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EDITORIAL: In Henderson, of course

Henderson government is in the news for the wrong reasons — again. The Review-Journal’s Eric Hartley reported Monday that a city audit found police had been illegally voiding traffic citations after the tickets had been filed in court. Under state law, only a judge can dismiss citations once they’ve been filed in court.

The numbers are small: Just 96 citations out of 37,256 submitted by police over a two-year period were voided after being filed in Municipal Court, or three-tenths of 1 percent. But it’s troubling that police were allowed to break the law for so long as a matter of policy: Officers could void a ticket simply by filling out a form.

The city deserves credit for identifying the problem through an internal audit, and for responding to it appropriately. Police said ticket dismissals now must be approved by supervisors and presented to the court through the city attorney’s office. Good.

But it’s more proof of an insular, small-town City Hall culture that does favors for insiders at everyone else’s expense. Who’s watching the store? Not city administrators, and not the City Council. It’s another reason why the Review-Journal’s editorial board has urged Henderson voters to bounce council incumbents in the April 7 primary.

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