HOUSTON - Three Houston Police Officers at the center of a ticket-rigging scandal have abruptly left the force, the I-Team has learned.
HPD Spokesman Victor Senties confirmed Officer Gregory Rosa and John Garcia resigned Monday. Senties said Officer Robert Manzanales took a dishonorable retirement.
A termination hearing had been scheduled but the officers left before Chief Charles McClelland could fire them, according to Senties.
In August, the I-team revealed records which listed officers in two places at once. Dozens of speeding tickets showed how the officers listed each other as witnesses on tickets at one location, but at the same exact time were writing tickets to someone else at another location miles away..
Chief McClelland put the three officers on desk duty in August. A fourth officer, Rudolph Farias, committed suicide when the scandal broke.
"We certainly had enough information and evidence that we believe warrants an investigation," Chief McClelland said in August.
The alleged motivation for the ticket rigging scheme was to appear in court more often to collect more overtime. In September, the City Attorney's office dismissed more than 6,000 speeding tickets written by the officers.
"In the interest of justice and fairness it's the right thing to do," Chief McClelland said in September.
Chief McClelland had no comment Tuesday. The Houston Police Officers' Union said it would not comment while the Harris County District Attorney's Office reviews the case for possible criminal prosecution.
The officers' actions will in effect, go on their permanent record, according to police union President Ray Hunt. Houston Police must report the dishonorable retirement and the resignations amide a criminal investigation to the Texas Commission on Law Enforcement.