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State Rep. Atkins not charged on tire-burning, but resigns from safety committee

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March 30, 2012

Delaware: After making derogatory statements about a policeman, State Rep. John Atkins has resigned from the Delaware House of Representatives' public safety committee.[1] In an unrelated incident, Atkins has been cleared in a case of illegal tire-burning.[2]

After he was pulled over for speeding, Atkins complained about the traffic officer in a strongly worded email to state police. According to reports, the email blasted the policeman and hinted that the representative could seek revenge in the legislature. Atkins has said that media have misconstrued his email, but did not specify how. Because of resulting media outcry, Atkins resigned his position on the Public Safety and Homeland Security Committee.[1]

Atkins had recently come under scrutiny over tire-burning on his father-in-law's property. A former state trooper confronted Atkins at the scene, and wound up punching Atkins. The ex-trooper says Atkins has covered up his complicity in the tire-burning. Atkins says he was not involved the illegal activity, and his father-in-law plead guilty. The state Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control reviewed the incident and decided not to charge Rep. Atkins.[2]

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