JACKSONVILLE, Miss. (CN) – A Mississippi lawyer claims he was arrested, strip-searched and deloused at a Pearl River County jail in retaliation for his complaints against the county sheriff’s office. He says sheriff’s agents tried to “generate negative publicity” and “embarrass” him by alerting the media before his arrest so a reporter could photograph him in jail.
In a federal lawsuit, Glenn White claims he was arrested March 5, 2009 for allegedly bribing a witness to influence his testimony.
White says the charges were dismissed after the state attorney general’s office “concluded that no crime had been committed … and that no indictment should be brought.”
He says the Peal River County Sheriff’s Office claimed the arrest was based on an interview he conducted in the county jail with Mark Harris, a potential witness in a case involving one of White’s clients.
But White insists it was a routine interview, which is why he was never indicted.
“A part of a lawyer’s duty is to interview witnesses and lawyers and often try to persuade witnesses to talk to them,” White says. “There is nothing wrong with that.”
He claims the real reason behind his arrest “was in retaliation for disputes that the Plaintiff had with Sheriff David Allison and the Sheriff’s office and complaints he has lodged against that office.”
White says he was “unnecessarily handcuffed behind his back for transportation from Lamar County to the Pearl River County jail in an awkward and painful position,” aggravating a pre-existing hernia.
When he arrived at the jail, White says he was strip-searched, showered and deloused – all unnecessary procedures, “since he was not a danger and since a judge was available who could promptly set a bond for him.”
According to White, in an “effort to generate negative publicity,” the sheriff’s department tipped off a reporter before White’s arrest “so that the reporter was present when Mr. White arrived at the jail and could take a photograph of Mr. White in an area of the jail not normally open to the public.”
White is suing Pearl River County, Sheriff Allison, Chief Deputy Shane Tucker, Capt. Donnie Saucier and Deputy Shane Edgar for compensatory and punitive damages, claiming they violated his constitutional rights and damaged his reputation and business.
He is represented by Robert McDuff.