Paso Robles announces $125,000 ticket quota settlement
March 22, 2014
A day after signing a non-disclosure agreement, Paso Robles city officials disclosed they had settled a traffic ticket quota lawsuit filed by a former employee for $125,000.
Total costs to the city exceed $160,000. In addition to the $125,000 settlement, the city paid $33,594 in attorneys’ fees and $2,671 in other expenses.
Jon Tatro, a 25-year veteran of the Paso Robles Police Department, said he and other patrol officers were required to write increasingly frequent traffic tickets in order to reach a non-specified financial goal. Such quotas are illegal under California law.
Shortly after Tatro’s attorney, Jeffrey A. Lipow of Encino, told the nine-woman, three-man jury during opening arguments on March 13 that “the evidence would show” that city officials conspired with Lisa Solomon-Chitty to generate additional revenues for city coffers by increasing the number of traffic citations, the city offered a settlement.
The non-disclosure agreement also includes a stipulation that Tatro is not to disclose information regarding the department or city management. However, the agreement has been violated opening the door for public exposure.