Two More Ex-Cops Indicted In FWPD OT Scandal

Former officers accused of altering tickets to collect fraudulent overtime

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    NEWSLETTERS

    TK
    Greg Janda
    Generic Fort Worth Police logo patch on officer's arm.

    Two more former Fort Worth police officers were indicted Wednesday on charges they altered traffic tickets to collect overtime money for hours they did not work.

    A third former officer was indicted last month and prosecutors say they are in discussions with attorneys for six others implicated in the scandal.

    Former traffic officer Robert Peoples, 49, was charged with 12 counts of tampering with a government record -- specifically Fort Worth traffic citations -- and one count of theft by a public servant.

    The indictment accuses Peoples of fradulently obtaining between $1,500 and $20,000 in overtime. He faces between two and 10 years in prison.

    Former officer Jonathon Johnson, 39, was charged with 19 counts of tampering with a government record and one count of theft by a public servant.

    Johnson was accused of stealing between $20,000 and $100,000 in overtime he did not work. Because of the higher dollar value alleged in the theft, Johnson faces up to 20 years in prison.

    Former officer Herman Young, 46, was indicted on similar charges on May 25.

    Assistant Tarrant County district attorney David Lobengier said charges are possible against six more former officers.

    “We’re in discussions with their attorneys,” he said.

    The scandal erupted in March 2010 when a police supervisor noticed discrepencies in one officer’s ticket book.

    Some of the overtime was paid with federal grant money in a program known as Selective Traffic Enforcement Program, or STEP.

    The department said it appeared the officers altered the time or dates on otherwise valid traffic tickets to make it seem they worked hours they did not actually work.

    The city of Fort Worth reimbursed $230,000 of the grant money in March.

    Six of the officers were fired in December. The others retired or resigned earlier.

    "The fate of all nine now rests in the hands of the judicial system," Fort Worth police chief Jeffrey Halstead said in December. “Maintaining public safety while maintaining the public's trust is a crucial component of our relationship with the community we serve. Integrity matters and I will always safeguard the public's trust.”

    Peoples and Johnson could not immediately be reached for comment.

    Johnson’s home address is in Austin, according to court records.