Prince George’s Police to Review Councilwoman’s Traffic Stop
Karen Toles was cited for speeding in a county vehicle.
The case of a Prince George’s County Councilwoman whom police say was speeding on the Capital Beltway at close to 105 mph earlier this month is under an executive review from Prince George’s County police.
Councilmember Karen Toles (D-Dist. 7) of Suitland was fined $90 and given a warning for excessive speeding Feb. 22, according to Prince George's County police. Toles was traveling close to 105 mph—50 mph above the speed limit, according to WUSA9 and other news reports.
Police announced Wednesday that an executive panel would review the traffic stop, which could have come with a fine of up to $500.
Prince George’s County Assistant Police Chief Kevin Davis told WTTG Fox 5 news that Toles was given a warning due to issues with the patrol officer’s equipment.
“Our preliminary assessment also reveals that same officer was operating a marked patrol car whose speedometer was not calibrated, didn’t have radar, and the time period that the officer had on the beltway to establish a good pace of the vehicle that he eventually stopped didn’t exist,” he was quoted as saying.
Toles was reported driving a county-issued Ford sport utility vehicle when she was pulled over by an officer near Branch Avenue. Toles said in a statement Wednesday that she would not drive another county vehicle until she completed a driver improvement course.
“…I take full responsibility for my actions and I apologize to my constituents, my county council colleagues, and Prince George’s County,” she said. “In addition to paying the appropriate fine, I will not be driving a county owned vehicle until voluntarily completing a driver improvement course to ensure my safety and the safety of others.”
Toles has had several moving violations since 2002, according to reports.
Fellow council member Mary A. Lehman (D-Dist.1) of Laurel told Patch that she had to submit her driver’s license for review when she was issued a vehicle by the county. Lehman said she received speed-camera tickets while driving her vehicle and was required to pay them out-of-pocket.
“For me, this is uncharted territory,” she said, referring to any repercussions that might occur due to Toles' alleged actions. “Where our administration proceedings kick in is just not clear…I think she did the right thing to say she was wrong.”
Lehman said she received several e-mails from constituents about Toles' traffic citation. Some suggested that Toles received a warning ticket because she was a council member.
“[Police] are not doing anyone a favor by letting someone off the hook because of their title,” she said, not specifically referencing Toles. "I would say to anyone, better to be five minutes late than to be in an accident--it's not worth your life."