It would seem as if Rep. John Atkins can’t help placing himself between the dog and the fire hydrant.
Many of us remember his problems with the Ocean City, Md police that lead to his resignation from the General Assembly and his leaving the Republican party.
More recently Rep. Atkins, now a Democrat, had a run in with two men over a fire on his father in-law’s property that hired help had placed tires on. This ended with Mr. Atkins being assaulted by one of the men. The case of the tire fire is pending, even so Rep. Atkins felt the need to appear on the Dan Gaffeny Show on WGMD to give his side of the story.
This morning I was made aware of a story at Delawareonline http://www.delawareonline.com/article/20120304/NEWS02/203040324/Rep-Atkins-blasts-trooper-email-after-stop?odyssey=tab%7Ctopnews%7Ctext%7CHome&nclick_check=1
In the story we are told that back in January, Rep. Atkins was pulled over for speeding near Harrington by a Delaware State Trooper while running late for the opening of the General Assembly session. And even though Rep. Atkins was let go with nothing more than a verbal warning, he was still so angry after the stop that he took the time to send an angry email to the trooper’s superior, Capt. Galen M. Purcell.
In the email Rep. Atkins stated that the trooper was “arrogant” and dared to ” lecture me about the speed limit”.
Rep. Atkins also spoke about a section of the state constitution that states that members of the General Assembly cannot be arrested when on their way to a session.
This sense of entitlement does seem to harken back to the Ocean City incident in which he was accused of flashing his Representative’s I.D. card in an attempt to get out of the situation which included driving under the influence of alcohol.
At the time of the Ocean City incident I advocated for Rep. Atkins to step down and to run for re-election, which he did as a Democrat and was re-elected by the people of his district. I have also from time to time defended Mr. Atkins based on the fact that he has often voted in a conservative manner even after becoming a Democrat.
However this latest revelation should cause the people of his district to question whether this is the type of representation that they seek in Dover. Do they want to be represented by someone who feels they are above the law simply because they have won an election?
Our law makers must recognize that not only are they responsible for creating laws, they are responsible for upholding the laws they create and more importantly they are subject to those laws the same as any other citizen of the state.
It will be interesting to see whether the Democrats hold Mr. Atkins to the same high standards as did the Republicans.