Diamond city leaders meet for the first time to discuss lawsuit

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This all started when an employee from the police department reported various alleged violations.

He reported that the Chief of Police Michael Jones created ticket quotas for the officers, and he contends that Chief Jones sent Mayor Brenda Schmitt and Board of Aldermen regular updates of how many tickets individual officers were issuing… 

But in the meeting, several councilmen said they didn’t know anything about a supposed ticket quota until they were told a lawsuit had been filed by the state’s Attorney General’s office.

“A suprise to us, I mean we were blindsided by it.”

The City of Diamond had its first meeting since finding out Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt announced he is suing the city.

Diamond City Attorney Charles Genisio says, “The petition for the injunction that was filed against the City of Diamond alleges that Diamond had quotas for in their traffic stops.”

Chief of Police Michael Jones is accused of creating those ticket quotas to help generate money for the city, and that he sent Mayor Brenda Schmitt and Board of Aldermen regular updates of how many tickets individual officers were issuing.

The Diamond City Attorney laid out what the lawsuit entailed in the meeting. The Attorney General quotes two Missouri statutes the city broke — one being a misconduct in administration and the other is prohibiting using traffic tickets to generate revenue.

Diamond Mayor Brenda Schmitt says, “We’re going to review the claims made against the city, investigate all allegations and take any corrective action recommended by the Attorney General’s office.”

The City Attorney says now that the lawsuit has been served it’s a matter of cooperating with the investigation. 

“I have been in contact with the Attorney General’s office, we hope to come to a resolution quickly. I don’t know their timeline. We just hope we can resolve this quickly- that’s a good thing for everybody,” says Genisio.

Chief Jones was at the meeting to go over statistics of driving citations given over the course of a year. The numbers reported were in line with tickets given in a small town, according to the city council.

Chief Jones will continue to run the police department. 

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