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County Employee Gets Jail Time For Stupidity


County Employee Gets Jail Time For Stupidity

County Employee Gets Jail Time For Stupidity-Courtroom-05170
County Employee Gets Jail Time For Stupidity-Courtroom-05170

County Employee Gets Jail Time For Stupidity-A Broward County employee spent several hours trapped inside an inmate holding cell at the new main courthouse in downtown Fort Lauderdale last Wednesday after she mistakenly walked through the wrong door and couldn’t get out.

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County Employee Gets Jail-Time For Stupidity

Deborah Johnson, 61, was conducting an inspection of a courtroom last Wednesday, June 28th, when she mistakenly entered a holding cell through the wrong door and wasn’t able to get out, according to a Broward Sheriff’s Office incident report and 911 call.

County Employee Gets Jail Time For Stupidity-911 Call

She tried to call her daughter for help, but she wasn’t able to get any cellphone service in the room, the report said. She wasn’t found until almost seven hours later after her daughter finally received the text message from her mother at about 1:00am.

It said, “Help me trapped fifth-floor courtroom 5170, call 911”


Her daughter told dispatchers that her mother got off work at 4:00pm, and should have been home by 4:30pm.

Assistant County Adminstrator Alphonso Jefferson said officials are investigating why nighttime security in the control room at the courthouse did not spot Johnson while monitoring security cameras that were operating and included cameras in the holding cell.

Jefferson also said Johnson was without her county-issued two-way radio, which would have allowed her to alert others in the building to her situation.

Johnson, told deputies she heard someone in the courtroom while she was trapped, maybe a member of the cleaning crew. She said she spoke to the person through the locked door asking for help, but help never came.

Jefferson said courthouse employees are being reminded to have all of their needed access information and radios with them at all times.

County Employee Gets Jail Time For Stupidity-Courtroom-2
County Employee Gets Jail Time For Stupidity-Courtroom

“We verified and made sure all courthouse employees have multiple authentications. We’re making sure they have their radios on them,” according to Jefferson.

There have been a lot of complaints about poor cellphone reception in the new 20-story downtown courthouse in  Fort Lauderdale, and it doesn’t look like it will be fixed anytime soon as they pass the buck.

Jefferson said it is up to service providers like AT&T, Verizon and Sprint to enhance the signal strength for their customers. The companies have worked on improving service, he said. The courthouse also has public access Wi-Fi that visitors can use to make cellphone calls, but the same problem is happening  with that system as well.



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