Friday, May 12, 2006

Soltani Sip and Run

Everyone's favorite New Hampshire bigot, Tony Soltani, pleaded innocent to hit-and-run charges.

The Granite State's number one elected homophobe became infamous for his railroading of the state marriage commission. He denied reality there too. This time though, the minority opinion is likely to come from a judge.

From accounts, including the woman whose car he knocked off Interstate 393 around lunchtime on Valentine's Day, he'll need more than his bluster and bull to get out of this one.

State police charged him with negligent driving and conduct after an accident. They say he slammed into the side of the other car, knocking her onto the shoulder and forcing his own car into the median. He then took off without slowing or stopping.

His arraignment was May 8th in the Concord District Court. He claimed he was drinking a soda, which distracted him and that he was unaware that he was unaware of the big bang.

According to the coverage in the Concord Monitor, state employee Bridgette Dukette, whose car he hit, is incredulous. "When he hit me, it made him go out of control, and he went into the median. His story is that he didn't know that he hit someone. And I find it hard to believe. I mean, it was an impact. I felt it. I heard it."

She called cops from the scene, described the driver and car, and gave a partial plate number. When police IDed Tony and spoke with him, he said it was possible that he was involved in a minor accident -- because of the soda sipping. They found damage and paint that matched Bukette's car's.

Never one to let humanity interfere with his legal training, Soltani expects to evade responsibility here:
Soltani said he will rely on this logic in the courtroom: Since he has a clean driving record, carries insurance and drives an easily recognizable car, why would he have knowingly fled the scene of an accident?

...Soltani said he called Dukette and apologized after learning her identity. She was "very nice, very understanding," he said. But the situation would have been resolved more easily if she had been an Epsom constituent, not an Andover resident, he said. "That way she'd know me,"Soltani said. "I mean, this is not the kind of thing I do."

...According to the House Calendar, Soltani was late for a 1 p.m. judiciary committee hearing when he hit Dukette's car. He said he grabbed lunch to go - his usual: a Diet Coke and a foot-long Subway Club, no mayo - at the Epsom traffic circle before heading to Concord.

"Maybe I shouldn't have tried to drink my soft drink as I was driving," said Soltani, who switched to sports bottles after the accident. "They do not spill; they don't do anything. You can pop them open with your teeth, take a nice swig, and no problem. Lesson learned."

Excuse me, Rep. S., but the rest of us are supposed to take responsibility for our driving behavior. If we did what you did, we'd have to take our lumps, pay the fines and insurance costs, and likely have a license suspension. Living free in New Hampshire should not mean free from honor.

Oh, but who are we talking about here? It looks like it's up to a judge or jury to tell him that driving people off the road and leaving them there is not in his job description.

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