Skip to comments.Tickets voided for AG's beau?
Posted on 07/15/2006 8:45:34 PM PDT by Coleus
A veteran Fairview police officer voided traffic summonses he wrote to the boyfriend of state Attorney General Zulima Farber after she showed up at the scene, sources with knowledge of the incident said Thursday. The U.S. Attorney's Office has been contacted about the matter for possible review, a law enforcement source said late Thursday. Meanwhile, an internal investigation is continuing in the borough, the sources said.
Farber confirmed late Thursday that she was at the scene, but denied using any influence to help her boyfriend. According to three sources, borough Detective Albert Napolitano pulled over a 1995 Oldsmobile van driven by Hamlet E. Goore at about 10 a.m. on May 26. The officer wrote tickets for driving with a suspended license and driving an uninsured vehicle, they said. Soon after, a New Jersey State Police vehicle arrived and Farber stepped out of the passenger side, the sources said.
Although Farber didn't speak directly to Napolitano, the trooper driving Farber did, they said. A towing company was called to remove the vehicle, the sources said. While at least two police officers waited for the tow truck to arrive, someone drove off with the Oldsmobile, they said. It was unclear who drove the car away. The state vehicle followed behind, they said. The traffic tickets ultimately were canceled, the sources said.
In an interview Thursday, Farber said she went to the scene at the request of her boyfriend, whose car was being impounded by the police. The officers had told Goore that he could call someone to remove his belongings, Farber said. When she pulled up in her official state vehicle, she said, there were a number of officers and a man who identified himself as the Fairview mayor. Farber said she exchanged pleasantries with the mayor, but did not speak to any of the officers.
Farber said her sole purpose was to pick up bicycles, a laptop computer, camera and other items in the van. However, she said, the officers then changed their plan and instead said they would allow Goore to drive the van to the couple's home several blocks away. A Fairview officer told Farber she could follow it home, she said.
At no time did she ask for a favor or intervene in any way, Farber said. She acknowledged, however, that her boyfriend had told officers that his girlfriend is the attorney general. She said the van was going to be impounded because it was not legally registered, but did not know whether Goore was issued a summons. She also said she did not know if he had automobile insurance or a valid driver's license.
"I do know he got some citations because something came in the mail from Fairview," Farber said. But she had added that the reminder had been mailed because her boyfriend did not pay the fine. A law enforcement source said the road stop was part of a routine "click it or ticket" campaign. Goore confirmed that. "He stopped me because I wasn't wearing my seat belt," Goore said in an interview Thursday evening outside the North Bergen home he shares with Farber. "I didn't even know what they were talking about."
He said his license wasn't suspended. "It was a mistake. I tried to tell him that. I had paid a fine, and they hadn't recorded it," Goore said. "I went to the Department of Motor Vehicles that day." He confirmed that Farber had come to the scene.
Asked whether she talked to Napolitano, Goore said, "I don't remember anything like that." Asked whether he received any more summonses, he said, "I'm not going to comment on that." "I'm not saying any more," Goore said, before going inside. Napolitano's attorney, Robert Galantucci, said Thursday that he was concerned that his client was being made a "scapegoat" for the incident.
"I assure you, he won't be thrown under the bus," Galantucci said Thursday. "He was the lowest ranking person on the scene and attempting to follow directions of those people who were at the scene. If someone thought he was doing something inappropriate, I'm sure they would have given him directions as to what to do -- and they didn't." Borough police officials declined to comment. "I cannot confirm or deny anything at this point," said Fairview Deputy Chief Frank Del Vecchio. Napolitano also declined to comment when he came to the door of his Park Ridge home Thursday afternoon.
"I can't say anything right now," he said. The attorney general said she saw nothing improper in her conduct, although she did express regret that she couldn't control the actions of her boyfriend. She dismissed the notion that her presence at the scene may have improperly influenced the police and said her actions were those of any normal citizen. "I don't lose all of my rights as attorney general," Farber said, adding that the notion of a possible conflict of interest never crossed her mind. "My only consideration was removing the valuables from the back of the van and to do it as quickly as possible." Goore has been reprimanded by the state Office of Attorney Ethics on two separate occasions, according to records maintained on the state judiciary Web site and confirmed by Farber.
Farber said he is no longer practicing law. As New Jersey's chief law enforcement officer, Farber is assigned a state trooper to drive her in an official vehicle. Her fellow Cabinet members and some other high-ranking state officials also are assigned official cars with drivers, although most are not driven by troopers.
Goore, who in court papers has listed the same North Bergen address as Farber, was admitted to the New Jersey Bar in 1971 after graduating from Rutgers University Law School. He currently serves as the acting director of the Irvington Department of Community Development, according to the city's Web site.
Farber, who became the state's first Hispanic attorney general in January, has drawn criticism in the past because of her own driving record, having received at least a dozen speeding tickets and three driver's license suspensions. At least once, there was a bench warrant for her arrest after she failed to appear in traffic court.
During her nomination hearings before the state Senate, Farber apologized for her driving record and joked that as attorney general she would be assigned a state car and a state police driver. Her record ended Farber's nomination in 2003 by former Gov. James E. McGreevey to become a Supreme Court associate justice. At the time, McGreevey administration officials said the blemishes were intolerable given the sensitivity of the position.
She's just following McGreevey's example...
That name alone is probable cause to hold for further questioning.
Hamlet E. Goore
Maybe the idiot Democrats running NJ will consider this Cuban refugee for a cushy Gubmint job in a few years if he ever is dumb enough to come back!!
Was getting her things from that van "Official Business"?
This is SOOOOO belivable.
nothing at all will be done, she will pay zero penalty.
but all FUTURE people will be screwed over more because she was a female dog on the warpath.
Farber said her sole purpose was to pick up bicycles, a laptop computer, camera and other items in the van.
Thats my question too, how is this the proper use of state Attorney General Zulima Farbers official state vehicle and driver?
I was going to ask how an AG couldn't do better than a guy driving a 95 Olds van with no license and no insurance.
Her picture tells the story.
That's her. I don't know if Mr. Smiley Face is the boyfriend. He looks too high rent for her
arrrgghhh what is that??!!!1