Public Defender Nearly Arrested
Parker has been the Public Defender for nearly 25 years. Early Saturday morning, his daughter, Alison Parker, 19, was arrested for driving under the influence and marijuana possession.
Jail policy states that during an inmate's first appearance, inmates and the public defender are in a secure room at the jail. Everyone else, the judge, private attorneys, and family members are at the Alachua County Courthouse and are connected over a web camera feed.
The Sheriff's Office maintains Parker was in the wrong location, and only left the room at the jail when he was told he would be arrested for trespassing.
"This is the first time that I know of in the history of the jail that an attorney has represented him or herself as coming out to represent a particular client not informing that the client was a family member," says Sgt. Keith Faulk. "The Public Defender doesn't often come out to represent clients. Normally it's an Assistant Public Defender. So for Mr. Parker himself to sign into come out on a weekend was an unusual circumstance."
Faulk says the situation may prompt a change in the official written policy of the jail.
Parker refused to comment about the incident.
Faulk says the Sheriff's Office will not be pursuing the matter, but Governor Crist or the Florida Bar could review the situation and possibly discipline Parker.
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