Port police officer Frank San Nicolas is not back at work, but he has not been barred from returning to work either.
The 49-year-old officer was arrested last Wednesday on criminal sexual conduct allegations after three women filed complaints against him.
On Monday, over the objections of the Attorney General, Superior Court Judge Arthur Barcinas allowed San Nicolas to be released from custody. He put him under house arrest instead, and ordered a third-party custodian.
Judge Barcinas also granted a work exception to his house arrest meaning he could resume his duties as a police officer at the port.
The Attorney General’s office Thursday acknowledged they have received calls and emails from the public raising concerns about the terms of San Nicolas’ release and they issued a statement to address those concerns.
“Although we may not agree with the decision, the court, not the Office of the Attorney General, ultimately decides whether a defendant should be held in confinement pending trial and what conditions of release to impose,” reads the statement.
“Our Office raised concern over the release of Defendant Frank San Nicolas at his court hearing earlier this week,” says the statement.
“We further objected to any exception to his house arrest, including work,” it says.
Carlina Charfauros, the spokeswoman for the AG’s office, explained that “the prosecutor who attended the hearing relayed that the judge said the decision would rest with the agency (the Port) if the defendant could return to work or not, despite the house arrest.
“That’s why we objected to “exceptions to his house arrest,” she said.
Port GM Respicio
In a text exchange on WhatsApp, Port General Manager Rory Respicio told PNC News that Officer San Nicolas “is not back to work and has been placed on administrative leave pending the Port’s internal affairs investigation for the administrative portion of this matter.”
“As a matter of administrative routine,” said Respico, “Mr. San Nicolas has had some communication with the Port Police Chief regarding his status.”
But because there is “an ongoing investigation into this matter” he said he could not discuss it further.