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History of a speed trap

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'Ignorance of the law is no excuse'
Karl Jeter

A letter to Teche News from attorney Allan Durand, who represents former Assistant Police Chief Mack Lloyd, shines a different light on the “quota” issue with regard to speeding tickets issued by Henderson police on Interstate 10.
Lloyd recently pleaded guilty to establishing an illegal quota system by which off-duty officers received payments from the state. Henderson was required to repay $16,000 to the state and Lloyd received a suspended sentence, probation and a fine.
Durand responded to an article in the Teche News about the resolution of that case.
According to Durand, the Louisiana Department of Public Safety initiated a program about 10 years ago that included what he refers to as a “quota” in that the state required officers to be off-duty and write at least three tickets in order to be compensated for one hour of overtime. This, Durand writes, was completely legal at the time.
The state ended the program but the practice continued under the authority of the Town of Henderson with a reduction to a minimum of two citations per hour of overtime pay.
It was only years later, Durand contends, that the “quota” system was made illegal in the state. He writes that neither Henderson government or police were notified of the change.
According to the 16th Judicial District Attorney’s Office, a lack of knowledge of the law does not affect culpability, so charges proceeded.
Durand writes that Lloyd, at 66 years of age, retired and unwilling to risk greater penalties under the original felony charges, decided it was in his best interest to take the misdemeanor plea deal that was offered.

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