Ex-police officer admits part in Kan. bribery case

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

Thirty-four-year-old ex-officer Joletta Vallejo pleaded guilty in federal court Monday to conspiracy to commit wire fraud. Her 40-year-old co-defendant, Patrick Melendrez, also pleaded guilty.

Sentencing for both was set for Nov. 18. Prosecutors agreed as part of the plea deal to recommend probation.

Vallejo admitted failing to follow procedures in responding to citizens’ reports, then lying to investigators about it.

She was accused of arranging last August for Melendrez to pay the theft victim $150 to recant his statement about her actions and another $150 if she kept her job with the Police Department.

A third defendant in the case faces a status hearing Sept. 9.

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