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Texas Cop Caught Falsifying Speeding Tickets
Police officer in Dallas, Texas enters guilty plea to charge of writing bogus speeding tickets to earn federally funded overtime.

Matt Rushing
Another law enforcement officer has been caught submitting false speeding ticket charges in order to meet a federally mandated traffic ticket quota. Dallas, Texas police Officer Matthew Alan Rushing last week entered a plea of guilty to a single count of lying to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). A federal magistrate judge on Monday appointed an attorney to represent Rushing as he faces sentencing for his crimes.

Officer Rushing was arrested by fellow members of the Dallas police force on June 27 after an internal investigation found significant evidence of wrongdoing. The investigators received a complaint from a motorist who was slapped with a bogus ticket, and an audit of other citations issued by Officer Rushing revealed at least 38 more bogus tickets were issued in order to meet the Dallas department's "activity goals" under a $1.1 million Selective Training Enforcement Program (STEP) grant funded by NHTSA. The agency will deny funding to departments that fail to issue a predetermined number of tickets.

Officer Rushing, an eleven-year veteran on the force, was under pressure from his superiors to issue more tickets year after year to maintain the federal funding. In this respect, Rushing was a stellar performer, one of the most prolific ticket writers in the department, and he was rewarded with 160 hours of overtime between February and May. This allowed him to significantly increase take-home pay in return for turning in 569 tickets.

The problem is that several of these tickets accused motorists who were innocent. Officer Rushing would create a bogus ticket after a driver was released from a traffic stop, leaving them unaware that they had been cited. He was caught after created a false citation for an inoperable truck.

"In these situations, since the driver was absent, Rushing unlawfully accessed law enforcement databases to obtain the information necessary to write false citations," assistant US attorney David L. Jarvis explained. "Rushing also frequently forged a violator's signature and used phony dates of birth in order to complete these false citations."

Under a plea deal, Rushing faces a maximum five years in prison, a $250,000 fine, three years of probation and restitution for the money he embezzled. The potential jail time will likely be significantly reduced under the federal sentencing guidelines.

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