As the threat of federal charges looms over eight former Fort Worth police officers accused in a traffic ticket scandal, a Tarrant County prosecutor revealed that state charges were dropped this year because evidence shows the city was using an illegal quota system.

The officers were working under a grant program in conjunction with the Texas Department of Transportation. And prosecutors and defense attorneys say it’s clear that a quota system was in place, though officials with the Transportation Department and the Police Department insist that was not the case.

The officers had been charged with falsifying traffic citations to justify thousands of dollars of overtime pay from the Selective Traffic Enforcement Program grant, or STEP.

Tarrant County prosecutor David Lobingier said he recommended dismissing the charges because ethically he could not prosecute the officers for violating one law when the city had been requiring them to violate another.

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