Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Corzine Will Buckle Up Now

Remember Robert Rasinksi - the New Jersey state trooper who nearly killed Governor Corzine back in April of 2007? Well, he is slated to drive the governor again. It was announced today that Rasinksi will rejoin the Executive Protection Unit, which is the arm of the State Police that are responsible for the governor's well being and safety. But here's the catch: Rasinksi was found to be at fault for the near-fatal accident and the head of the NJ state 5-0, Colonel Rick Fuentes, has suggested that Rasinksi be suspended sans pay for five days. Fuentes obviously knows something that we all don't, as he has sent a letter to state Attorney General Stuart Rabner stating that Rasinksi broke departmental rules without citing which ones. Governor Corzine has been on Rasinksi's side the whole time, saying that he would be comfortable with Rasinksi behind the wheel and has praised the trooper for his driving technique. David Jones, the police union head, has said that Rasinksi will most likely recieve a 2-3 day unpaid suspension and a written repirmand for his permanent file. After that, it appears, all will be forgotten.

But what does Fuentes know that the public does not? Let's not forget the way that the accident investigation was handled, with initial reports placing blame on a renegade red pickup truck that forced the governor's SUV into a guard rail. It was revealed that Rasinksi was traveling well over the speed limit and that the young man driving the pickup was trying to get out of the way of the speedy trooper by driving on the right shoulder of the highway but then had to come back onto the road to avoid a mile marker, causing another pickup to swerve to avoid him and hit the governor's SUV. It was found that Rasinksi could have prevented the accident. So the best action, according to the State of New Jersey, is to put him back behind the wheel. The 1010WINS article from today has stated that all troopers in the EPU have received additional driver training, but what kind of driver training was not specified. Another interesting tidbit: when asked if Rasinski has been driving the governor around while the investigation and his disciplinary action was pending, all parties involved (Attorney General's office and the state police) refused to answer. Hopefully Rasinski will drive safely if he does, indeed, drive the governor again and, more importantly, hopefully Rasinski does not hurt anyone else or kill anyone on the roadways. Personally, if I were Governor Corzine I would like a new driver with a clean driving record (not 5 accidents with 3 on duty) and I would wear a racing harness. Peace.

Photos -Top: Jonny C, Governor of the Jerz (NJIT), Bottom: The governor's totalled SUV at the accident scene (WNBC)

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