Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Farber - Courier - Corzine waits for probe recommendation

Published in the Courier News, Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Corzine to wait for recommendation of Farber probe

Gannett State Bureau

TRENTON -- Gov. Jon S. Corzine and U.S. Sen. Robert Menendez, D-Hoboken, said they'll wait for an investigation to be completed before passing judgment on Attorney General Zulima Farber, who is under fire for responding to a traffic stop where her boyfriend was ticketed, then allowed to drive an unregistered van home.

Corzine appointed Farber to the job, and Menendez vigorously backed the choice.

On Friday, Farber apologized for rushing to the traffic stop, saying she never intended for her presence, as the state's top law-enforcement officer, to influence the local police officers -- who ultimately work for her -- to go easy on her boyfriend.

"I read about it," Corzine said. "We want to wait for the results of the special prosecutor."

"We should wait for that process to play out," Menendez said. "We would want that for anybody in private life, and we would want the same for anybody in public life. I'm waiting for that process to play out."

Menendez later said, "I certainly believed she worked with her heart and not with her head."

Caught at a seat belt check without a license in an unregistered vehicle, Hamlet Goore called Farber on a cell phone. The attorney general has said she hopped into her trooper-driven state car and rushed 13 miles from Newark to Fairview, saying she had to fetch personal items from the van that was to be impounded.

Once she arrived, along with Fairview's mayor, the local officers allowed Goore to drive home.

Farber said she "did nothing wrong" in responding to a loved one's call for help but apologized for any "misimpression" her presence may have caused. She said she sought no favors and didn't intend to resign.

The special prosecutor mentioned by the governor is former Appellate Judge Richard Williams of Linwood in Atlantic County.

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Plainfield resident since 1983. Retired as the city's Public Information Officer in 2006; prior to that Community Programs Coordinator for the Plainfield Public Library. Founding member and past president of: Faith, Bricks & Mortar; Residents Supporting Victorian Plainfield; and PCO (the outreach nonprofit of Grace Episcopal Church). Supporter of the Library, Symphony and Historic Society as well as other community groups, and active in Democratic politics.