- Associated Press - Thursday, February 23, 2017

DAMASCUS, Ark. (AP) - A prosecutor says Damascus, Arkansas, has “abused its police power” and violated the state’s speed-trap law.

Prosecuting Attorney Cody Hiland said the city violated the state’s speed-trap law for issuing too many traffic tickets on a heavily used highway.

A city is in violation of the law if its revenue from traffic fines and costs related to its local traffic citations exceeds 30 percent of the town’s total expenses, less capital expenses and debt service in the preceding year, the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette (https://bit.ly/2moDRej ) reported.

Hilland said data from an investigation by the Arkansas State Police and the Arkansas Legislative Audit Division shows the city’s citations exceed 30 percent from 2013 to 2015.

“This was a narrowly tailored, data-driven investigation and finding,” Hiland said in a statement Wednesday.



The city has 30 days to respond to Hiland’s findings. Damascus‘ city attorney Beau Wilcox says the city will respond after considering all options.

“It remains very likely that the City of Damascus, through the mayor and city council, will find it both legally advisable and prudent to challenge the constitutional merits of the statute in a court of law,” Wilcox said in an email.

The city could be ordered to cease patrolling affected highways or be ordered to pay all or part of future revenue from such traffic violations to a county fund for public schools.

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Information from: Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, https://www.arkansasonline.com

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