Parking officer: Boss told me to up ticket count

Posted at 7:15 PM, Jan 04, 2016
and last updated 2016-01-04 22:15:45-05

A San Diego parking enforcement officer says when he pushed back against orders to write a certain number of tickets, his boss targeted him.

Carlos Rodriguez just filed a claim, alleging his supervisor used his disability to get him in trouble.

Rodriguez says it all began when his supervisor sat down with him twice in two months to tell him he had to up his daily ticket count from about 80 to 100, because the other officers wrote more than 120 every day.

“The first thing I thought about is, that sounds like a quota,” said Rodriguez.

Rodriguez says he voiced his concerns about a quota and also reminded his boss of his condition -  Neurosarcoidosis – which causes inflammation in the central nervous system. It forces Rodriguez to drink water frequently and take bathroom breaks, a condition the longtime city employee says the city knew about when he was transferred to the job more than five years ago.

A few months after the last talk with his supervisor, he was driving a truck - working with a street sweeper.

In September, Rodriguez says he was working in North Park, trying to find the street sweeper. He says he was driving a few miles an hour, when he made a wide right turn and hit a curb, causing his tire to go flat.

He says he called his supervisor, who called police and said nothing as officers arrested him for a DUI because his speech was not clear, and he was having trouble walking - both symptoms of his condition.

“I couldn’t believe this was happening. I was worried, then upset,” said Rodriguez.

Charges were never filed. His license was temporarily suspended, and Rodriguez lost six weeks of pay.

He says he was targeted and just filed a claim against the City of San Diego.

“This was all a setup because my client refused to break the law and go with a quota system. When the supervisor saw the accident, he saw it as an opportunity to get rid of him,” said Rodriguez’s attorney, Dan Gilleon.

“It's not right to discriminate against disabled people who are willing to do the job, can get the job done and work the hardest,” said Rodriguez.

Rodriguez is now back on the job, but says his supervisor told him in the initial meetings he was on probation and could face discipline.

City officials declined to comment on the case, citing pending litigation.

A city source tell us city parking tickets are routinely monitored to ensure there are no quotas.