Originally created 09/30/00

Senator runs late on ticket payment



A state senator who made headlines this year when state officials said he tried to fix a speeding ticket is late paying a $100 ticket he received in August.

Sen. Joey Brush, R-Appling, was stopped for speeding Aug. 9 along Interstate 20 in McDuffie County. The state trooper ticketed him for driving 92 mph in a 70-mph zone as Mr. Brush drove toward a video poker meeting with the Columbia County Commission.

The $100 for the ticket was due by Mr. Brush's court date, Sept. 22, said McDuffie County Probate Court Judge Gene Wells. So far, the judge hasn't seen a check from Mr. Brush, but the senator did call this week to say he would mail the payment, Judge Wells said.

"The court date was like this week; I didn't know exactly what the due date was," Mr. Brush said. "I'm going to pay it. I was guilty."

Mr. Brush's call came the same day Judge Wells planned to mail a note to the senator giving him 20 days to pay the ticket or have his license suspended.

"We had typed it up," Judge Wells said. "We didn't have to put it in the mail."

Judge Wells could have issued a warrant for Mr. Brush because of the unpaid ticket. But he prefers the letter instead.

"I don't normally issue bench warrants for unpaid speeding tickets," he said.

But is the ticket going to slow the senator down?

"Oh yeah," Mr. Brush said, "unless I'm in a hurry."

Reach Jason B. Smith at (706) 868-1222, Ext. 115.