At best, Assemblyman Nelson Albano (D-Vineland) has a lot of explaining to do today.
A lot. And probably a little more apologizing, too.
The latest across the wire? He apparently “apologized” yesterday in response to troubling allegations published in Sunday’s edition of The Star-Ledger stemming from a February traffic stop. In brief, a purportedly contrite Albano communicated the following to New Jersey’s largest daily:
I expect no special treatment.”
“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. I apologize for giving any appearance that special treatment was expected. That never was intended.”
“I will be paying the fine in full.”
I’m awfully glad he’s sorry for being caught “giving any appearence that special treatment was expected” or whatever, Save Jerseyans.
Sincerely I am! No sarcasm whatsoever. It proves that he still has a soul. Otherwise we’d be questioning whether the New Jersey State House is +1 sociopath.
The reported facts, however, suggest a simple, cookie cutter “scatter-shot” apology may not be sufficient this time around…
On Feb. 21, Albano was pulled over while traveling north on Route 29 toward Trenton by State Police Trooper Randy Pangborn for going 71 mph in a 55 mph zone. But after being handed the ticket, Albano tried to get out of it, citing his support for troopers as a legislator.
“I remember saying, yes, ‘Can you cut me a break?’” Albano told The Sunday Star-Ledger. He went on to say he was a longtime supporter of the State Police and had been honored last year as legislator of the year by the New Jersey State Policemen’s Benevolent Association.
Six days after the stop, Albano wrote to State Police Superintendent Col. Rick Fuentes asking for an investigation of the trooper because he said he was embarassed and singled out as payback for the Legislature’s vote to make public employees pay more for health and pension benefits. But Albano opposed the health and pension changes, and he told The Sunday Star-Ledger he had no evidence to support the retaliation claim and it was only a guess.
In an internal complaint filed in response to Albano’s letter, Pangborn said officials from the State Troopers Fraternal Association pressured him to throw out the ticket after the stop. He also said he felt he was being retaliated against for not taking care of the ticket.
What else can be said, folks?
Other than the obvious: Assemblyman Albano is damn lucky this story is breaking in an off-year for legislative elections…
And if he really told The Star Ledger that, as they paraphrased, “he had no evidence to support the retaliation claim and it was only a guess,” then he owes Trooper Randy Pangborn the biggest apology of all. Overly-broad “I’m sorry” press releases and sob stories invoking his personal life just aren’t going to cut it.