3 Collin College police officers suing after exposing alleged scheme

Three Collin College police officers are suing the school system, saying they were retaliated against for being whistleblowers.

The officers didn't talk themselves, but they stood with their attorneys on Monday, who explained they are coming forward now hoping to get public support and because they fear for their safety.

Officers Jon Mark, Craig Bennight and Billy Burleson say they have been penalized, demoted and have received what they consider a death threat after exposing alleged corruption and a cover-up by some of the community college system's high ranking officials.

They say that the scheme involved over $1 million worth of stolen textbooks from bookstores at three different campuses.

The officers say they were instructed to stop investigating the case.

Knowing something illegal was happening, they instead notified Texas Rangers, the FBI and the district attorney's office.

"It started with a low level employee who was stealing textbooks, and then some of the higher ups were involved in a relationship with vendors who were selling books back," said Victoria Neave, one of the officers' attorneys. "And this, actually, we're learning, is going back several years."

Federal authorities told FOX 4 on Monday that they can't confirm or deny the existence or status of an investigation.

The officers say they're suing the college because they have been written up unfairly, endured schedule changes, relocations and had their earned flex time taken away.

The most serious thing they allege is a death threat.

"There was something left at Officer Mark's home, and as many of you know if you receive something, a death threat at your home, somebody knows where you live, that's seriously concerning, and it was aimed at all three officers," said Neave. "…It was a note, yes."

The officers' lawsuit also calls for the resignation of Collin College officials, who they believe are involved in the textbook scheme and its cover-up.

The school system has filed a response to the lawsuit in court, denying all of the claims.

FOX 4 asked an attorney for the school system for its reaction on Monday, but they have yet to respond.


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