Tim Carson got a Penn Pike chauffeur after DUI convictions - a Pike official

February 15, 2010

A Pennsylvania Turnpike official tells us that recently resigned vice-chairman Timothy Carson got a Turnpike Commission employee as a chauffeur after his second alcohol driving (DUI) conviction in 2006. The official who asked not to be named told us it was common knowledge that Miriam 'Mimi' Lindelow, officially a Turnpike marketing/community relations officer, spent much of her time driving Carson places in his Turnpike vehicle.

Most common were trips to and from Carson's work or home in the Philadelphia area and Harrisburg, the state capital and location of the Turnpike head offices. Commission meetings are the first and third Tuesdays each month, so there are more than 20 meetings per year. But the talk was that Carson was "chauffeured everywhere" by Lindelow.

The official says Lindelow who also uses her unmarried last name Doyle was commonly referred to by others at the Turnpike as Carson's 'girlfriend.'  We pressed him on what that meant. He conceded it is probably just a joking term on the basis that they always showed up places together because of her chauffeur duties for him, and doesn't imply an actual romantic relationship.

"They would say 'Carson was driven here by his girlfriend, as usual' or 'Carson was here with his girlfriend.'"

Resentment at Republican hire

There was some resentment at Lindelow's employment because she had worked previously for a Republican state representative who lost an election. Carson had Lindelow appointed, the official said, because she needed a job.

Lindelow was recruited to the Eastern Regional Office of the Turnpike in King of Prussia, north of Philadelphia. Her official job was to work on outreach for major projects in the Eastern region such as Turnpike widening and rebuild projects.

She is described by the Turnpike as a Public Involvement Specialist, and currently represents the Turnpike on the Mileposts 320-326 Total Reconstruction Project (Project Suspended), and Mileposts A20-A30 Total Reconstruction Project on the NE Extension.

Carson apparently had to be driven places because his driving license was suspended for a period following his second DUI conviction. But his chauffeuring continued on beyond the time he must have had his license restored.

The official says Carson and other Penn Pike commissioners did not need to ask for a car or driver. They were entitled.

It was understood they could be driven places if they wanted a driver for whatever reason. Therefore it was quite possible others at the Turnpike did not know Carson had a DUI conviction and was unable to legally drive.

They just ordered a car and a driver

"They would order a car or a driver themselves, and no one here would ever dare tell a Commissioner they had to make an application. When a Commissioner asks for something you treat that as an order. They might notify Joe (Joseph Brimmeier, CEO) that they were getting a new vehicle or a driver as a courtesy after the event."

The official also tells us that vehicles for commissioners and top officers are usually turned in and replaced at about two year intervals.

They favored high end Chryslers sedans such as 300 series and the Dodge equivalent and large SUVs like Durangos, he said. The Turnpike also pays for fuel, insurance and other vehicle expenses.

We have keen evening readers

Of domestic interest - the Turnpike official says most computers at the Turnpike offices cannot access this website: tollroadsnews.com.

"They've blocked you out here," he told us "but you have some keen readers on personal computers at home in the evenings."

NOTE: we've asked Ms Lindelow for her estimate of her hours driving vice-chair Carson and will update you with any answer.

TOLLROADSnews 2010-02-15

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