NEWHALL : Traffic Violator Steers Clear of Paying Fine

Despite being given an opportunity to settle a 5-year-old traffic citation at a bargain price, Michael Joseph Pommerening has for the 10th time thumbed his nose at Newhall court officials.

But court officials say it's just a matter of time before the scofflaw is nabbed by the long arm of justice.

Pommerening, 34, of Eureka had so angered Newhall Municipal Judge Alan S. Rosenfield for failing nine times to appear in court on a 1987 traffic citation that in March the judge set bail at $99,999--the maximum allowed for traffic violations.

But after Pommerening wrote to Rosenfield in February appealing for leniency, the judge decided to show Pommerening that justice can be merciful. The judge gave the Humboldt County resident until April 30 to settle the entire matter by simply paying $138.60--a 30% discount from his original fine of $198.

Court officials said, however, that Pommerening still has not come up with the money and that a warrant for his arrest will probably be issued.

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