Police stopped “Joe the Plumber” for speeding last week, but didn’t issue a ticket out of concern it would reflect negatively on the Toledo department, an officer’s report said. Officers tracked Samuel J. Wurzelbacher driving about 50 mph in a 35 mph zone in his Dodge Durango SUV on Wednesday (2008-10-29), the police report said.
In the final presidential debate, Republican John McCain portrayed Wurzelbacher as emblematic of people with concerns about Democrat Barack Obama’s tax plans. Wurzelbacher has since endorsed McCain. His instant fame set off a rush of interest in the plumber’s background. Toledo’s police chief said on Tuesday — the day before the traffic stop — that a department clerk faces a disciplinary hearing for allegedly looking up Wurzelbacher’s address on a state computer database.
Wurzelbacher was given a verbal warning because of that ongoing investigation and because a citation could have “negative repercussions to the department and city as a whole,” according to the report, which lists “Patrolman Bailey” as its author.
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