A Houston police officer who committed suicide Tuesday in his patrol car was one of four traffic enforcement officers who had just been relieved of duty as part of a ticket-rigging investigation, reports KHOU-TV. The officer, a 21-year veteran who was not immediately identified, was found in uniform inside his police car in a parking garage behind a jail near downtown Houston.
KHOU reported that the officer was among a group of officers accused of ticket-rigging, apparently motivated by the overtime they earned by appearing in court. The officer earned $158,000 in overtime over the past three years. An analysis of speeding tickets revealed several dozen cases in which the accused officers were listed writing traffic violations in two places at once. In one example, the dead officer’s name appears on two separate tickets written at precisely the same time–12:29 a.m.–seven miles apart.