8/23/2006New Mexico Lt Governor Caught Illegally Parking
The governor and lieutenant governor of New Mexico have a history of ignoring traffic laws.
New Mexico's top two government officials have trouble following the rules of the road imposed on ordinary motorists. On Monday, a fire chief condemned Lieutenant Governor Diane Denish (D) for illegally parking and creating a hazard to firefighters. Governor Bill Richardson (D) has had similar problems in the past.
Denish admitted on Monday that her illegally parked SUV had been blocking a fire hydrant while she was touring a neighborhood, but she blamed her chief of staff, who had been driving, for the mistake.
"Time is everything for the fire department," Albuquerque Fire Chief Robert Ortega told KOB-TV. "It's very dangerous to do that."
This was not Denish's first run-in with the law. On November 20, 2005 her SUV was photographed running a red light at the intersection of San Mateo and Montgomery in Albuquerque.
Likewise, Denish's boss, Bill Richardson, has been caught flouting speed limit laws. On June 2, 2005, an Albuquerque patrol officer videotaped Richardson's white 2004 Lincoln Navigator speeding on an interstate frontage road. Richardson's driver, a New Mexico state trooper, ignored the local officer's order saying he would not stop for an unmarked police car.
"They had flashing lights and a siren, but that doesn't cut it," a spokesman told The New Mexican newspaper at the time.
In 2003, Washington Post reporter Mark Liebovich documented a trip with the governor where Richardson personally ordered his driver to exceed 100 MPH on public roads.