A Dallas police officer who was one of the leading ticket writers in the department was arrested this week for writing traffic tickets to people he never stopped and forging their signatures.
Matthew Rushing is accused of running this scheme for four months before an external complaint sparked an investigation. He has been charged with ten felony counts of tampering with a government record.
The complaint came from a man named Derrick Mitchem who received several tickets for not registering his truck but Mitchem said he had not driven the truck in years, according to WFAA-TV.
As one of the leading ticket writers for the department, Rushing received overtime pay from a federal grant meant to enforce traffic laws but the grant has now been suspended.
In 2017, Rushing wrote a column for The Shield, the publication for the Dallas Police Association describing himself as a "broke, miserable bastard who’d rather write a few tickets for overtime than direct traffic in front of Club Golddigger on my days off in order to earn extra money."
Several people paid the fraudulent fines but police have not said how many people or how much money they paid. One black man received a ticket in which Rushing described him as being a white man.
Rushing has worked for the department for 10 years and is currently assigned to the Southeast Patrol Division.
Rushing turned himself in on Thursday and quickly bonded out. He has been placed on paid administrative leave while internal affairs investigates.
In addition to fabricating tickets, Rushing is also a published horror fiction writer and frequent social commentator, according to the Daily Light of Waxahachie.