The Connecticut state police say a trooper was within his rights Wednesday in declining to issue a ticket or written warning to a city police officer clocked going 87 miles per hour in a 55-miles-per-hour zone on I-84 in Southington while driving Bridgeport Mayor Joseph P. Ganim to a gubernatorial campaign event.

Under state law, driving faster than 85 miles per hour is considered reckless driving, with a first offense punishable by a fine ranging from $100 to $300 and a jail term of up to 30 days. But the driver, Ramon Garcia, a police officer assigned to the mayor’s security detail, was let off with a verbal warning.

“After running the operator’s license and vehicle registration and confirming there were no other issues, the trooper issued the operator a verbal warning consistent with the discretion afforded to law enforcement by department policy and state law, which is independent of the occupants of a vehicle,” the Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection said in a statement.

It was unclear if the trooper was aware that the occupants of the vehicle included a reporter, Neil Vigdor of Hearst Connecticut Media. Vigdor  tweeted about the incident, reporting that he saw the speedometer hit 100 miles per hour before the stop. The state police said the car was clocked by a laser at 87.

Ganim declared his candidacy for governor on Wednesday.

Mark is the Capitol Bureau Chief and a co-founder of CT Mirror. He is a frequent contributor to WNPR, a former state politics writer for The Hartford Courant and Journal Inquirer, and contributor for The New York Times.

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