A Dallas police officer has been charged with 10 felony counts of tampering with government records after allegedly issuing fake traffic tickets to parked cars, The Dallas Morning News reported.
Officer Matthew Rushing, 34, turned himself in Thursday and was bonded out of jail. His attorney declined to comment to the newspaper.
Rushing worked in traffic enforcement as part of the federal Selective Training Enforcement Program. His alleged malfeasance was uncovered by the public integrity unit of the Dallas Police Department after complaints from ticket recipients.
Derrick Mitchem, who received two phony tickets, told the Morning News that Rushing’s alleged actions put a “tainted mark” on good officers.
“I also hate it for us, the taxpayers,” he added. “It’s, like, ‘Yo, why would you forge official documents, where you can send people to jail?’ People have to take off work for court.”
Investigators said in court records that they detected a pattern in which the ticketed cars appeared to be inoperable and parked in the same location for long periods of time. Rushing also allegedly forged the signatures of ticket recipients on the documents.
Even though the tickets were not legitimate, court records show that some people paid their fines, although the total amounts were not disclosed.
The Morning News reported that Rushing was placed on administrative leave pending an internal affairs investigation.