Friday, December 27, 2013


The national news outlets picked up this story from our local newspaper.

Late on a December Monday night, less than ten miles from our office, a woman was charged with DUI, and she called a friend to come pick her up at the police station.

Upon arrival, the friend was charged with DUI because she too was half in the bag.

So another friend was called. Yup, he earned a DUI of his own once he arrived.

Finally, a sober adult was located to drive the trio of tipplers home.

Based on this statistical sample, three out of four drivers are drunk!

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Charged with Theft

It had to happen.  The owner of a modern electric car has been charged with theft for plugging in his car at a school while there for a tennis match.  He plugged in to an accessible outlet, but not one that was authorized for electric car recharging.

What has made this particular case news, however, is not that the owner was charged with theft nor that he had to pay a fine.  Rather, it is the fact that the value of the electricity taken has been estimated to be four to five cents, and that the car owner was arrested and held for more than 12 hours.

Police in the community where this happened are taking some heat, being accused of overreach. So too is the school district for positioning itself as a crime victim.  And the car owner himself has been portrayed as being difficult and argumentative.  But while arrest and confinement may seem excessive for taking a nickel’s worth of anything, this is new territory.  Prior thefts of electricity have generally been far more egregious – bypassing meters, running unauthorized cables, that sort of thing.  Unauthorized charging of an electric car may be small potatoes by comparison, but, as the arresting officer commented, “Theft is theft.”

Although this case may break some new ground, it reminds us of a comparable case some years ago, in which a driver was taking gasoline from gas stations after hours simply by draining what little was left in the pump hoses.  We no longer remember the outcome, but at the time, theft was theft.

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Woman of the Year

In many municipalities it is the town clerk who orders the badges, and among those with whom we have dealt in this capacity is Ceil Covino, the clerk for the town of Clinton.  The Clinton town offices are less than two miles from our own and so we have not only conducted business with her but we have done so in person.

It was no surprise to us when she was named New Jersey's Outstanding Municipal Clerk of the Year by the state Municipal Clerks Association.  She is very deserving of this award.

Perhaps you are not impressed.  She is not the CEO of a multinational corporation nor has she developed the latest internet sensation.  But being a municipal clerk means being able to juggle a vast array of business matters while dealing with the residents, the governing body, and the public safety agencies.  Ceil Covino does all this efficiently, effectively, and with a sunny attitude.

There are more than 500 municipalities in New Jersey, so being recognized by your municipal peers is no small honor.

Photo courtesy of the Hunterdon County Democrat