A Monterey Police officer has sued the city of Monterey, claiming superiors ordered him to meet illegal quotas for writing traffic citations and, that when he balked at the directives, was retaliated against.
Among the retaliatory measures Officer Bryce Morgan claims have taken place between 2017 and the filing of his lawsuit last Nov. 28: negative reports placed in his personnel jacket; unwarranted counseling sessions, transfers and increased scrutiny; unwarranted reviews and a performance improvement plan; disparaging comments; and an unwarranted Internal Affairs investigation.
According to the suit, Monterey Police enacted a series of quotas – not described in the suit – beginning in 2015. Morgan states officers “were required to illegally fulfill a traffic citation quota and were illegally compared to other officers using shift averaging as a means of determining a benchmark for performance,” in violation of California Vehicle Code.
According to that state code, no agency employing peace officers may establish any policy requiring officers or parking enforcement employees to meet a citation quota, and the number of citations issued by a peace officer can’t be used as the sole criterion for promotion, demotion or dismissal.
Monterey Police Chief Dave Hober says he is aware of the lawsuit but has not yet been served with a copy. He declined to comment, citing personnel issues. Assistant City Attorney Karin Salameh also says her office hasn’t been served with the suit, but that she’s aware of it and the city denies the allegations.
Morgan’s attorney, Peter Horton, did not return calls requesting comment. Morgan, who was hired by the department in 2014, did not respond to a request for an interview.
A case management conference has been set for April 2 in Monterey County Superior Court.