Above the law?

Rumors that New Jersey Governor Jon Corzine was not wearing a seatbelt during Thursday night's crash that left him critically injured have been confirmed. In no way should this diminish our sympathy and concern for the governor's injuries, nor our hopes and prayers that he make a speedy and full recovery. Thankfully he's expected to make a full recovery after completing extensive rehab. 

But there are significant concerns of a different sort arising out of the incident. Yesterday's NY Times originally reported that Col. Joseph R. Fuentes, superintendent of the NJ State Police said last night that:

"he was unsure whether Mr. Corzine was wearing a seatbelt; he often does not" [emphasis added]
As NJ Law clearly mandates all front seat occupants of passenger vehicles be restrained, it would follow that Corzine's injuries would have been much less severe had the highest level executive of the state been following the laws of that same state.

Assuming the Governor was accompanied by law enforcement officers as part of his security detail, there is no reason a state law should be openly flouted by the chief executive of the state. It bespeaks a perspective of being above the law, something abhorrent in our system of rule of law. An attitude which tolerates the open flouting of some laws in the presence of law enforcement officials encourages the flouting of other laws.

Ironically, at the time of the accident, the governor -- a member of the not-too-exclusive club of Imus show guest alumni who were "shocked" by his recent words -- was en route to his mansion to "attend" the Imus-Rutgers peace-pipe pow-wow.

Based on the comments he made last night, one can't help wondering just how long the state's highest ranking police official may have been laughing along with the Governor's improvident behavior, much as Imus guests did at his locker room humor. The same cancerous attitude of being above the rules enforced on others connects the two incidents.
Rumors that New Jersey Governor Jon Corzine was not wearing a seatbelt during Thursday night's crash that left him critically injured have been confirmed. In no way should this diminish our sympathy and concern for the governor's injuries, nor our hopes and prayers that he make a speedy and full recovery. Thankfully he's expected to make a full recovery after completing extensive rehab. 

But there are significant concerns of a different sort arising out of the incident. Yesterday's NY Times originally reported that Col. Joseph R. Fuentes, superintendent of the NJ State Police said last night that:

"he was unsure whether Mr. Corzine was wearing a seatbelt; he often does not" [emphasis added]
As NJ Law clearly mandates all front seat occupants of passenger vehicles be restrained, it would follow that Corzine's injuries would have been much less severe had the highest level executive of the state been following the laws of that same state.

Assuming the Governor was accompanied by law enforcement officers as part of his security detail, there is no reason a state law should be openly flouted by the chief executive of the state. It bespeaks a perspective of being above the law, something abhorrent in our system of rule of law. An attitude which tolerates the open flouting of some laws in the presence of law enforcement officials encourages the flouting of other laws.

Ironically, at the time of the accident, the governor -- a member of the not-too-exclusive club of Imus show guest alumni who were "shocked" by his recent words -- was en route to his mansion to "attend" the Imus-Rutgers peace-pipe pow-wow.

Based on the comments he made last night, one can't help wondering just how long the state's highest ranking police official may have been laughing along with the Governor's improvident behavior, much as Imus guests did at his locker room humor. The same cancerous attitude of being above the rules enforced on others connects the two incidents.