Houston fires four cops and dismisses 6,000 tickets in overtime scheme
City of Houston prosecutors have decided to dismiss over 6,000 traffic tickets issued by four police officers after investigators discovered the men were involved in a ticket-rigging ring in order to get more overtime, reports KHOU.
Officers Rudolph Farias, John Garcia, Robert Manzanales and Gregory Rosa have been accused of issuing a combined 6,150 traffic tickets, listing each other as witnesses when they were never there, alowing them to make more courtroom appearances in order to receive more overtime pay.
Houston Police Chief Charles McClelland called the ticket dismissals, “the right thing to do.”
“If there’s any perception that these citations may be tainted or someone questions the legitimacy or credibility of those, it is better to dismiss them,” McClelland said.
Following the accusations of ticket-rigging, Officer Farias committed suicide in a parking garage. The other three officers are currently suspended while facing criminal charges.
According to McClelland, investigators are still looking into the ring, but declined to state whether it may include additional officers.
“My instructions were, ‘Don’t leave any stone unturned, look at anything and everything you have to to determine were there policy violations or violations of the law,'” he said.
Authorities state that the number of tickets may increase, with Randy Zamora, chief of the Criminal Law Division of the City Legal Department, stating that citizens can request a new trial if they previously settled a ticket by one of the officers within the past 10 days.
Zamora cautioned drivers who received tickets that they still must appear in court to have the tickets dismissed.
Watch the video below from KHOU: