Marlin City Manager Released Following Investigation by Texas Rangers
We have all wondered if Police officers ever talk about 'ticket quotas" behind closed doors. Seems like every state I've lived in has people who wonder about that.
Well, this hits a little close to home in the city of Marlin, Texas as City Manager Alan Grindstaff has been arrested after an indictment into the abuse of official capacity. That's code for planning to offset the city's budget shortfall with extra revenue from traffic tickets according to a story by Rissa Shaw with News 10.
Grindstaff was in jail earlier this week on $15,000 bond and was scheduled to appear before a judge yesterday. The charge is a Class A misdemeanor.
News 10 reports that Grindstaff broke the law by suggesting to Marlin Police chief Nathan Sodek that his department was "required to or expected to issue a predetermined number of citations (traffic related or otherwise) within a specific period."
The Texas penal code says that City managers are allowed to estimate the amount of money the court will bring in for a budget year, however, it is illegal to create a ticket quota. The former Marlin City manager estimated police needed to write 500 tickets a month for the city to get the revenue it needed.
This is the city's fourth manager in the last four and a half years. Grindstaff was brought in in February of 2017. His contract was to be in place until April of 2020. The city council voted 7-0 in March to terminate Grindstaff's contract and pick up the option for a buyout.