Police enter 'not guilty' pleas in ticket quota case
HENDERSON - The police chief and deputy chief of Henderson pleaded not guilty today to charges they ran a ticket quota system, awarding officers who wrote more traffic violations.
Chief Leroy Guidry and Deputy Chief Oliver Mack Lloyd each face charges of public payroll fraud, malfeasance in office and filing false public record. If convicted, both could face up to 12 years behind bars.
After the arraignment Guidry said there was no truth to the allegations.
"I want the Henderson residents to know that the Henderson Police Department is alive and well and they would be happy to know that we pleaded innocent on the charges that were filed against us, and we're completely innocent of those charges," he said.
Prosecutors said Guidy and Lloyd paid police officers one hour of overtime for every two traffic citations written, about $15 per ticket.
"These officers 'working overtime' would go out on Interstate 10, write tickets, and their compensation would be based solely and exclusively upon the number of tickets they wrote," said St. Martin Parish Assistant District Attorney Chester Cedars.
Guidry and Lloyd's defense attorney Warren Ashy says the men were just following the terms of a state contract.
"They had a contract with the state of Louisiana that required them... there were two contracts actually... one contract required them to write three tickets an hour... another required them to write two tickets an hour to comply with the terms of that contract," said Ashy.
Cedars says he has a strong case against Guidry and Lloyd.
"If there was any sort of agreement with any person on behalf of the state of Louisiana it would be an illegal agreement. The law clearly and unequivocally provides that officers cannot be paid by the ticket, nor can they be part of any sort of quota scheme," he said.
An Inspector General's report states an unknown police officer recorded Guidry confirming they had the systms in place. The report also states that the city of Henderson made $2.4 million from traffic citations issued by the police department from 2009-2011, which makes up 80 percent of the city's annual revenue.
The trial date is set for December 16.