Lawsuit over Ticket Quotas Ordered into Mediation
Saturday, January, 17, 2015
A lawsuit filed by a police officer in Mendham Township in New Jersey has been ordered into mediation by the court.
Officer Robert Wysokowski claims that he and other officers were ordered to specifically target young drivers for tickets with quotas for the amount of revenue to be raised by each officer. According to Wysokowski, he was ordered to look for drivers in their teens and twenties and stop them regardless of any observed violations, because there would always be ‘something’ he could write a ticket for.
He further claims that he was denied promotion because he refused to do so, and sought protection under New Jersey’s Conscientious Employee Protection Act, sometimes referred to as the ‘whistleblower’ law.
Mendham Township officials deny any quota system, and deny Officer Wysokowski was denied promotion as retribution. They assert he was not promoted because of legitimate job performance issues. Police Chief Steven Crawford went so far as to hold a press conference where he stated unequivocally that ‘My officers do not engage in illegal acts.’
The court has kept the lawsuit on the calendar but ordered both sides to seek a settlement through mediation before the suit begins. Ticket quotas are increasingly controversial in the state of New Jersey where many motorists suspect they are used as a way of shoring up shrinking revenues from property and sales taxes, although the practice is universally denied by townships and cities across the state. Officer Wysokowski’s suit is one of very few examples of police being willing to admit the practice.