For Immediate Release:
Feb. 17, 2015

Contact: Kack Haslag
(573) 751-2853

Senator Eric Schmitt Urges AG Koster to Investigate Officials in Bellefontaine Neighbors, Announces Whistleblower Hotline for Police Who Were Threatened

JEFFERSON CITY—Missouri State Senator Eric Schmitt is urging Attorney General Chris Koster to investigate a report that local officials in Bellefontaine Neighbors threatened police officers with termination if they did not write more traffic tickets and arrest more citizens. The news came to light following a report Monday night by KMOV-TV investigative reporter Craig Cheatham who learned through a letter provided by a whistleblower that public officials threatened law enforcement with discipline if they did not meet a monthly total for traffic tickets and arrests. 

"This is a damning report that raises very serious questions about the actions of public officials in Bellefontaine Neighbors and we need to know immediately whether any laws have been broken," said Senator Schmitt.  "This investigation clearly uncovered that public officials threatened and coerced law enforcement with their jobs if they did not meet ticket and arrest requirements.  The traffic ticket requirements are bad enough, but arbitrary arrest requirements raise new questions.  I am urging Attorney General Chris Koster to investigate this report so the public can know the truth about whether public officials are exploiting, threatening and coercing law enforcement to fund their bloated budgets.  

"I am also establishing a new whistleblower hotline in my office with the hope that police officers and anyone with any information about these tactics will come forward and help advance this investigation.  Anyone with any information about the coercion of law enforcement should contact my office at (573) 751-2853 and we will ensure this information is thoroughly reviewed."

Senator Schmitt has been leading the fight in the Missouri legislature to put a stop to abusive traffic ticket schemes with the introduction of a tough reform bill that would severely limit the amount of traffic ticket revenue that could be used to fund local budgets.  Current law states that local municipalities can only fund 30 percent of their budgets with revenue generated by traffic tickets and fines.  But some municipalities are far exceeding what is allowed by law.

Schmitt's municipal court reform legislation would only allow local governments to fund 10 percent of their budgets with revenue generated by tickets and fines. Any money collected beyond the 10 percent would go to state government, reducing incentives of local municipalities to create abusive traffic ticket schemes for their bloated government budgets.

To see the legislation (Senate Bill 5), visit