Ex-Novi cop wins $280K in lawsuit over alleged ticket quotas

Michael Corbett sued Novi police after, he says, department ordered specific ticket quotas to collect revenue

By Priya Mann - Reporter

NOVI, Mich. - Michael Corbett was a Novi patrol officer for close to 25 years without a single write up.

But it was pressure to write traffic tickets that he says turned the law enforcement agency into a revenue collector

"I never would have guessed that the early part of my career would have been the most moral and the best," said Corbett. "It became very clear that there was more to it ... there was a business side to it."

Corbett says the orders came right from the top.

In 2009, officers were told it was mandatory to make four stops a day and issue two tickets, he said.

A year and 1/2 later, officers were told to include commercial vehicles, which generates on average a $1,000 dollars in violations, and make more arrests, which can rack up hefty court fines.

"The command pressures people to do things, as far as creating numbers and they reward you accordingly by not pulling your tapes, by giving you special assignments, things of that nature," said Corbett.

When he filed a formal complaint in 2013, Corbett says superiors told him he would lose his retirement. He sued Novi police and a year later was awarded $280,000.

"If you're out there everyday being belittled and told you're a failure because you didn't write enough tickets, I mean that just completely undermines the entire concept of law enforcement," said attorney Deborah Gordon.

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