SAPD officer arrested, accused of accepting bribes from local trucking company

Daniel Schmitt, 42, allegedly paid for favorable DOT inspections

SAN ANTONIO – A San Antonio police officer was arrested Monday on allegations he accepted payments in exchange for giving passing inspections to a local trucking company.

The officer was identified as 42-year-old Daniel Schmitt. He was booked on bribery charges at the Bexar County Magistrate’s Office. SAPD spokesman Sgt. Jesse Salame said Schmitt worked as part of a specialized unit targeting commercial vehicles.

Officers in that unit perform routine safety inspections on trucks like big rigs to make sure they are following U.S. Department of Transportation rules and regulations. Salame said Schmitt was no longer working in that unit when allegations were made that he was still doing the inspections 'on the side'.

Salame said the Texas Department of Public Safety learned an SAPD officer was giving higher than normal passing grades to one trucking company and was getting paid for those passing inspections.

The allegations date back to July 2013 and continued through December 2014.

When SAPD's Intelligence unit began looking into the allegations late last year Schmitt was placed on administrative duty. Schmitt was then given an indefinite suspension sometime in late April or early May according to Salame.

According to court records, Schmitt was indicted on Thursday on eight counts of bribery.

In all, the indictment said Schmitt was paid $7,400 dollars by Texas Chrome Transport Inc. a San Antonio-based trucking company that according to its website specializes in hauling frac sand. Schmitt is also accused of paying $400 to another police officer, identified as Johnny Diaz, in exchange for a favorable inspection for Texas Chrome Transport.

Salame said a second officer was implicated in the investigation and the officer resigned early in the investigation but that officer was not identified.

Schmitt was booked around 3:30 p.m. Monday on the second-degree felony charge and his bond was set at $20,000.

About the Author:

Tim Gerber is an investigative reporter and anchor on the KSAT Defenders team.