EL PASO, Texas - (Nov. 2012 story)
New developments on the recent arrests of five Socorro police officers.
A group within the police department tells ABC-7 it warned the city of the alleged wrong-doing back in July.
ABC-7 I-Team investigator Ashlie Rodriguez obtained a copy of an email from one of the officers who say they it sent to City Manager Willie Norfleet.
During the final days of October, Lt. Jose Enrique Alvarez and Sgt. Refugio Orta were arrested on suspicion of official oppression.
Det. Isreal Delgado faces that same charge and another for tampering with governmental records. And Det.Javier Varela is suspected of official oppression, tampering with government records with intent to defraud or harm, plus aggravated perjury.
This week, Officer Bobby Correa joined that list, also charged with tampering with a government document.
Sources inside the Socorro Police Dept. tell ABC-7 this controversy could have been avoided if the city had only listened to their concerns four months ago.
An anonymous group of officers sent an email July 3rd to City Manager Willie Norfleet Jr. asking him to investigate Correa, who managed a federal grant for the city.
They accused Correa of authorizing overtime hours for work that wasn't done. They also mentioned of an incident where an officer was put on paid leave because he believed that a persons civil rights were violated.
The email states: "Let me tell you sir that this particular case will come back to haunt the city of Socorro and a lawsuit...This is why we are coming to you and requesting that you look into these matters."
ABC-7 reached out to Socorro City Spokesman David Garcia about the email. He said he's been unable to reach Norfleet for a comment. Earlier this week he also told me small towns have a different way of doing things.
"We just work with each other and take care of each other and do favors for each other and that can't be in a bigger city," Garcia said.
The officers behind the email say they're willing to leave if things aren't changed. The email also accuses Orta of being constantly under investigation, yet never put on leave and of favoritism within the department.
While it says it represents a majority of the officers, they wish to remain anonymous because of the fear retaliation.
ABC-7 is still waiting on City Manager Norfleet to respond.
(Nov. 2012 story)