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Parson-McBean makes comments on ride controversy

January 25, 2006|by DANIEL J. SERNOVITZ

daniels@herald-mail.com

Hagerstown City Councilwoman Alesia D. Parson-McBean on Tuesday delivered a backhanded compliment to The Herald-Mail for its coverage of events surrounding the ride she was given last week by a Hagerstown Police Department lieutenant to the Motor Vehicle Administration.

During closing comments of the mayor and council work session, Parson-McBean said she felt the news coverage might have helped the newspaper sell copies, while her picture on the front page Saturday and Tuesday helped to humanize her.

"I'd like to thank The Herald-Mail for pointing out that I am human, and I do forget," she said. "My smile is going to sell papers this week."

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Hagerstown Police Officer Karen Hinchee stopped Parson-McBean outside department headquarters on North Burhans Boulevard on Friday about 11:30 a.m. for driving a vehicle with registration that expired in November, police said. Lt. William C. Wright, supervisor on duty at the time of the incident, drove the councilwoman to the MVA to renew her registration because she said she was on city business, police said.

On Tuesday afternoon, Wright said he does not believe Parson-McBean was issued a citation for driving a vehicle with expired registration, a motor vehicle infraction that carries a $60 fine.

During closing remarks at the council meeting, Parson-McBean did not address any other matters publicly raised about the situation, including the nature of the city business she told officers she was on when she was pulled over or whether she felt it appropriate that she was given special treatment not afforded to members of the public.

She said she received encouraging comments from family members, including one from her father suggesting the experience, like fertilizer for plants, will help her to grow strong.

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