Saturday, April 07, 2007

Above the Law?

Yesterday's lead story in our local newspaper was about a public official who apparently thinks laws don't apply to her. Local news outlets reported that a New Orleans city councilwoman had been stopped on two occasions by state police for speeding, with a flashing blue light on the dashboard of her SUV. On the most recent occasion, the trooper clocked her speed at nearly 100 mph, as she weaved in and out of traffic and drove on the shoulder of the road. When stopped by the state trooper, she yelled at him, "Do you know who I am?", demanded to know why he was stopping her, and told him she was on her way to an important meeting. She also flashed an honorary sheriff's deputy badge (which gives her no authority outside Orleans Parish and, actually, not much within it).

She was not ticketed on either occasion--but the troopers made reports on both incidents, and now the reports have been made public. According to the police, only official law enforcement vehicles, driven by actual law enforcement officers, can use flashing blue lights. Yesterday at the weekly council meeting, the councilwoman involved apologized for the incidents. A former school principal, she said she wanted to set a good example for children. She promised she would not engage in similar behavior in future.

Okay. . . but if she hadn't been outed, would she be feeling this way? Or would she still be arrogantly driving 100 mph with a flashing blue light, weaving in and out and endangering lives as she rushes to her meetings?

She is an example of why the electorate distrusts elected officials--the attitude that she's above the law because she's more important than "the little people."


Charles Gramlich said...

It's ridiculous that she wasn't given a ticket. It's only a matter of time before she or another official like her kills someone driving on the shoulder or weaving through traffic.

Lana said...

In Amerika, what's good for the fatcat goose is rarely good for the common plebe gander! I'm linking your unfortunately wonderful post to my blog (with an additional link to e-mail this "esteemed" councilwoman.)

Sphinx Ink said...

Thanks for commenting.

Charles, the troopers probably didn't issue tickets to her because they know that tickets given to people with "connections" generally disappear into the ether, with no consequences to the ticketee.

Lana, thanks for linking to the entry. I hope the councilwoman gets roundly lambasted in e-mail messages. Since I don't live in Orleans Parish, I won't be able to vote against her next time she runs for office.

Lana said...

I took the liberty to send Ms. Morrell an e-mail yesterday & to my surprise, I got a response!

My e-mail;
I recently read about your speeding exploits & your reaction to the police who dared to pull you over.
Let me say firstly that the relocation of a Catholic school is NOT "crucial" by any means. You should NOT have risked the lives of EVERY PERSON on the I-10 that day (or the LAST time you pulled this BS, either,) because YOU can't be bothered to set your alarm early enough to act as a responsible citizen.
Secondly, now only do WE pay your salary, but WE pay for the vehicle you use to break the laws WE have to obey. Ironic, is it not?
I hope the Police not only revoke the "honorary deputy" status you're clearly NOT entitled to, but that they charge you for the CRIMES you committed willfully & without regard for law abiding citizens (INCLUDING "impersonating an officer.")
Who the hell do you think you are?

A law-abiding, tax-paying citizen, always,
Lana Jackman

The response;
I take responsibility for my actions however as the state policce later corrected

Looks like Ms. Morrell also needs some refresher courses in basic English grammar, as well, but what a cop out (pardon the pun)! Talk about missing the point!