TRENTON - New Jersey Gov. Jon S. Corzine has voluntarily paid a $46 fine for violating state law by not wearing a seat belt when he was in his near-fatal car accident, his spokesman said yesterday.
Spokesman Anthony Coley said Corzine met with State Police Superintendent Col. Rick Fuentes and Attorney General Stuart Rabner, as well as two state police investigators, for a half-hour yesterday at the governor's mansion in Princeton to discuss the accident.
As the meeting ended, Coley said, Corzine asked Fuentes for a ticket. He said Fuentes wrote one and Corzine wrote a check for $46.
Coley said the check will be sent by overnight mail to a municipal court in Galloway Township, where the accident occurred.
"The governor understands that he set a poor example and has promised to set a better example in the future," Coley said. "A part of that entails taking responsibility for one's mistakes, and that's what the governor was doing today."
Corzine suffered a broken left thigh and fractures to 11 ribs, his breastbone and other bones in the April 12 accident on the Garden State Parkway. He was riding unbuckled in the front passenger seat when his SUV, driven by a state trooper at 91 mph, was clipped by a truck and slammed into a guardrail near Atlantic City.
State law requires that all front-seat passengers wear a seat belt. Violators face a $46 fine.
Yesterday was the first time Corzine had discussed the crash with investigators.
"The governor recalled some of the details of the accident, not all of them," Coley said, declining to elaborate on what Corzine remembered from the crash.
Corzine, a multimillionaire and former Goldman Sachs chairman, is paying for his own medical treatment.
The governor's mansion, parts of which date to 1835, is being modified to accommodate Corzine's rehabilitation and to allow him to conduct state business there, but Senate President Richard J. Codey remains acting governor. *