JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. – Attorney General Eric Schmitt filed a lawsuit against Moscow Mills for allegedly enforcing a ticket quota on their officers. The Attorney General’s Office is asking for a preliminary and permanent injunction prohibiting the City of Moscow Mills from enforcing what they are calling a traffic ticket quota scheme.
Schmitt says they are in violation of Senate Bill 5 and accompanying reforms.
The lawsuit alleges that Terry Foster, the Chief of Police in Moscow Mills, instructed officers within his department to issue a certain number of citations and hired a “traffic enforcement officer” to write roughly 160 citations per month in order to secure $160,000 in court citation revenue per year. The lawsuit says the revenue was a line item in the city budget.
The suit states, “Chief of Police Terry Foster, on behalf of the City of Moscow Mills, has given instructions to the traffic enforcement officer to write at least ten (10) citations per day, while remaining officers have been given instructions to write a minimum of five (5) citations per month.”
The suit also alleges that Chief Foster terminated an officer employed by the Moscow Mills Police Department after that officer raised concerns about the ticket quota scheme to the mayor.
“Missourians should not be treated as cash cows to fill municipal coffers. When I was in the State Senate, I led efforts to pass Senate Bill 5 to ensure that citizens are not being treated as ATMs and to end the practice of taxation by citation. Now, as Missouri’s Attorney General, I’m trusted with enforcing those laws,” said Attorney General Schmitt.
You can read the entire petition on the Missouri Attorney General’s website.