4 Investigates - 'Unethical' gift-giving at Mission P.D. party?

Controversy is swirling around questionable gift-giving during a raffle at Mission Police Department holiday luncheon.

"To me it doesn't seem right for us to take property that once was belonging to somebody else and then it is given to us," said an officer who spoke to Action 4 News under the condition of anonymity.

Two veteran Mission police officers blew the whistle on what they called an "illegal" and "unethical" raffle of seized property at the police department.

We're calling them "Joe" and "Bob."

Both claimed their chief crossed the line by raffling out a list of items to staff at the Christmas luncheon on Monday.

"It sends the wrong message to all of us... the police officers...saying basically...later on it'll be ours.... keep it for ourselves," "Joe" said.

It turns out the evidence, turned presents, was seized from a Mission home last January.

There were 117 items in all.

The seized property included TV TMs, gaming devices, lawn equipment and more, according to records obtained by Action 4 News.

Chief Leo Longoria said none of the property was valued over $500.00 and was deemed abandoned in accordance to the law.

"The property had gone sour, nobody knew who it belonged too, and it was adjudicated in accordance with the law, and it was at the discretion of the city, to the police department in the case to use for its purposes and or donate," the chief said.

Most of the property or proceeds from selling it went to non-profit agencies.

Various Crime Stoppers programs also received donations, as with a Roma police officer battling cancer, records showed.

Chief Longoria explained how he decided where the rest of seized items should go.

"I decided that not only should the general public receive the sprit of the holiday and bring some joy... Was to bring a little joy to the co workers," the chief said.

"Joe" and "Bob" claim the raffle sent the wrong message.

"Does that mean we can start confiscating whatever we want, that going to be the next step... I mean it just sends the wrong message," "Bob" said.

Reporter: "Was there a moral implication by giving seized items to officers who are the ones going into these homes?"

Chief: "To answer your question... I'm not sure... I don't want to stop being kind and I don't want to stop loving just because a few people believe that it would be inappropriate."