ST. CLOUD (AP) -- A city attorney dismissed allegations that State Patrol supervisors unlawfully pressured a trooper to write traffic tickets. The chief of the Minnesota State Patrol expressed support for the decision Thursday.
St. Cloud city attorney Jan Petersen notified the patrol Wednesday he wouldn't prosecute two supervisors who were cited last week by trooper Pete Teigen for imposing ticket quotas.
A 1986 state law prohibits the State Patrol from requiring that a trooper issue a certain number of tickets.
Teigen cited his superiors, Lt. Tom Nelson and Capt. Al Kutz, after they completed his annual performance review and said he needs improvement in his enforcement efforts. But Petersen said there was no evidence Nelson and Kutz enforced a quota.
In a memo Thursday, state patrol chief Anne Beers aligned herself with Petersen's decision and Teigen's supervisors. "Obviously, we have felt from the beginning that these citations were issued in error, and that the supervisors were doing what the citizens of Minnesota expect of responsible State Patrol supervisors," she wrote in the memo.
The State Patrol issued portions of the memo in a news release, but declined to disclose the full memo. According to the news release, Beers wrote in the memo that she doesn't condone violation of the quota law but expects troopers to enforce all traffic laws.
Teigen alleged he received the "needs improvement" rating because he issued fewer traffic tickets this year than in 2000 and didn't document a driving under the influence citation.
"I stand by what I did," Teigen told the St. Cloud Times on Wednesday. "I believe what I did was right. ... All I ever wanted was to have this heard by a judge."
In a letter to the State Patrol office in St. Cloud, Petersen said he wouldn't be able to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that Nelson and Kutz violated the ticket quota law.
But Petersen also wrote that other troopers told him they agreed with Teigen that quotas were being imposed. Petersen suggested the issue be addressed in other ways, such as through a union grievance procedure.
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