No free pass for Sen. Schumer after car stolen

| 3/11/2003

Sen. Charles Schumer, D-NJ, wrote an angry letter March 10 accusing E-ZPass officials of highway robbery for charging him and his wife $23 to replace their E-ZPass device after his car was stolen over the weekend, The Associated Press reported.

Schumer’s 2001 Ford Taurus was stolen Saturday from outside his family’s apartment building in Brooklyn.

"When we called E-ZPass to notify you of the theft, we were shocked to learn that we were responsible for a $23 charge for the cost of the tag," Schumer wrote to the executive director of the E-ZPass office in lower Manhattan.

"It is outrageous that crime victims facing the burden of paying for another car should also be required to pay for a replacement E-ZPass," Schumer wrote, noting the state DMV waives the fee for replacement license plates whenever a police report states they were stolen.

"I want to be clear that my wife and I will pay the $23, but I strongly object to other crime victims having insult added to their injury by this policy."

Schumer’s wife, Iris Weinshall, is the commissioner of the New York City Department of Transportation. A spokesman for E-ZPass could not immediately be reached for comment, AP said.