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Texas Judge Refuses to be a Part of Traffic Ticket Scheme, Blows the Whistle on Policing for Profit

Published: December 22, 2015
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Calvert, Texas – Retired municipal court judge David Viscarde has recently come forward to expose the use of quotas on speeding tickets. In an exclusive interview this week, Viscarde told WFAA that the police department and the local courts were involved in a revenue collection scheme where officers had quotas for speeding tickets, and judges were pressured to rush the cases through the courts.

Viscarde was a volunteer municipal court judge for over 15 years.

When I first became a judge, we had one reserve officer. That’s all he did on Friday and Saturday every other weekend. He’d write 100 citations,” Viscarde said.

“Their municipal court is their cash cow,” he added.

Viscarde explained how the pressure put on judges in the area caused him and many others to quit.

The pressure to collect revenues in Calvert — and probably other small towns in Texas — is excessive. And what happens is, you got judges like me who say they’ve got better things to do with my time. ‘Thank you very much, and God bless you, I’ll move on,’” Viscarde said.

He also revealed that Police Departments from many small towns in the area of Texas funded their entire budgets with speeding tickets. According to Viscarde, some towns would not even be able to have a police force if it weren’t for the speeding tickets. In the town of Calvert, for example, the local government refuses to pay for a prosecutor, and would be unable to actually take speeding tickets to trial if a defendant wanted to fight back.

In some towns, there are more pending cases than there are people. In the town of Hearne, there are only 4,400 people, but 12,000 municipal court cases pending. In Calvert, there is an average of 5 pending cases for every person in the town.

“The mindset of most small towns — including Calvert, and I can only speak for Calvert — is, ‘After all, we’re only Calvert, who’s going to know?’ The problem is, I knew,” Viscarde said.

WFAA reported that none of the towns in question had ever been audited. Below is the interview with WFAA.

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