HOUSTON -- Swear to tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth. It's what Houston Police Officers do when they testify in court.
But traffic attorneys Paul Kubosh and Janikka Bratton said they were floored when the I-Team shared what happened with one of their speeding ticket clients.
"I was shocked," Bratton said.
"They lied on the ticket," Kubosh said.
On the ticket, and on the witness stand according to records obtained by the I-Team.
At 3:04 a.m., Officer Rudolph Farias listed Officer Robert Manzanales as a witnessing officer on the ticket at the Katy Freeway near Beltway 8.
In court testimony, Manzanales said "I was behind (Farias) a few feet" when questioned about his exact position at the scene.
But records reveal a red flag. At 3:03 a.m., Manzanales was five miles away on the Katy Freeway near Silber Road, writing a ticket to another motorist. The I-Team checked his patrol car GPS records, which confirm that was the case.
"Clearly something has been fabricated," Bratton said.
And there were other red flags with the testimony of Officer Manzanales. The following exchange is according to an official trial transcript:
Officer Manzanales: "I was just a back up. I have no factual knowledge of the speed she was going."
Attorney Bratton: "So why exactly are you on this ticket as well?"
Officer Manzanales: "Well, I don't know. I didn't put myself on there. Officer Farias put me on the ticket because I was on the scene."
The defendant in the case was found guilty at the trial. She asked not to be identified.
"I'm thinking 'what kind of game are they playing?" she said.
It was the word of two cops against her word. As a longtime commercial driver, she can't afford a bad record.
"They were playing around with my life or my livelihood," the woman said.
The alleged motivation for it all was to appear in court more often to collect more overtime.The I-Team found nearly 100 questionable tickets over a six-month time frame.
"I'm not going to rush to judgment," said Houston Police Chief Charles McClelland.
While Chief McClelland said he is waiting for all the evidence to come in, he has reassigned three officers to desk duty—Manzanales, Gregory Rosa and John Garcia.
The fourth under scrutiny, Rudloph Farias, killed himself Tuesday after learning of the internal investigation.
"I am confident that internal affairs will get to the truth," McClelland said.
But traffic attorneys are left asking, 'what is that truth, what is the whole truth, and nothing but'?
"It's like the fruit of a poisonous tree, if there's falsification on one item, then you can't trust any of it.. it all needs to go," Kubosh said.