John Kerry might be the secretary of state, but darn it, he still needs to shovel the snow outside his house. Boston got two feet of snow during this week's blizzard, and Mayor Martin Walsh vowed to crack down on the scofflaws who failed to clear off their sidewalks, the AP reports. So, yesterday morning, when the snow had not yet been cleared along the side of Kerry's Beacon Hill mansion (image here), he was fined $50. Of course, he had a decent excuse: He was in Saudi Arabia at King Abdullah's funeral with President Obama. Even so, a spokesperson tells the Boston Globe the sidewalk was cleared by late morning and the fine will be paid promptly.
"Diplomats—they’re just like us. Secretary Kerry was working overseas while the blizzard packed a wallop back home," says the spokesperson, who claims the snow removal firm tasked with handling Kerry's sidewalks got confused when it saw yellow hazard tape next to the sidewalk—put there to warn pedestrians of falling snow—and thought the tape was actually from police who wanted the sidewalk off-limits. That was cleared up, he says, and "the snow has all been shoveled now, the secretary will gladly pay the ticket, and let’s hope this is the last blizzard of the year." (Read more John Kerry stories.)