Citizen Files Complaint Against N.J. Gov. Corzine for Not Wearing Seatbelt Before Crash

A citizen filed a complaint against Gov. Jon S. Corzine for failing to wear his seat belt in the highway accident that left the governor critically injured.

A judge will review the complaint next week and decide whether to hold a hearing, which could lead to a $46 fine, said Roseanne Lugg, court administrator for Galloway Township, where the April 12 crash occurred.

New Jersey law requires drivers and front-seat passengers to wear seat belts.

Corzine was riding in the front passenger seat without a seat belt when his SUV, driven by a state trooper at 91 mph, crashed near Atlantic City. The governor has not been cited over the seat belt by police, who have 30 days to act.

No decision has been made on Corzine's case, state police Lt. Gerald Lewis said Thursday.

The citizen complaint was filed Wednesday by Larry Angel of neighboring Mullica, Lugg said. Angel, 65, did not respond to a phone message or an e-mail seeking comment.

Angel, regularly attends public meetings and comments on elected county officials. He ran unsuccessfully for a municipal office as a Democrat in 2003 and hosts a blog called "Gadfly," where he referred to the Corzine complaint in a Thursday posting.

Tom Shea, Corzine's chief of staff, has said the governor should be ticketed if he wasn't buckled up. Corzine spokesman Anthony Coley referred a reporter to those comments Thursday when asked about Angel's complaint.

Corzine, 60, is recovering at a Camden hospital. He walked for the first time on Wednesday, two days after his condition was upgraded to stable. It remained unclear when he might resume gubernatorial responsibilities.

Meanwhile, income tax estimates released Thursday by Corzine's office showed that he earned about $6.1 million during his first year as governor, nearly $50 million less than what he earned in 2005.

Corzine filed for an extension to file his actual tax returns, a customary move for the former Goldman Sachs chairman whose finances are complicated by numerous investments.