Tompkins legislator charged due to outstanding driving violation
ITHACA -- A Tompkins County legislator is facing a misdemeanor charge related to an outstanding traffic violation.
But Martha Robertson, who also is the chairwoman of the legislature's public safety committee, said her arrest last week was the result of a paperwork mix-up and that the Ithaca Police shouldn't have taken her into custody,
"They could've issued me a ticket right there," she said, adding that police refused her request to go to her house and see the paperwork. At the station, Sgt. Andy Navarro told her they were waiving her bail based on her community connections
, and Patrick Kimmich -- the arresting officer -- "apologized profusely" before driving her home, she recalled.
Robertson said she subsequently spoke to [Tompkins County District Attorney Gwen] Wilkinson, whom she described as a fellow Democrat, political colleague and friend. Wilkinson told her that the court shouldn't have suspended her license without telling her, and that there was no reason for her to be arrested
, she added.
Wilkinson will call Ithaca City Court and have the charge dismissed.
As chairwoman of the legislature's public safety committee, the experience may be useful, she said.
"It wasn't an experience I was looking for, but you try to be philosophic about these things and find value in everything," Robertson said. "I have a sense of what it feels like to be arrested for doing nothing wrong, and how the system can mess you up. I have a renewed sympathy for people this happens to."License suspended over paperwork problem, Robertson says
By Raymond Drumsta •firstname.lastname@example.org • December 20, 2009, 6:35 pm