Feds charge ex-police officer with bribe scheme

WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — A former Wichita police officer has been charged with conspiring to bribe a car-theft victim in hope of saving her job.

The U.S. attorney’s office says 34-year-old ex-officer Joletta Vallejo was indicted Wednesday on charges of wire fraud and conspiracy. Also charged in the case are 40-year-old Patrick Melendrez and 30-year-old Courtney Foster, both of Wichita.

The defendants’ home phones were either disconnected or unanswered Wednesday. It’s not known if they had lawyers.

Prosecutors say an internal police investigation concluded that Vallejo violated department rules in handling reports of a domestic violence case and a related car theft.

The indictment accuses Vallejo of arranging last August for Melendrez to pay the theft victim $150 to recant his statement and another $150 if she kept her job.

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