Free bicycle for a judge

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Thursday, February 01, 2007
By Yokota Fritz

Elving Torres is an administrative law judge with a problem. He needs to park his silver Mercedes-Benz AMG coupe as near as possible to his office in downtown Tampa, Florida. To solve his problem, Torres illegally borrows a handicap placard so he can park his car in the handicap spots near the building.

Unfortunately, this creates a problem for legitimate users like Raquel Fruchte. Ms. Fruchte uses a wheelchair and works in the same building. She had to park at the far end of the lot and propel herself up an incline to get to her office because there were no empty handicapped spaces.

Alan Snel, marketing director for a chain of bike shops in Tampa, has the solution: a free bicycle for the judge "so that he can bike to work and park even closer to the building than a car."

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This is the kind of thing that really annoys me. I've been on crutches enough to realize the barriers that disabled people face every day. For a judge - someone sworn to uphold the law - this is unconscionable. The local news should be on him like stink.

I advise anyone who thinks this is trivial to borrow a pair of crutches and try to get through a revolving door, or a hydraulic one that closes quickly. Get on your crutches and figure out how to carry a cup of coffee from the kitchen to the living room. Sit on that stool in the men's room, put one leg out in front of you as if it's in a cast, and try - just try - to get up.

I could go on and on. But I'll behave for now.
How about this solution? The judge is disbarred for using an illegal device to gain a better parking spot. Then those who DON'T BREAK THE LAW can get a shot at being a judge.
All I can say from real life EXPERIENCE is: DON'T MESS WITH THE JUDGE!
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