Court Employee Keeps Job Despite Arrest Record
Judge’s Office Says It Knew Of Employee’s Legal History
Posted: 6:27 pm EST November 9, 2010Updated: 6:44 pm EST November 9, 2010
According to DeKalb County policy, an employee could be terminated for that, but probate employees are exempt from the policy.
Channel 2 Action News investigative reporter Jodie Fleischer went through records and learned that Jewel Margene Hendrix has been arrested twice for stealing and twice for drugs — yet she continues to work inside the DeKalb County courthouse.
Fleischer also tracked down the judge who oversees that division to ask her why Hendrix is still on the job as a probate technician.
The probate office handles things like wills, execution of estates and guardianships.
Fleischer found that Hendrix has been arrested at least four times. The first was in Gwinnett County in 2008 when she was picked up at a Target store for shoplifting. Court records show the solicitor dropped the charges in March of 2009 after Hendrix completed a pre-trial diversion program.
The solicitor told Channel 2 that she never knew Hendrix was re-arrested just five days earlier in DeKalb County. Hendrix pleaded guilty to shoplifting from a Macy’s store. She entered DeKalb County drug court.
Then earlier this year, she was arrested twice for violating the drug court contract by using drugs.
Fleischer went to the courthouse to try to ask Hendrix and her boss, Judge Jeryl Rosh, about the arrests. Neither was available.
Late Tuesday afternoon, the judge’s office issued a statement, which read in part: “We are aware that she (Hendrix) was involved in a legal situation. As such, she was put on administrative leave without pay. Subsequently, the matter was diverted to a rehabilitation program, she is being monitored closely, and her performance thus far is satisfactory.”
The judge has not returned Fleischer’s calls, so it was not known whether she knows about the two arrests this year for violating the drug court program.
A voice mail message and a sign in the office both said that Hendrix was at work Tuesday; however, she did not return calls, either.