“It’s troubling,” Prince George’s interim police chief Hector Velez said. “The residents of Prince George’s County expect better from the men and women who serve them.”
The tip-off did not harm any investigation, and no one was injured by the alleged breech, officials said. The single count of misconduct in office is considered a misdemeanor.
Mendez had most recently worked in the department’s Bureau of Investigation before being suspended in April 2019, when the allegations were reported to the department's Internal Affairs unit by other officers, according to the department.
Mendez could not immediately be reached for comment. A person who answered the phone of a number that appeared to be connected to Mendez said Tuesday that “he is not available” and hung up. It is not clear if Mendez has retained an attorney in the case.
The interim chief said the case belies the perception that officers don’t report on one another.
“That couldn’t be further from the truth,” Velez said. “Police officers do report other police officers. And this is a prime example of how things work from the bottom up.”
Velez said the department’s internal affairs unit brought the case to prosecutors at the Prince George’s State’s Attorney’s Office.
“There is no excuse for corruption and this case will be treated no differently,” State’s Attorney Aisha Braveboy said in a statement Tuesday.