Dothan Eagle Enquiry Causes Statewide Memo

March 12th, 2009 - 12:00 am ICT by GD  

The Alabama Administrative Office of the Courts has disbursed a memo to all judges and circuit clerks across Alabama after the Dothan Eagle inquiry was made into the confidentiality of a specific criminal charge filed against an adult member. The memo was distributed after the Eagles tried to get copies of the file for Andrew Sewell, the principal of Dothan High School who had been charged with misdemeanor that caused delinquency of a minor. The Houston County Circuit Court Clerk had informed the Eagle that the file and trail were to be confidential and sealed.

According to Circut Court Judge Brad Mendheim and officials at th AOC the file and all court proceedings for adults charged contributing to the delinquency of the minor would be made public.

The public administration officer of AOC, Dean Hartzog, said that the memo was sent from the Family Court Division of the AOC to clarify public record in reference to the contributing to the delinquency of a minor, adding, “If questions arise where there seems to be some confusion, it’s not uncommon for AOC to send out clarification.”

The record shows that Sewell, 41, had allegedly had sex with a student under the age of 18 and had attended school between Jan 2 and Jan 28, 2009. Sewell was arrested and released after he posted a bond of $6000. He is to have a non-jury trial in a juvenile court and may face up to a year of hard labor and a $500 fine. The Dothan City School Board will convene to consider a recommendation to fire Sewell from his service.

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