RI rep. to pay $1k in court fees; charge dropped

Posted Oct. 17, 2011, at 9:56 p.m.
Last modified Oct. 17, 2011, at 10:12 p.m.

FALL RIVER, Mass. — A Rhode Island lawmaker agreed to pay $1,000 Monday to resolve a charge that he fled from a police officer during a 2008 motor vehicle chase in Massachusetts.

State Rep. Daniel Gordon acknowledged responsibility for the incident and agreed to probation for other related traffic offenses. A charge that he tried to elude police was dropped. On top of $1,000 in court costs, Gordon will have to pay a $650 in probation fees.

The 42-year-old Portsmouth Republican declined to speak with reporters following the hearing.

Gordon spent a weekend in jail last month after Rhode Island officers learned Gordon was wanted on a warrant from Massachusetts relating to the 2008 incident. The arrest exposed a string of legal trouble in Massachusetts, including a four-month sentence in 1999 for assault, an attempted murder charge dismissed in 2004 and a long list of traffic offenses.

The former Marine has blamed his troubles on alcohol abuse relating to post-traumatic stress from his service during the 1991 Gulf War. Military records for Gordon list no Middle East service. Gordon has called the records incomplete.

Gordon also faced a misdemeanor charge of driving with a suspended license in Rhode Island. That charge was dropped earlier this month, and Gordon’s license was reinstated.

According to a police report from the April 20, 2008 incident, Massachusetts state police removed Gordon from the Dodge Durango he was driving, forced him to the ground and arrested him at gunpoint after he refused to pull over on Route 24 in Fall River, leading police on a chase on local highways.

When asked why he refused to stop for police, Gordon told troopers “he was stupid and was driving the vehicle illegally,” the report said.

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