Houston Police Chief Charles McClelland stands behind his decision not to fire four police officers.

Those traffic cops were the subject of an internal investigation for more than a year. 

The veteran cops were accused of padding their overtime with a ticket writing scheme. 

An independent police oversight board recommended the officers for termination but Chief McClelland suspended the officers instead. 

He also says their internal probe was turned over to the Harris County District Attorney Office but the agency decided not to pursue criminal charges.

McClelland says it doesn’t send a mixed message if he asks the D.A. to investigate and not terminate the officers.

Recent reports show the cops collected nearly a million dollars in overtime from the department but it wasn’t clear if those dollars were obtained through the alleged scheme.

Most of the officers are expected to return back to work by the end of the month.

McClelland says he always turns over cases to the district attorney as a form of transparency.