TRENTON, N.J. – Assemblyman Jay Webber is imploring Gov. Phil Murphy to uphold the respectable standard precedent of prior state leaders who have violated the law and demanded they be held accountable for their actions.
“Colonel Fuentes and Governor Corzine not only acknowledged their wrongdoing, they held themselves accountable by insisting on citations and punishments,” said Webber (R-Morris). “And then each made sure the public was aware of their taking responsibility, because it was the right thing to do and they knew their continued legal and moral authority as law enforcement officers depended on it. In contrast, Governor Murphy has placed himself above and beyond his own law, sabotaging his own moral authority. Is it any wonder then that desperate people of all political stripes in places like Asbury Park and Wayne, with more sure to come, decide to defy the Governor’s orders?”
In 2010, a New Jersey state trooper stopped the unmarked police cruiser driven by Col. Rick Fuentes, then the superintendent of the N.J. State Police, after the trooper clocked the cruiser at 75 mph in a 65 mph zone on the Garden State Parkway. The trooper decided not to give his superior a citation. Within hours, Fuentes self-reported his violation to the Office of Professional Standards, which issued him a citation and reprimand.
In 2007, former Gov. Jon Corzine was seriously injured in an accident on the Garden State Parkway while failing to wear his seat belt. After recovering, Corzine met with the State Police superintendent and the attorney general and demanded a summons for his illegality. The State Police superintendent cited the him on the spot, and a State Police captain noted that, “It’s been a good amount of time since the superintendent issued a summons.”