Texas cop facing ticket-rigging allegations commits suicide

CBS affiliate KHOU

HOUSTON -- A police officer facing criminal allegations as part of a Houston Police Department internal affairs investigation committed suicide Tuesday, reports CBS affiliate KHOU.

Rudolph Farias, 51, was a 21-year veteran of the force.

Multiple sources confirmed to KHOU that Farias was relieved of duty earlier Tuesday. He was one of four HPD officers dismissed and ordered to turn in their badges amid a ticket-rigging investigation.

A KHOU investigation 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, the station reports.

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.

KHOU reports that another set of questionable tickets was issued late at night in May along the Katy Freeway. Records show Farias was supposedly at Westcott Street witnessing a speeder. But, records show, he was also writing up a citizen for speeding nine miles away at the same exact time.

Law enforcement sources toldKHOU the motivation for the alleged ticket-rigging was payment for 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 amount was linked to the questionable tickets.