Chris Christie, the former U.S. Attorney and current Republican nominee for Governor of New Jersey, now has another public flap to deal with. New Jersey 101.5 FM radio reports that Christie was ticketed for traffic violations in 2005 — and the story gets a bit murky from here.
Christie was pulled over for speeding, and turned out to be driving an unregistered and uninsured car. He was cited for all three violations. The tickets were marked “NO DEAL,” a disclaimer reportedly used by police when they feel that a driver’s behavior merits not going easy on them. Christie later paid a fine, and the unregistered vehicle offense was dismissed. The Lambertville municipal court’s office has also confirmed the authenticity of the tickets to TPM.
According to the radio station report, a Christie spokesman (who is not named by the station) said Christie was accompanied by his wife and children, as well as Michele Brown — the now-former aide who yesterday resigned her post amidst the scandal over the undisclosed $46,000 loan she’d received from Christie in 2007.Lambertville police director Bruce Cocuzza told PolitickerNJ that Christie had become “agitated” about the possibility of his car getting towed. He was ultimately allowed to drive away: “He was a little loud at the prospect of being towed and then calmed down. He identified himself as a U.S. Attorney but I don’t think the officer on duty knew what that was.”
The issue here, according to the report, is that Christie and Brown may have attempted to invoke their rank with the police officer. The Christie campaign has acknowledged that Christie’s position as a U.S. attorney did come up, though Christie does not recall who brought it up.
Radio host Casey Bartholomew said: “We do not want Jon Corzine re-elected, but we would be remiss and partisan if we did not discuss Christie’s ethics. Why is he using his influence as a U.S. Attorney to make a police offer go away, in the same way Zulima Farber did?” Zulima Farber is a former state Attorney General who resigned after she intervened in a traffic stop against her boyfriend.
The Christie campaign has not responded to our requests for comment.