Three more former El Paso police officers have been indicted, raising to 12 the number of ex-officers facing criminal charges in connection to allegations of misuse of grant-funded overtime.
A state grand jury on Thursday indicted ex-officers Edward Neil Nicholas, 47, and Enrique Davila, 43, and ex-sergeant Luis Ortiz, 40, was indicted April 12, court records show.
All three face charges of tampering with a government record with intent to defraud for allegedly falsifying times on police daily activity reports regarding traffic enforcement.
Officials said Nicholas faces 13 counts, Davila faces 16 counts and Ortiz faces 11 counts on allegations dating as far back as 2009.
Ortiz resigned in September and was one of the first group of officers to resign following an investigation last summer into overtime-pay irregularities in the use of the Selective Traffic Enforcement Program, or STEP, grants.
Through his lawyer last fall, Ortiz alleged he was forced to resign as part of the El Paso Police Department's effort to "cover up" an illegal quota system for traffic citations. Police and city officials denied there was a quota system.
Davila retired Oct. 31 and Nicholas resigned on Dec. 20, documents and officials said.
During his time with the El Paso Police Department, Davila was honored for his work with children and for disarming a man firing a handgun near the Cincinnati Avenue bar area in 2007.
The ongoing case is likely the largest group of El Paso police officers to face criminal charges, and a scandal that could force the city to repay thousands of dollars in grant money.
Earlier this month, a high-ranking city official said that the amount of money that may have been misspent was being tallied by the state.
Another ex-officer recently indicted, Scott Edward McFarland, waived a court appearance Monday and pleaded not guilty. McFarland was indicted on 35 counts of tampering with a government record with the intent to defraud.
Daniel Borunda may be reached at dborunda@ elpasotimes.com; 546-6102.
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