Ex-Melvindale Police Chief says he was fired for not meeting ticket, tow quota

Posted at 6:30 PM, Oct 09, 2017
and last updated 2017-10-09 18:30:47-04

A former police chief is suing the City of Melvindale, saying he was fired for holding city leaders accountable. Former Chief Chad Hayse says city leaders wanted him to focus on making money by ticketing and towing more drivers.He wanted his officers to do real police work.

On Friday his attorney filed a lawsuit in Federal Court.  

"That is not the police department’s job to fill the coffers of the city.  If they want more money, they can figure out a legitimate way to do it,” said Deborah Gordon, Hayse’ attorney.

Attorney Deborah Gordon says such quota’s are illegal, but that didn’t matter. City leaders allegedly had personal relationships with the owners of Goch and Sons towing and, according to Hayse, wanted the company and the city to benefit financially. The company paid the city when it was called on towing jobs.

“The taxpayers are left holding the bag because of the bad judgment of the council and the mayor. They got their buddy boys from the towing company and want to generate the revenue. If my client is going to stand in their way, he is gone,” said Gordon.

Melvindale’s city attorney says the city doesn’t comment on pending litigation, but that Hayse was let go for legitimate reasons. He says the city does not have a ticketing or towing quota for the police department.  He said reasons for the termination were given during the public meetings that decided the former chief's fate.

7 Action News was there as Hayse was accused of unprofessional conduct, calling the mayor obscene names in front of officers, and creating a hostile work environment.
Attorney Gordon says if that were really the case,  a reprimand would have been appropriate.

"First of all you have a 25-year officer. You have a chief that has been there since 2011. Are you kidding me? No written warning.  No verbal warning.  No disciplinary action,” said Gordon.