Wichita man gets sentence for helping ex-police officer with bribe
A man who tried to help a Wichita Police Department officer bribe a witness was sentenced to two years federal probation.
Patrick Melendrez, 40, of Wichita, has already spent five months in jail. In a plea deal, Melendrez admitted Joletta Vallejo asked him to help her in getting a witness to recant statements.
Vallejo, a WPD employee at the time, was approached by two people on Oct. 16, 2011, who told her they were victims of aggravated kidnapping and attempted first degree murder. Citing that Vallejo did not follow WPD policies in filing the complaints, the department's Professional Standards Bureau investigated.
Vallejo found out she was going to lose her job. She asked Melendrez to help her with a scheme to keep it.
On Aug. 22, 2012, Melendrez and Vallejo called and texted one of the witnesses from the Oct. 16, 2011 incident, asking him to recant his statements. They offered money. The call was made from a number in Melendrez' name.
The witness cooperated with an undercover investigation into the bribery attempt.
Vallejo is set for sentencing on Dec. 2.