Lambertville police director downplays Christie’s traffic stop

Lambertville Police Director Bruce Cocuzza thinks that the 2005 traffic stop of then-U.S. Attorney Chris Christie in his town was “no big deal.”

New Jersey 101.5 FM reported this afternoon that Christie, now the Republican gubernatorial nominee, was stopped for speeding in what turned out to be an unregistered, uninsured vehicle, but was allowed to drive the car away.

"He was agitated at the prospect of his vehicle being towed away,” said Cocuzza, a Democrat who ran for Hunterdon County Sheriff in 2007, told PolitickerNJ.com’s Max Pizarro in a phone interview. "He was worried about his family being left on the side of the road with no vehicle."

Christie was accompanied by his wife, Mary Pat, his children and former U.S. Attorney staffer Michele Brown, who is Christie’s personal friend.

Traffic stops have ended the careers of two New Jersey public servants in recent years: former Attorney General Zulima Farber, who resigned after intervening in a stop on behalf of her boyfriend, Hamlet Goore; and Newark Councilwoman Dana Rone, who was forced to resign after trying to pull rank with Rutgers-Newark police officers on behalf of her nephew.

Attorney General Anne Milgram received favorable press after it was revealed that she was pulled over for speeding in a 1994 Honda Accord but accepted the ticket without mentioning her status as the state’s top law enforcement official.

Gov. Jon Corzine has also faced a high-profile motor vehicle violation: he pleaded guilty to not wearing a seat belt after he was seriously injured in a car accident. A State Trooper was driving the governor on the Garden State Parkway at a reported speed of 94 mph.

Cocuzza said that Christie did tell the officer about his law enforcement position.

"He was a little loud at the prospect of being towed and then calmed down. He identified himself as a U.S. Attorney but I don't think the officer on duty knew what that was,” he said.

"This meeting is entirely off the record. Until somebody leaks it."
—Michael Kempner, addressing a roomful of Democratic powerbrokers organizng for Hillary Clinton