Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Farber - Courier - Editorial: If she won't go, give a push

Published in the Courier News, Wednesday, July 26, 2006

If Farber won't go, give her a push

Attorney General Zulima Farber says she won't resign.

OK. Then Gov. Jon S. Corzine should fire her.

This isn't rocket science. Give Farber the chance to leave willingly -- at least for official purposes. But if she won't, kick her out the door.

Farber should have sealed her fate recently with her explanation of her role in a recent traffic stop of her boyfriend, Hamlet Goore, after Goore was found to be driving a minivan with an expired registration. Farber went to the scene of the stop with a state trooper in tow, at which point police halted arrangements to tow the minivan. Goore also was never handed any citations.

The incident has generated statewide criticism, and Farber has acknowledged going to Goore's rescue, but insists that she didn't intentionally influence law enforcement's actions. She characterized her reaction as merely going to the aid of a loved one.

But the fact that Farber cannot see the bigger picture even after weeks of criticism and reflection is troubling. Goore wasn't an accident victim or otherwise in any danger. One blot already on Farber's record was a miserable driving history including a dozen speeding tickets and a handful of bench warrants and license suspensions. And she's the top law enforcement officer in the state. That she didn't recognize all of that and understand how her presence alone would influence police speaks to the kind of poor judgment New Jersey simply can't afford in its attorney general.

Corzine has ordered an independent investigation of the incident, but it really shouldn't matter at this point. Farber's own admissions are enough to warrant moving on to a new attorney general.

Link to online story.

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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.