Wed, 06 May 2015 20:17:43 GMT — Tickets that were issued in a construction zone this past weekend are now being dismissed.
This comes after the Grand Traverse County Sheriff authorized a reward incentive for road patrol officers who wrote a certain number of tickets in the construction zone of US-31.
Prosecutor Bob Cooney said on Monday he found out the Grand Traverse County Sheriff had authorized a reward incentive.
The incentive was a paid day off but only if they gave out five citations for a specific violation in a specific time.
Sheriff Tom Bensley says M-DOT called the sheriff's department last Thursday because there were a lot of drivers using business parking lots to get around construction on US-31.
The sheriff says there was concern that the incentive may have violated the michigan vehicle code which states that any officer shall not be entitled to any fees for issuing a citation.
"We didn't equate the term fee with an incentive which would be time off," said Sheriff Tom Bensley. "However, the prosecutor says no that reward or incentive in effect is a fee in his estimation so that we are not abel to give those officers the time off because that would be a violation."
"So I think that it's bad public policy," said Prosecutor Bob Cooney. "I don't think that it's what the public expects to happen and this office certainly doesn't condone that and I've talked with the sheriff and I've explained to him that you can't offer these types of incentives. He's agreed that it's not going to happen in the future."
At least 60-tickets were issued-but again the prosecutor says he is requesting that they all be dismissed.
Cooney said there would not have been a problem with the citations issued if the sheriff had simply requested to beef up patrolling in the construction zone without giving an incentive.
The sheriff's office said if you already paid for your ticket, you will get a refund and the offense will be taken off your record.