- The Washington Times - Wednesday, March 28, 2012

A Prince George’s County Council member plans to fight the reckless driving ticket she was issued after police said she was seen driving more than 100 mph on the Capital Beltway.

A trial has been scheduled for April 20 in Prince George’s County District Court at the request of council member Karen R. Toles.

Ms. Toles previously paid a $90 fine after a county police officer ticketed her for an unsafe lane change and gave her a warning for excessive speed last month. Facing scrutiny over whether Ms. Toles received preferential treatment when she was pulled over, top brass and legal experts from the police department reviewed the incident and issued a $510 ticket for reckless driving.

District court records show Ms. Toles, Suitland Democrat, requested a hearing in the reckless driving case March 12, five days after she called a news conference to offer a brief apology for the incident.

“I offer my utmost and sincere apologies for this to my constituents and colleagues as well as all county residents,” Ms Toles said on March 7. “I trust that we can now move forward with the very important business of the county.”

Before being issued the more serious reckless driving ticket, which would also add six points to her driving record, Ms. Toles said she intended to pay the fine for the initial traffic violation.

She did not respond to requests for comment Wednesday to explain why she was choosing to contest the additional ticket.

Police have said a speeding ticket was not issued at the time because the officer, who is now expected to appear as a witness in the court case, did not have a radar gun and was unable to determine Ms. Toles’ exact speed. Officials, however, said the officer reached speeds of up to 105 mph in the 55 mph zone trying to catch up with Ms. Toles’ county-owned car.

At the beginning of March, the County Council banned her from using her county-owned vehicle until the traffic citation is resolved.

Ms. Toles was ticketed four other times in the past three years for traffic offenses, according to online Maryland court records.

• Andrea Noble can be reached at anoble@washingtontimes.com.

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