Mistaken inmate release sparks war of words

Marion County Sheriff John Layton is under fire again for releasing jail inmates by mistake.
Marion County Sheriff John Layton is under fire again for releasing jail inmates by mistake.

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) – Marion County Sheriff John Layton is under fire again for releasing jail inmates by mistake. Layton’s opponent in the November election, Republican Emmitt Carney, says the sheriff, who is a Democrat, is incompetent.

Sheriff Layton responded by calling Carney a liar because, he says, Carney is distributing false information.

Behind the war of words is the release and subsequent capture of Scott Anthony Snyder who was set free on Tuesday, captured and returned to the jail on Thursday.

Carney says Ashley Dumas was released by mistake in May but the sheriff’s department says she was free to go and is now wanted on a new warrant issued in June.

“Somebody’s continuing to let this happen over and over again,” said Carney. “The first time, second time, okay, but the eighth time? Somebody’s not doing their job.”

Carney claims that eight people have been mistakenly released this year, but the sheriff’s department says the accurate number is six.

“When is somebody gonna step up and have total acceptance of responsibility that this happened on my watch and we gotta make some changes?” Carney said.

Sheriff Layton was unavailable for an interview but in a brief phone conversation said that Carney doesn’t understand how things work in the jail.

“I have to say that the error rate for our inmate records section is less than 1/1000th of 1 percent,” said jail spokesman Louis Dezelan.  “They’re reviewing all of this information day in and day out 24 hours a day and this individual should not have been released but he was.”

Carney says this still isn’t the biggest issue in the race for Sheriff but, so far, it’s the one that has gained him the most publicity.

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