In Tampa, a traffic ticket surge began in 1999. Subsequently, I received two tickets, which are my only tickets in 42 years of driving. Both were dismissed in court by documenting police fraud. Over my first ticket, the officer was terminated for untruthfulness.
My motivation to find the root cause of the ticket surge resulted from finding others who reported being victims of Tampa ticket fraud, as well as Tampa patrol officers who were baffled by police administration’s sudden and aggressive demand for tickets. What was ultimately discovered is a kickback, created by Florida law in 1999, whereby police officers in municipalities must receive “extra” pension benefits in return for increasing auto insurance rates in their community. The law incentivizes police administrators to use ticket quotas (and more recently red-light traffic cameras) to increase auto insurance rates, in order to reap larger pension benefits. The Tampa police achieved a 40 percent pension benefit increase following the large auto insurance increase that trailed the ticket surge.
Orban v. The City of Tampa was filed in 2004 in an attempt to remedy the perverse practices that led to ticket fraud after City, State and federal officials declined to intervene. In my lawsuit, the judge did not disclose the evidence of the ticket quotas, the related fraud, or the kickback scheme. Herein, I provide some of the evidence. While Tampa changed some policies to better adhere to the law and they began reducing tickets from their highpoint in 2005 (143,000 tickets), they subsequently added a ticket camera program and now produce more tickets than ever before, which are needed to create auto insurance increases to fund the large pension benefit increase, as it is currently unfunded. The Tampa Police Department remains a leading producer of tickets and arrests (45,000 per year), consistent with a revenue-generating business approach. They currently produce more than 200,000 court cases per year (tickets, arrests, camera tickets), despite Tampa’s population being only 335,000.