WHITTIER (CBSLA.com) — A lawsuit filed by a half-dozen police officers against the city of Whittier claims city officials retaliated against them for their complaints over traffic citation quotas.

The complaint filed Tuesday in Los Angeles Superior Court alleges that starting in 2008, the Whittier Police Department “imposed an unlawful citation and arrest quota” in violation of the state Vehicle Code.

According to Whittier police officers Joseph Rivera, Jim Azpilicueta, Anthony Gonzalez, Steve Johnson, Nancy Ogle and Mike
Rosario, the quotas were used as a “benchmark for performance”.

The six officers repeatedly complained about the alleged quotas to their supervisors and members of the Internal Affairs Division, only to be “retaliated against those who refused to participate in and/or reported the unlawful citation and arrest quota,” the suit alleges.

In response to their alleged complaints, the plaintiffs claim their careers have been “irreparably harmed and damaged” by the alleged retaliation, which also has caused them significant emotional distress, according to court documents.

The lawsuit is seeking unspecified damages.

Officials would not immediately comment on the legal action.

“As this is a pending claim that is currently under review, the city does not have any comment at this time,” City Manager Jeffrey Collier told City News Service.

In Dec. 2013, the City of Los Angeles agreed to a $6 million settlement in a lawsuit brought by nearly a dozen police officers on traffic patrol who claimed they were punished for failing to meet traffic ticket quotas.

The LAPD denied it has ever used quotas, instead referring to them as “production goals” that are not mandatory.

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