HOUSTON -- The KHOU I-Team has confirmed the officer who took his life was under internal investigation.
Rudolph Farias, 51, was a 21-year veteran of the force.
Multiple sources confirm to the I-Team that Farias was relieved of duty earlier Tuesday. He is one of four HPD officers relieved and ordered to turn in their badges amid a ticket-rigging investigation that questions where those officers were, and when.
An I-Team analysis of speeding tickets written by the Houston Police Traffic Enforcement Unit reveals several dozen cases in which officers were listed in two places at once. That includes Farias.
For example, he is listed on two tickets along the Katy Freeway one early February morning. At 12:29 a.m., he is shown as a witnessing officer near the Westcott Street exit. But also at 12:29 a.m, the same officer is listed as writing a ticket to another citizen near Gessner Road.
That's seven miles away.
Another set of questionable tickets occurred late at night in May along the Katy Freeway. Records show Farias was supposedly at Westcott Street witnessing a speeder. But somehow, he was also writing up a citizen for speeding nine miles away at the same exact time.
The I-Team also identified cases in which Farias was listed on two completely different roads. Also in May, he is listed at I-610 and Memorial Drive at 12:52 a.m., but also listed at I-10 and Gessner Road at 12:52 a.m.
The facts indicate it is fiction.
Law enforcement sources told the I-Team the motivation for the alleged ticket-rigging was court overtime. Witnessing officers are subpoenaed and must appear ready to testify.
Records show Farias made $158,000 in overtime over the past three years.
It's unclear how much of that overtime was linked to the questionable tickets.
Relief of a duty is an action that HPD traditionally has taken in only the most serious of cases, that may result in criminal charges.
Farias was assigned to the Traffic Enforcement Division.
The Houston Police Department was not immediately available for comment.
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