Woman Wrongly Jailed for a Month

Dave Norris' Swearing InFrom the “What The?!” files comes the story of Jennifer Dowell White, who was held in the jail for a month for no apparent reason, Lisa Provence reports for The Hook. She appeared before a city grand jury on August 20, who was considering indicting her for obtaining money under false pretenses, but they decided not to. Nonetheless, she was held in jail until just yesterday, the apparent fault of Charlottesville Clerk Paul Garrett. Her attorney had repeatedly requested a copy of the indictment that would presumably be required to keep White in jail, but Garrett wouldn’t send it — the paperwork had apparently been lost in his office. Garrett declined comment.

Garrett was last in the news back in April, when he was caught obtaining $52,000 from the state by lying about getting his office’s records online. Garrett, a Democrat, was most recently reelected in 2003.

9:30pm Update: I see that Henry Graff reported on this for NBC 29 and did get a comment out of Paul Garrett. He said that he wasn’t necessarily the obstacle, that “there are various ways that could have been addressed,” though not knowing anything about the legal system, it’s all greek to me.

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