For release on February 11, 2014
Deputy District Attorney
VETERAN POLICE OFFICER PLEADS TO WRITING BOGUS TICKETS
A veteran San Jose police officer pleaded no contest today to four felonies, guilty of writing bogus traffic tickets against two people involved with him in a lawsuit five years ago.
At the time of an alleged moving violation, one of the victims was in Texas.
George Chavez, 51, will be sentenced for three felony counts of False Personation Exposing the Victim to Liability, and one felony count of Filing a False Report. His sentencing is set for April 3, 2014. He could face five years in state prison.
“It’s important to hold members of the law enforcement community accountable when they misuse the powers that we have entrusted to them,” prosecutor Daniel Rothbach said.
On October 28, 2013, Chavez used his police computer to find identifying information about the two out-of-county victims. He then used that identifying information to write one fake traffic citation and two fake parking citations, for illegally parking in a handicapped zone. On the traffic citation, he falsely signed the name of the victim whose information he had looked up, and also falsely signed the name of another San Jose Police officer as the issuer of the citation. On the parking citations, he falsely signed the name of a different San Jose Police officer. Both people targeted by the false citations had been involved in a civil lawsuit with Chavez in 2008.
The crimes were discovered when the officer whose name Chavez had falsely placed on the traffic citation was notified of the citation to correct an administrative error. That officer recognized that he had not issued the citation, and brought it to the attention of his supervisor. This initiated a police investigation into Chavez, and the parking citations were then discovered from the same date.