The reason charges against Fort Worth police officers accused for falsifying government documents to defraud a federal traffic enforcement grant have been finally confirmed after months of speculation and evasive answers from Fort Worth law enforcement officials.
Chief of Police Jeff Halstead said the charges were dropped in January after three years of delays by the county prosecutor’s office, who in turn said new evidence was presented and the lack of testimony from witnesses were to blame. The Fort Worth Star-Telegram has reported that in fact the chief of police requested the charges be dropped so the public wouldn’t learn of an illegal ticket writing quota.
Assistant District Attorney David Lobingier revealed that there was a coordinated ticket writing system to meeting guidelines for retaining a traffic enforcement grant that paid officers hundreds of thousands in overtime pay each year.
More than four years have passed since allegations of fraud were brought against nine Fort Worth officers accused for altering ticket times to receive overtime time from a Federal traffic enforcement grant. Eight officers were eventually indicted, but all charges were dropped in January of this year without any concise explanation.