Ethics panel fine against N.J. lawmaker is first in 35 years

For the first time in 35 years, the New Jersey Legislature’s Committee on Ethical Standards has fined a state lawmaker for improper conduct.

The $500 fine for Assemblyman Nelson Albano follows his attempt to talk his way out of a traffic ticket and a request for an internal investigation of the state trooper who stopped him for speeding last year.

The penalty indicates a change in the ethics panel’s direction, said Bill Schluter, former chairman of the committee.

“With all the criticism that’s been leveled at the committee for not doing anything, I think that they have realized that they better get serious about cleaning up some of the ethical problems that occur with legislators,” he said.

Assemblyman Albano, D-Cape May, apologized for his conduct and dropped his complaint against the trooper, but the incident led to his defeat in his campaign for re-election.

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