El Paso officer among 22 alleged to have taken illegal grant pay

By Land Line staff | 3/20/2012

A 17-year veteran of the El Paso, TX, police force has been indicted for allegedly taking overtime pay illegally from a federal grant program.

According to the DOT Office of Inspector General, Jose Luis Ruiz was indicted May 8 for 24 counts of tampering with a government record with the intent to defraud by an El Paso County grand jury.

Ruiz submitted overtime reimbursement requests in 2009 and 2010 while working under the Selective Traffic Enforcement Program, funded by a grant from the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration.

The investigation is being conducted by the El Paso Police Department and the El Paso County District Attorney’s Office with assistance from NHTSA and the Texas Department of Transportation.

“Mr. Ruiz is part of a group of 22 El Paso police officers suspected to date in this traffic ticket overtime scheme,” the DOT OIG news release said.

The El Paso Times reported that District Attorney Jaime Esparza said she expected more indictments to be issued in future weeks.