LAPD traffic ticket quota system costs city another $1M

January 14, 2016
According to data accumulated by LAPD, crime is down in Koreatown. (Ha Sang-yoon)

Coincidence? As it turns out, there was a reason for scenes like this on streets of Los Angeles. (Korea Times file)

LOS ANGELES (CNS) – The Los Angeles City Council has agreed to pay nearly $1 million to a former Westside motorcycle officer who said he was retaliated against by the Los Angeles Police Department for not participating in an illegal traffic ticket quota system.

The payment, recommended by the Los Angeles city attorney’s office, was approved unanimously by the City Council, although Councilman  Bob Blumenfield was absent, the Los Angeles Times reported.

The $950,000 agreement resolves a 2014 lawsuit filed in L.A. County Superior Court by Dan Gregg, a former officer with the LAPD’s West Traffic Division. Gregg alleged his supervisor, Capt. Nancy Lauer, required officers in the division to write a set number of traffic tickets during each shift, establishing a quota system that violated state law, The Times reported.

Gregg’s job included assigning other officers’ overtime, and, beginning in 2009, Lauer instructed him to deny overtime to those who did not meet their quotas, the lawsuit said.

Gregg said in the lawsuit that he was denied a promotion after complaining about the alleged quota system.

In 2011, Gregg testified on behalf of two veteran motorcycle officers, Howard Chan and David Benioff, who made similar allegations against Lauer and members of her command staff in a separate lawsuit. A jury awarded Chan and Benioff $2 million combined, according to The Times.

After Gregg testified, his supervisors punished him by denying him overtime, filing a bogus internal affairs complaint, placing him on involuntary leave and wrongfully firing him, his lawsuit alleged.

In December 2013, the City Council agreed to pay $5.9 million to a group of 11 West Traffic Division motorcycle officers who also alleged retaliation and other workplace misconduct tied to the ticket controversy.

The ticket quota cases have cost more than $10 million in taxpayer money spent on payouts and legal fees, The Times reported.