judge has denied a plea to seal the criminal record of an ex-trooper
who claimed he "fudged" stats because of ticket quotas
on truckers. Timothy Houston was fired from the Ohio Highway
Patrol in 1998 after admitting he falsified daily work logs.
told police investigators he omitted speeding tickets to truckers
but didn't void them out. He accounted for the omitted tickets
on a tracking sheet, which gave the appearance he was trying
to pad his commercial activity numbers. This eventually led
to criminal charges.
to court documents, Houston said he was never directed by a
supervisor to issue more citations to truckers, but was questioned
about small ticket totals. Houston's attorney told news reporters
the former trooper did not want to boost his career at the expense
of a trucker who could lose his job because of traffic tickets.
said he discovered a trucker could lose his commercial driving
privileges for extended periods if receiving multiple tickets
within a certain time frame. "Why should I take (a trucker's)
livelihood for a speeding ticket?" he said in a May 1999
Land Line article. "Why would I ruin these guys' lives
with a third moving violation?"
guilty in 1998 to eight counts of misdemeanor falsification,
was given two years suspended sentence, ordered to serve 90
days under house arrest and was fired.
for expungement - which erases police and court records - because
he was a first-time offender and three years had passed since
Houston said his willingness to let a trucker go, rather than
write a citation did not translate well with the goals of the
highway patrol. "Yes, I know I violated departmental policy
and procedure," he said. "The only thing I did was
give somebody a break and then tore up the ticket." Houston's
attorney also asserted that his case led the patrol to end enforcement
has denied charges it unfairly targeted truckers and had assigned
its troopers ticket quotas.