A New Jersey lawmaker is currently embroiled in something of a political scandal following revelations that he asked a state trooper who pulled him over on his way to the Statehouse to give him a break on a speeding ticket.
According to reports, Assemblyman Nelson Albano (D-Vineland) was pulled over by Trooper Randy P. back on February 21 for going 71 miles-per-hour in a 55 mile-per-hour zone. Upon being issued his speeding ticket, Albano -- who has been in office since 2006 -- purportedly told Trooper Randy P. of his unwavering support for police during his time in office.
"I remember saying, yes, 'Can you cut me a break?'" Albano recently told The Star-Ledger of Newark. "I've always supported the state police, I was elected as legislator of the year because of what I have done supporting the police, can't you cut me a break?' At that point the trooper said, 'Here's the number on the ticket to call the courts.' That was it."
Interestingly enough, it appears that wasn't actually the end of the matter.
A little less than a week later, Albano penned an angry letter to Col. Rick Fuentes, the Superintendent of the New Jersey State Police, complaining about the traffic stop. Specifically, he claimed that Trooper Randy P. had treated him like a criminal, delayed his attendance at Governor Chris Christie's budget address and, more significantly, that he had been targeted by the state police as part of a broader scheme of retribution for recent benefit and pension reforms approved by the legislature.
It should be noted, however, that Albano has since recanted the last two allegations, admitting that he was not late for Gov. Christie's address and that he had no proof to back up the retribution scheme. In fact, he even apologized just yesterday for the entire incident, including asking to be let out of the speeding ticket.
"I received this ticket at a difficult time for me personally, but in the end I want to make clear that I do not expect special treatment," he said in a released statement. "I apologize for giving any appearance that special treatment was expected. That never was intended."
Interestingly enough, Trooper Randy P. has now filed a complaint of his own, alleging that ranking union officials unfairly pressured him to "take of [the] summons" for Albano, and that the complaint filed against him was meant to serve as punishment that would prevent him from securing a promotion.
Now the entire incident is the subject of an internal investigation by state police officials.
Stay tuned for further updates on this story from our New York traffic law blog ...
If you or a loved one has received a speeding ticket, don't just dismiss it.
Instead, consider contacting an attorney who understands New York's confusing legal system, and who can help you evaluate your options and make the right decisions.
This post was provided for informational purposes only and is not to be construed as legal advice.
The Journal News, "NJ lawmaker apologizes for traffic ticket flap," Bruce Shipkowski, April 16, 2012