson said. “One of those rules, because of the frequent use of sick time, is we require a doctor’s note in order to come back to work.”

Held is accused of turning in fraudulent notes, although Nelson said he was unsure what, if anything, the notes said about Held’s health.

According to the indictment, Held forged documents on an almost monthly basis since November 2011. The documents were about his own medical care, as well as his wife’s and daughter’s.

“In some cases, his sick leave was gone, so he was using time that he wasn’t getting compensated for,” Nelson said.

Held is scheduled to be arraigned Friday.

His attorney, Jamie Wombacher, declined to comment Wednesday.

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