Ex-Fla. Cop Accused of Bogus Tickets Suing City

MELBOURNE, Fla. --

A former Melbourne police officer, who was accused of writing bogus tickets, is suing the city of Melbourne for more than $25 million.

Frank Carter claims his constitutional rights were violated. The suit claims the city manager and police chief fabricated criminal felony charges to ruin his reputation and cost him his career.

Carter has always contended he became a target of the Melbourne police chief and the city manager after speaking up as a police union leader.

Now, he's taking those claims to federal court.

"I was standing up to the police chief. We were doing a vote of no confidence against him and that's where this all started," Carter said.

His lawyers from Morgan and Morgan are seeking between $25 million and $50 million in damages. Carter was fired from the Melbourne Police Department after he was accused of writing three bogus tickets as part of an internal investigation, reviewing hundreds of citations.

Carter claimed he was targeted by the city administration after becoming president in the Fraternal Order of Police.

After he was arrested prosecutors dropped the criminal charges.

"I was devastated by everything. I'm still devastated by everything," Carter said.

The city attorney said just because the criminal case didn't move forward, doesn't mean they city didn't have good reason to fire Carter.

"They never would have made that decision if they didn't believe it was the right decision," said Melbourne City Attorney Paul Gougelman.

But Gougelman said he's already started talking the case over with the city's insurance provider and bringing their attorneys in to help handle the case.

Carter's attorneys asked for mediation last week. The city attorney said it's likely the case will get put in front of a mediator before it ever goes to trial in federal court.

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