Former DPS trooper works to clear his name after winning appeal in horse racing case

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- A former DPS trooper who was accused of conducting illegal horse races at a rodeo in Crosby is working to clear his name after his felony conviction was overturned.

Former DPS trooper Richard Rivera was among nine people arrested in 2013 in connection with the operation, but he said he had no part in the horse racing and that his job consisted of controlling pedestrian traffic.

Rivera was later convicted of conducting a horse race without a license, a felony, a sentenced to 25 days in jail, probation and a fine. He fought that conviction, and an appellate court agreed.

The judgment was changed to not guilty this past April.

Rivera said the three-and-a-half-year legal battle cost him his home, his 401K and his reputation. He's now suing two Texas Rangers and a third law enforcement officer involved in his case.

Rivera was a 32-year veteran of the Department of Public Safety before his arrest. His license has since been reinstated and he is working to get a job.

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