A woman who filed a lawsuit alleging she was unlawfully held at the Bibb County jail for 63 days due to a case of mistaken identity has received a $4,500 settlement.
Kathy Harper, 48, was arrested on May 28, 2009, on charges of identity theft and forgery and later was sentenced to probation as part of a plea bargain, according to the lawsuit filed May 27, 2011, in Bibb County Superior Court. The lawsuit, which names former Sheriff Jerry Modena and Chief Deputy Russell Nelson, was dismissed earlier this month.
Harper, who also has been known by the alias Kathy Green, alleges jail staff kept her incarcerated on a probation violation associated with the records of another woman also named Kathy Green after she was eligible for release. Harper is a 5-foot, 7-inch tall black woman. Green is a 5-foot, 5-inch tall white woman, according to the court filing.
In her lawsuit, Harper also alleged she was deprived of treatment for her medical conditions for more than two weeks.
She sought payment for medical bills and other damages.
Lawyers for both sides initially were reluctant to divulge the amount of the settlement. Virgil Adams, the lawyer representing Modena and Nelson, released the amount after The Telegraph filed an open records request.
Although Adams argues that the sheriffs office followed its procedures and didnt do anything wrong, he said it was cheaper to settle the case than to take the matter to trial.
Contacted for comment, Harpers lawyer, Ken Smith said, My client is looking forward to putting this matter behind her and moving on with her life.
To contact writer Amy Leigh Womack, call 744-4398.