SAN ANTONIO - Former deputies of Precinct 3 Constable Mark Vojvodich say they were told to write a certain number of traffic tickets each month or they could be fired.
“When I first started in the traffic unit, I was informed by the sergeant that you need to get twelve to fifteen citations a day in order to not to get in trouble by a lieutenant,” says a former constable who asked us not to identify him.
The former constable, and another who declined to appear in our story, say all officers at Precinct 3 were ordered to write a set number of traffic citations; but none of them complained for fear of being fired.
“Sometimes they'd have officers go and stake out certain roads in the county that have a low speed limit to get our numbers. We'd hide around curves and pull people over six cars at a time,” says the former constable.
The officers were not the only ones aware of the quota, according to a former employee who worked directly for Constable Vojvodich.
“The goal of the constable's office was for each officer to reach at least 160 tickets each month,” says the former clerk.
That clerk showed us the emails to prove it, “My job was to send out weekly emails saying, with the name of each officer, saying you have reached 76 of the 160 at this point. And you need whatever the difference was to meet the 160 quota for the end of the month.”
What does the Constable Vojvodich have to say about all of this? We don’t know because he did not return calls and an email asking for his side of the story.
But the former employee says Vojvodich did know about the quota. She claims he even told her to be quiet about it one day at lunch when she asked how many tickets one of the officers at the table had written that month.
So why have a ticket quota? To make money in order to keep their jobs, according to another former officer.
“We were told in meetings, not only by the lieutenant but also by the constable, that it's requested by the county auditor and the commissioners in order to get 160 a month to retain our positions or they would put us on civil as punishment,” he said.
County officials deny any knowledge of a quota for tickets. The two former constables and the former clerk, say they recently took their concerns to the Texas Rangers and the FBI.