Politics

Alan Grayson Left Trail of Traffic Tickets Before Lynx Bus Crash

By: Kenric Ward | Posted: March 17, 2012 3:55 AM
Alan Grayson's Mercedes

Alan Grayson's 2009 Mercedes Benz after collision with a Lynx bus in Orlando, Florida on March 10, 2012 | Credit: cliff1066 - Flickr

Alan Grayson's collision with a Lynx bus in downtown Orlando last weekend was the latest in a string of road follies by the former Democratic congressman who now is seeking a return to office.

According to court and law-enforcement documents obtained by Sunshine State News, Grayson racked up nine traffic citations in Florida and Virginia since 1995.

The offenses -- which ranged from speeding to littering to "improper backing" -- resulted in fines and, in one case, enrollment at traffic school.

Grayson's run-in with the Lynx on March 10 was apparently the first offense involving a collision. In that incident, Grayson allegedly ran a red light en route to a campaign fundraising event and smashed into the bus with his Mercedes.

News of Grayson's latest traffic escapade prompted instant mockery from Republicans who have frequently felt the lash of his hyper-partisan attacks.

“If you thought the only thing reckless about Alan Grayson was his big-government, tax-and-spend agenda, think again. It turns out on the road to destroying jobs, he’s endangering innocent bystanders in more ways than one," said Nat Sillin, spokesman for the National Republican Congressional Committee.

Reports from the scene said three people on the bus were taken to a nearby hospital with minor injuries. Grayson and his passenger, a 28-year-old campaign staffer named Lydia Brooks, were unharmed.

With airbags on Grayson's 2009 Mercedes deploying in the crash, the vehicle had to be towed from the scene with what observers called "significant damage."

Grayson, who found alternative transportation to his $1,000-a-person fundraiser headlined by Robert F. Kennedy Jr. and actress Cheryl Hines, told police he didn't know what color the traffic signal was at the intersection of Orange Avenue and Livingston Street. Witnesses told police it was red.

Reached by Sunshine State News on Friday, Grayson spokesman Todd Jurkowski declined to comment specifically on the accident or Grayson's previous run-ins with the law.

"Based on the best driving statistics available, Congressman Grayson is an average driver," Jurkowski said.

Putting the former congressman's driving record in context, Jurkowski noted, "The Federal Highway Administration says there are about 190 million drivers in the United States. Motorists.org estimates that there are up to 50 million citations given every year. That comes out to about one ticket every four years.  

"The congressman has been driving for 36 years -- 36 years divided by nine citations is one every four years," he concluded.

But three of Grayson's prospective Republican opponents in the newly drawn 9th Congressional District aren't buying that.

"It's not surprising that one of America's greatest critics who constantly condemns America would have his own issues. I would suggest he focus on his own failings and shortcomings," said Todd Long.

Mark Oxner noted, "Alan Grayson's driving record is bad, but his voting record is even worse. His progressive policies would run our economy under the bus.
 
"His driving may be a threat to our streets, but his political views are a threat to our future. One of the scariest things you can hear: 'I'm Alan Grayson, I'm from the government, and I'm driving over to help.'"

Julius Melendez said Grayson’s "imperfect driving isn’t the important issue in this race. My driving record isn’t perfect either, but my record doesn’t point to the type of disregard for my fellow Americans like Mr. Grayson’s does.

"Grayson has no respect for America whatsoever. If the voters of District 9 vote for him, he’ll drive the budget and our future the way he drives his Mercedes Benz," Melendez said.

Orlando Police said Grayson, 54, was ticketed for running a red light, which carries a fine of $262,

Matthew Friedman, spokesman for Lynx, said the collision was "being handled like all other accidents." He said the bus company was still conducting an investigation "to figure out what happened."

Friedman declined to comment on any liability issues or claims stemming from the crash.

As for Grayson's previous road offenses, court records and law-enforcement reports revealed:

On June 18, 2007, Grayson was cited for failure to obey a highway sign, operating an uninspected vehicle and operating an unlicensed vehicle. He paid a fine of $204 to the Fairfax County (Va.) General District Court.

On April 5, 2005, he was cited for driving 6-to-9 mph over the speed limit and paid $76 to attend traffic school. He paid the Orange County Clerk of Courts $76 to attend traffic school, which he completed on May 30.

On May 15, 2005, he was cited for littering on a public highway and paid an $80 fine to the Orange County Clerk of Courts on May 24.

Also on May 15, 2005, Grayson was cited for careless driving. He paid a civil penalty of $115.50 to the Orange County Clerk of Courts on May 24.

On April 10, 2004, he was cited for failing to obey highway signs in Arlington County, Va. He paid a $30 fine and $54 in court costs.

On June 21, 2002, he was cited for an expired vehicle inspection violation and paid a $25 fine plus $42 in costs to Loudoun County, Va.

On July 27, 2000, he was ticketed for disregarding highway signs in Fairfax County, Va. He paid a $30 fine and $50 in court costs.

On Dec. 3, 1999, Grayson pleaded guilty to “improper backing” in Fairfax County. He paid a $50 fine and $30 in processing fees on March 2, 2000.

On Dec. 12, 1995, he was cited for improper passing on the right in Arlington County. He was found guilty in circuit court on June 19, 1996, and paid a $200 fine and $459 in costs.

Jurkowski declined to comment on the specifics of any of the Virginia or Florida cases.

All nine incidents pre-dated Grayson's election to Congress in 2008, when he defeated incumbent Rep. Ric Keller, R-Orlando.

Grayson, who earned a reputation as one of the most bombastic and divisive Democrats on Capitol Hill, served one term before he was ousted by Republican Daniel Webster in 2010.

This year, Grayson is attempting a comeback in the new "Latino Access" CD 9, which encompasses parts of Osceola, Orange and Polk counties.

Grayson, an attorney and the presumptive Democratic Party nominee, lives in unincorporated Orange County, outside the district.



Contact Kenric Ward at kward@sunshinestatenews.com or at (772) 801-5341.




Comments (11)

Tom Ubl
10:42PM MAR 24TH 2012
Grayson has on more than one occasion told people on staff and working at his firm that they would be willing to die for him, to include me. I guess his passenger got an up close and personal look at his morbitorium policy!
Tom UBl
10:39PM MAR 24TH 2012
Personal Injury Representation Against Alan Grayson (NoVa)

Posted on craigslist legal services in Virginia. Looks like someone has the right idea. Let's see if another lawyer has "the guts" to take him on.
Pat Galbraith
5:33AM MAR 19TH 2012
The House? This yoyo sounds qualified to be Harry Reid's executive assistant.
Ted
7:49PM MAR 17TH 2012
Don't send this jerk back to Washington.
Andrew Nappi
8:37AM MAR 17TH 2012
Alan Grayson is a jerk, unfit to serve the people. He is always good for strong commenting after any story written about him. If only he would just go away....What is unfortunate though, is the current crop of GOP office holders in Congress from Florida, get zero attention for their votes in favor of NDAA and HR 347. Grayson is a big government, little liberty guy; but when GOP people who claim to support Liberty vote against it and give a President they claim to oppose, codified albeit illegal authority superior to the Bill of Rights, the silence is deafening. What is a bigger danger ? This moron's traffic accident, or Sandy Adams, Daniel Webster, John Mica and Allen West voting yes to the military arrest and indefinite detention of Americans in America? For all their protests and accusations of democrats, these people voted in lock step with DWSchultz and Nancy Pelosi to weaken our legal protections against the government. Allen Grayson would have voted yes too this abomination as well. So the fundamental difference to the preservation of the Bill of Rights between the parties is?
Tom UBl
10:32PM MAR 24TH 2012
The difference is Alan Grayson is fueled with an unrestrained ego that redefines narcissism. All of the ads from Rolling Stone, Vanity Fair etc, all paid for by opening advertising accounts. Ask Grayson about his Derivium Ponzi, or at what interest rate he is paying himself back at from his money bombs. A number of brave whistleblowers were thrown under the bus so Grayson could have a commercial slamming a briefcase shut. He has not returned one dime to the Treasury. Although there is word that Custer Batles may finally be resolving. This means all of those ads were all a fraud, a bigger fraud thanthe fraud he says he fights. Ask him how he threw me under the bus a client and a volunteer 2008 staffer after an $8.9 million settlement was signed.
Robert Lloyd
8:21AM MAR 17TH 2012
liberalism
Linda
8:14AM MAR 17TH 2012
The relationship between Lynx and Grayson is definitely one to watch.
Pat Galbraith
5:34AM MAR 19TH 2012
Did he "rear end" it?
TomT
7:34AM MAR 17TH 2012
Here's something to keep an eye on; while embarrassing America for two long years as a Congressman, Grayson's Orlando office was in the Lxnx building downtown. One of his frequent efforts to 'drive' earmarks home was to steer $550K of taxpayer money to Lynx for a new "green" parking lot. Will Lynx now repay the favor by refusing to hold Grayson responsible for the accident?

The state-of-the-art "green", energy-efficient parking lot features improved handicapped and pedestrian access, with expanded parking for disabled persons and Drop-off/Pick-up capability for commuters, and simplified access to bus platforms for seniors and para-transit users. It also includes solar 911 police call capability, and security lighting and "plug in" outlets for future alternative fuel or electric powered vehicles relying on solar panels.
bob
6:12AM MAR 17TH 2012
did the police run a breathalyzer test? if not why not. who were the passangers in graysons car? aides? women how young? not his wife? if anyone scratched deeper there might be even more interesting things. he is worth somewhere between 50-100 million dollars you could think he could afford a driver

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