Posted Jan 08, 2010 12:56 am CST
In a seemingly routine situation, an interviewer for the Pinellas-Pasco Public Defender’s Office repeatedly signed in to visit an inmate at a local Florida jail on behalf of his legal team.
But when Pinellas County sheriff’s deputies launched an investigation in response to an anonymous tip, they discovered that the inmate was actually represented by private counsel in his cocaine-trafficking case, reports the St. Petersburg Times.
By law, deputies aren’t allowed to monitor private rooms at the jail where defendants meet with their claimed counsel. By reviewing recorded phone calls between the 30-year-old inmate and Alexandra Petitt, however, they gathered evidence that the two allegedly were having sex behind the closed doors of the interview rooms rather than discussing legal issues, the newspaper reports.
Petitt, 20, who has been employed by the PD’s office since August, now faces two charges of official misconduct and was being held at the Pinellas County Jail yesterday in lieu of $10,000 bail.
Pinellas-Pasco Public Defender Bob Dillinger referred to the part-time hourly intern from the University of South Florida as a former employee in a interview with the newspaper and says his office has never had to deal with a situation like this before, the Times says.
The article doesn’t include any comment from Petitt or her lawyer.