Wednesday, April 06, 2005

Highwood Mayor

Forgive me for being petty, but I'm gonna slam Vincent Donofrio, who was elected mayor of Highwood yesterday. He won 553-545. I only learned he was running while browsing the web last night.

About January, 1996, Donofrio and I had a vehicle collission. He was doing something illegal, but no one was hurt, so I wasn't terribly excited about it.

I was driving from home (667 Homewood, Highland Park) to work (Ft. Sheridan). I drove north on Midlothian and east on Owentsia. The accident occurred as I was turning left onto Green Bay Road from Owentsia. See Google Maps and enter "Owentsia & Green Bay Rd, Highland Park, IL".

One block south of there is a five-way intersection with a traffic light. The traffic was backed-up past Owentsia. A truck left me through to turn left (north). As I turned onto Green Bay I looked to my right (to the south) for northbound traffic. Seeing none I entered the northbound lane where my vehicle collided with Donofrio's vehicle which was driving south.

Donofrio I presume was also on his way to work. He was a banker in Highland Park and drove a big banker type car. He was trying to get to the left turn lane at the stop light at the five-way intersection.

When the officer arrived I didn't try to argue the collission was Donofrio's fault because it was obvious. He was driving south in the northbound lane. However, after Donofrio left the scene the officer wrote me the moving violation. I was shocked, but I didn't get pissed at Donofrio until later.

I went to court to contest the moving violation. These things get dropped unless a witness appears to testify. Donofrio wasn't satisfied that he got off, he had the audacity to come to court to testify against me.

But the U.S. Constitution gives me the right to confront my accusers (unless they are from the Bush administration and I'm accused of certain anti-government activities). So I got to cross examine Donofrio.

I asked him if the officer and him knew each other before the accident. He responded "no". Now that he's been elected mayor of Highwood, I'm thinking I should have asked the question differently. "Who do you know in the Highland Park Police Department?" probably would have made my point better.

I also asked Donofrio about the large handicap placard hanging from his rear view mirror. The prosecutor objected. I explained that based on the angle of collission the placard would have obstructed Donofrio's view of my vehicle. The judge allowed my question. Donofrio became agitated and started making excuses about how it was his mother's placard and of course he didn't use it to park illegally. He was nervous enough that he certainly seemed to be lying. BTW, back then those handicap placards were much bigger and then explicitly said they were to be removed while driving.

The other thing in my favor was that the cop and the prosecutor introduced a map of the streets into evidence that showed the left turn lane at the five-way intersection. The left-turn lane did no extend through the previous intersection (duh!) nor did it extend to it. The cop and the prosecutor were trying to claim that there were two southbound lanes on Green Bay and that Donofrio was driving in the second lane.

Green Bay is a major north-south road in Lake County, so I'm sure the judge knew the prosecutor and cop were lying. Plus their claims didn't match the diagram they introduced into evidence.

Donofrio is a liar. He's a cheat. He's got no shame about having it good. And I suspect he used his connections in the Highland Park PD to arrange to get me a ticket when he was the person at fault.


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