Federal Prosecutors Allege Ticket Quotas Were Standard Practice for State Police Troop E
Boston, MA– The overtime pay scandal keeps revealing more details about the illegal actions of troopers in State Police Troop E. Troop E was the State Police patrol that monitored the Mass Pike, until it was dissolved last year after the discovery of overtime pay abuse, among other charges. Now MassLive has reported on new allegations by federal prosecutors that the overtime abuse also involved “ticket quota” systems, which are illegal in Massachusetts.
The overtime program was known as AIRE: Accident and Injury Reduction Effort. Federal prosecutors say that when officers were assigned to AIRE overtime shifts, they would write only the required number of tickets and then call it a day while getting paid for hours they had not worked. Prosecutors say that troopers were supposed to issue 8-10 citations per shift.
Boston-based attorney Peter Elikann affirmed that police ticket quotas are illegal in the state, and elaborated to MassLive that the whole point of tickets “...is to discourage bad drivers and not just be a revenue generator. To have quotas would greatly undermine the confidence of the public that there may be an ulterior motive.”
In a court filing for the sentencing of ex-trooper Eric Chin, who pleaded guilty to embezzlement charges related to the overtime pay scandal, prosecutors wrote about how the alleged ticket quotas were handled. “Any failure to issue the required number of citations had to be explained to supervisors and command staff. Repeated failures to meet this quota often resulted in a trooper being blocked from receiving such overtime opportunities.”
The State Police cite the reforms that have since been put in place, such as the disbanding of Troop E and the closure of the AIRE overtime program.
WBUR reports that State Police spokesman Dave Procopio gave a statement on Tuesday, saying, "While the department does not comment on ongoing legal proceedings, the department has no policy or operating procedures that establish quotas, and does not endorse a quota system. The department has not received any grievances from union members about a loss of overtime opportunities based on failure to meet an alleged citation quota."