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Questions Raised Over Jacksonville Sheriff’s Handling of Local Reporter’s Tickets

mitchem_wjxtThe Florida Times-Union is looking into why the Jacksonville County Sheriff voided two tickets and a misdemeanor summons for WJXT reporter Ashley Mitchem.

Mitchem had been ticketed by Officer Jose Marrero for speeding, failure to change her address and a misdemeanor notice to appear for having the emblem of the Fraternal Order of Police on her car after two previous warnings to remove it.

Sheriff John Rutherford recently ordered the tickets and the misdemeanor voided, violating department rules in the process.

Bob Ellis, vice president and general manager for WJXT, told TVSpy, ““Ashley was stopped for alleged traffic violations on more than one occasion in the early morning hours of the day en route to work, always by the same police officer.  She believed she was being put in a potentially uncomfortable situation and as such, called the Sheriff and asked him for advice on how to formally and properly handle the matter.  To suggest there is anything more to this story is irresponsible.”

An official with the Jacksonville Sheriff’s department claimed Marrero was stalking Mitchem and that’s why the tickets were voided. Marrero had pulled Mitchem over twice before and let her off with a warning.

Marrero disputes the stalking claim. The Sheriff disputes the appearance of special treatment.

“This is not someone getting special consideration just because they are a TV personality,” he told the Times-Union. “That don’t impress me.”

Click here for the full Times-Union story.

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