Complaints voiced against Justice Center offices

Posted By | April 15, 2002 12:00 am

Emily Moorehead
“Henry Foster himself told me I would have to deal with the F.B.I. to sign a complaint,” said Susan McDaniel at the recent meeting the White County Commission’s Steering B Committee.
“I have gone up there three times to sign a complaint and was denied.”
McDaniel appeared before Steering B Committee to lodge numerous complaints concerning the White County Jail and the manner in which she claimed she was treated by employees of the White County Circuit Court Clerk’s office.
McDaniel related events she said took place at her home when members of the White County Sheriff’s Department came to her residence with the charge she was “harboring a criminal.”
McDaniel said the deputies entered and searched her home without benefit of a search warrant and claimed they illegally seized a 9mm weapon from her home.
She claimed they found no criminal on the premises.
She told commissioners she had tried more than once to retrieve the 9mm weapon without success, and she stated for the record the weapon was registered with the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation and was legally owned by her.
“The gun has never been found and never given back to me,” she said.
McDaniel added when she was booked in the White County Jail, a jail officer removed 10 dollars from McDaniel’s wallet without her permission, stating to McDaniel it was for her booking fee.
Another citizen heard by the commission was Karen Pitts, who stated when she was taken to jail by a sheriff’s deputy, her hands were secured behind her by handcuffs, and she claimed the deputy did not fasten a seat belt around her.
She told commissioners the deputy then transported her to the White County Jail traveling at speeds of between 85 and 100 m.p.h. and, when the car would turn, she was slung about the backseat.
She said she had a surgical pin in her back, and she felt she should have been able to be safely belted in the backseat for the trip.
Pitts stated she also had tried to lodge a complaint, stating Sheriff Guy Goff told her to go to the Circuit Court Clerk’s office to make the complaint.
Pitts said she was also told she would have to bring the F.B.I. with her.
“They refused to let me sign a complaint,” said Pitts of Circuit Court Clerk’s office employees.
McDaniel then said there seemed to be “a lot of conflict with visitation” to inmates at the White County Jail and she said inmates were allowed no supplies from relatives; they must purchase supplies only from the jail commissary.
McDaniel said the bottles of shampoo were costly and only lasted a couple of days, and she added inmate areas at the jail were unsanitary.
“What do you expect from us?” said Commissioner Terry Alley.
“I’ve talked to several people and no one wants to do anything,” McDaniel said, adding she felt the commissioners should know what she felt was going on at the jail.
She then thanked the members of Steering Committee B for taking the time to hear her story, and she and Pitts departed.
In other business, a resolution was passed to send to the full commission regarding a $50,000 bond of White County Finance Director Keith Ryder, and the moving of a water line in the industrial park was discussed.
After all business was concluded, the meeting adjourned.
Steering Committee A had a brief meeting with the following discussed:
– resolution for guard rails
– appointing a member to the White County Planning Commission
– discussion and consensus taken for plans on a spec building for the White County Industrial Park.
When reached for comment on Tuesday, Circuit Court Clerk Henry Foster stated: “She [McDaniel] came today and wanted to take a warrant for something about when she was illegal [sic] arrested or illegal [sic] charged with a crime, and of course, we had a hearing on it and it was dismissed.
I just told her today that you’re asking me stuff and I don’t know and I’m not a lawyer and I referred her to an attorney.
I can’t answer some of the illegality questions. I did not tell her that she had to bring the F.B.I.
I may have referred her to the attorney general, and that’s all I know about it.
I don’t a lot of what she’s even referring to.”
Foster added he was recalling from memory regarding the McDaniel hearing.

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