Not OK for Assemblyman Nelson Albano to Ask for This Favor
By: Gloucester County Times Editorial Board / April 17, 2012
With all the excuses there are for trying to get out of a speeding ticket, Assemblyman Nelson Albano is creative.
He was targeted by a state trooper, he says, because the Legislature voted to make government employees pay more for health coverage and benefits.
Albano’s claim may also be the most exclusive form of “profiling” ever — since it could only apply to 120 members of the Legislature. (They have special license plates.)
It happened in February, according to a detailed story by our Trenton bureau, when the trooper, Randy Pangborn, pulled Albano over in Hamilton Township near Trenton, for doing 71 mph in a 55-mph zone.
First, Albano, D-1, of Vineland, tried to deflect the summons by asking for a break because he was Policemen’s Benevolent Association “legislator of the year.” No dice.
What followed was almost surreal. Albano wrote a letter to state Police Superintendent Rick Fuentes complaining that the trooper had singled him out. About 10 minutes after the ticket was issued, Pangborn wrote in his own complaint, a union official called him about it. He claims union leaders pressured him to “take care” of the ticket; the union head denies this.
Albano said in an interview that the trooper was disrespectful “from the tone of his voice.” Maybe, but it could have been because of the way the lawmaker was trying to throw his weight around.
The whole incident is the subject of a state police internal investigation, which is appropriate to get to the bottom of this.
But it’s galling that Albano suggests that pulling rank and using special access to officials like Fuentes is OK.
Anyone can ask for a favor, he said in the interview. He “would have done the same thing” if he weren’t a legislator.
Did he say this with a straight face? Here’s how it is, assemblyman: Anyone can ask, but only you, and other top officials, can create extreme pressure on an officer not to issue a ticket to someone who deserves one.
About the only thing that Albano, who admits to speeding, has done right is saying he’ll pay his ticket. Otherwise, based on what we know so far, this looks like an abuse of power.
Nes, this incident is a display of absolute abuse of power. It appears that Nelson Albano has been corrupted beyond redemption – he feels he has the right toi speed and recklessly endanger innocent lives due to his position. Somewhere along the line, Albano lost sight of the fact that he was elected to serve his constituents, not his own self interests.