7/4/2006Tennessee: Speed Trap Fine Refunds Possible
Coopertown, Tennessee may be forced to refund illegally issued speed trap tickets.
Activists in Coopertown, Tennessee are hoping that the Robertson County chancery court will find Mayor Danny Crosby had set an illegal speed limit and order refunds to hundreds of innocent motorists caught in the notorious speed trap town. Last week, the state attorney general's office filed an writ of ouster to have Crosby removed from office. (The full text of the court complaint is available in a 680kb PDF file at the source link below.)
District Attorney General John W. Carney, Jr. wrote that the mayor had disgraced his office: "By engaging in a scheme to increase operating revenues of the municipality by establishing an automobile 'speed trap,' ostensibly for legitimate purposes of public safety, but in reality for the generation of revenues, increasing the city's 'take' from citizens from approximately $12,000.00 per year to an initially projected figure of between $400,000.00 and $800,000.00 per year."
The court filing includes examples of how Crosby would target soldiers, minorities and out-of-town drivers because they were least likely to challenge a citation in court. He is also charged with falsifying evidence to have critics put in jail.
The ouster effort was led by Sam Childs who runs the Coopertown News website and helped collect 536 signatures -- nearly one out of five residents.
"In the end, our Mayor will have to abide by the law just like any other citizen," Childs wrote in an editorial today. "Our system has worked, justice will prevail."