Former Waldo officers sue city over lost jobs

Officers exposed corruption, lost jobs for speaking up, attorney says


WALDO, Fla. – Four fired Waldo police officers have sued the city because they lost their jobs following a ticket-quota scandal that garnered national attention.

The former Waldo police officers -- Brandon Roberts, Jeffrey Pedrick, Roy Steadman and Brian Shoaf -- came forward in August to complain about illegal practices and corrupt leadership, prompting the city to shut down the department and hand law enforcement over to the Alachua County Sheriff's Office.

The officers' attorney, Richard Celler, said Waldo leaders never offered the officers any other opportunities and never gave them a chance to keep their jobs and benefits. He has since filed a suit against the city for wrongful termination.

DOCUMENT: Lawsuit against city of Waldo

The officers said they were ordered to write a certain number of speeding citations to drivers passing through the city of Waldo. Those officers called it a ticket quota, which is illegal. They first called out then-Police Chief Mike Szabo for a number of unethical practices, and then accused the then-Interim Chief Kenneth Smith of similar violations.

Records show 60 percent of the town's revenue came from the tickets.