July 21, 2008
Houston Judge Cuts Bail for Suspects in HPD Union Theft
By Brian Rogers, Houston Chronicle
Jul. 21--A judge today reduced the bail to $150,000 for a retired Houston police officer and a current officer, who are accused of stealing money from the Houston Police Officers' Union.Bail originally was set at $250,000 for Ronald Martin and his former son-in-law, Jeff Larson, but state District Judge Jim Wallace approved defense attorneys' request for the reduction this morning.
Wallace also ordered that Martin, 51, and Larson, 39, wear electronic monitors and obey a 7 p.m.-to-7 a.m. curfew.
Larson turned himself in last week after a Harris County grand jury indicted him and Martin on charges of misapplication of fiduciary property. Larson, who also was indicted on charges of theft by a public servant, has posted bail.
Martin, the union's former board secretary, was taken into custody at today's hearing and is expected to post bail today.
Prosecutors say the two men stole cash, cashed checks, used credit cards and pocketed profits from vehicle sales -- all from the union's coffers.
The two are accused of taking about $100,000 to $200,000 from the union from December 2004 to January 2008, according to District Attorney Ken Magidson.
A 31-year HPD veteran, Martin retired after he and Larson were relieved of duty in mid-January. Larson, who remains off-duty with pay pending the outcome of the investigation, has been with HPD for 16 years and was the union's treasurer.
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