Is it Time for Moriarty to Go [POLL]
In the ongoing saga of the assemblyman and the cop, the assemblyman (one Paul Moriarty of Gloucester County) alleges he ‘didn’t realize the consequences’ of refusing to taking a breatholizer test when he was suspected by a Washington Township cop of driving while under the influence the other day.
How’s this possible?
Methinks something’s rotten in the state of Denmark….no?
Especially coming from a guy who’s authored or co sponsored a number of bills regarding drunk driving and the like.
Or maybe, just maybe he SUGGESTS the bills but doesn’t read what he puts his name to.
That sounds a little more like it.
A Gloucester County assemblyman arrested on a charge of drunken driving Tuesday after declining to take a breath test has advocated for several bills that focus on driving while intoxicated, including one dealing with the illegality of refusing a breath test.
Democratic Assemblyman Paul Moriarty said Wednesday he “didn’t realize the consequences of not taking the Breathalyzer.” After passing a field sobriety test, he said, he declined the Breathalyzer because he thought he “was being railroaded” and had been denied access to his attorney.
As a lawmaker, he has voted for and sponsored several bills that deal with drunken driving. He voted for a measure last year that would have reaffirmed the penalties for refusing to take a breath test.
In 2004, before Moriarty was elected to the Legislature, a state law was passed making the penalty for refusing to take a breath test suspension of a driver’s license for at least seven months.
The state Supreme Court modified that law two years ago to require officers to warn drivers about the consequence of refusing the test. That prompted a follow-up bill.
That measure, approved by the Assembly Law and Public Safety Committee with a yes vote from Moriarty in November, would have forbade defendants from mounting a defense based on an arresting officer’s alleged failure to state the consequences of not taking the test.
In addition, in 2009 Moriarty was the primary sponsor of a bill that would require breath or blood samples to be obtained from drivers involved in accidents resulting in death or serious injury.
He was the primary sponsor of the bill again in 2010 and reintroduced it in January.
Moriarty said officials told him talking with an attorney was not part of the process.
After his release, Moriarty reached his lawyer, who is out of the country on vacation, and asked what his advice about the breath test would have been.
“He said, ‘If you talked to me, I would say, ‘Take it,’ ” Moriarty said.
Dunce…so now we have on our hands a “bordell’” (trans: “mess”)…as it were.
Sort of reminds me of another situation involving a lawmaker allegedly breaking a law he either authored or sponsored.
If you remember the tale of former Union County Assemblyman Neil Cohen who was accused and ultimately convicted of possessing child porn.
Veteran state Assemblyman Neil Cohen resigned less than a week after child pornography was allegedly found on his legislative office computer.
Cohen, a Democrat who sponsored bills aimed at protecting children, pleaded guilty in April to a second degree charge of child endangerment by distributing child pornography.
The moral here, simply, is that if you put your name to a law, you already know the consequences.
And while the crimes Neil Cohen committed and Paul Moriarity allegedly committed are not analogous, the situations do bear a striking resemblance.
That is, you know the consequences of the laws that bear your name.
Is pleading ‘ignorance’ a defense?
Should Assemblyman Paul Moriarty step down?