HOUSTON More police officers have been punished after the Houston Police Department fired a patrol sergeant charged with drunk driving after he crashed into a school bus on his way to work.
From the beginning, witnesses who saw HPD Sgt. Ruben Trejo hit a private school bus back in April thought something was wrong.
It looks like a cover up, said one witness at the time.
The driver of the school bus, Teresa Argueta, thought she would not be treated the same way by HPD.
He smelled drunk and he had beer and wine opened in his car, Teresa Argueta said after the wreck happened.
Now the police officers involved are getting punished. Trejo was fired, and the HPD internal investigation into the case has ended in punishments for seven other officers.
Asst. Chief Dan Perales was given a written reprimand for his actions in the case, as was Sgt. Paul Ogden.
Three more officers were counseled as a result of that day s events.
The stiffest penalties are a single day suspension without pay for two supervisors: Lt. Andrew King and Capt. Robert Manzo.
Manzo also told reporters that day that Trejo would pass a blood alcohol test, but it was revealed two weeks later he didn t. The results registered twice the legal limit.
KHOU 11 News talked to several council members Tuesday night who were surprised by the seemingly light punishments, but wanted to talk to HPD before making comment.
However, 18-year HPD veteran and Houston City Council member Ed Gonzalez did comment.
I am concerned about the number of days, or the result at this point, he said.
Gonzalez also said he wants to hear from police.
Officially HPD would only say that the chief issued discipline consistent with the investigation.
One thing that is important is that we always need to convey, or strengthen in the public trust. We need to make sure that they know that we investigate our own, Gonzalez added.
Under the law filing a false police report is a Class B misdemeanor and can carry jail time.
We don t know for sure what the individual officers are being disciplined for because HPD would not say.