By DON DARE
6 On Your Side Consumer Investigator
RUTLEDGE (WATE) – A young Grainger County woman is thanking the Jefferson County sheriff for clearing her name of crimes she never committed.
A chance meeting with the law officer quickly got her issue resolved.
This is a story of an apparent clerical error – a mistake made years ago that only came to the attention of Christina Slagle earlier this month.
When she went for help to correct the error, she found it, from the top man himself.
“There’s four different cases in all, from forgery to worthless checks and theft,” said Slagle, looking over the police records she was initially accused of.
Christina Carson Slagle recently discovered there is a woman with a name similar to hers who’s racked up quite a police record in an adjoining county.
“Apparently she’s gotten off scot free with a lot of crimes and I’ve carried it around for eight years unknowingly,” said Slagle.
Christina’s maiden name is Carson. She has no middle initial.
The name on the police reports is Christina M. Carson. The personal information, however, belongs to Christina Carson Slagle.
“Somehow she’s ended up with my birth date and social security number,” she said.
The records are numerous and date back years to 2003.
Christina knew nothing until recently.
On November 6, 2012, when she tried to vote at a school in Grainger County, despite proper identification, a poll worker said she wasn’t eligible.
“She comes back from the phone and says the lady from the election committee needs to speak to me. So I get the phone and she tells me that my right to vote has been revoked because I’m a convicted felon,” Slagle said.
Frightened, but knowing she had never been in trouble, Christina was directed to Jefferson County, where the poll worker said the felony report originated.
While waiting to talk to someone at the sheriff’s department, the sheriff happened by.
“Oh yes, I remember the day she came by,” said Jefferson County Sheriff Bud McCoig.
McCoig says he listened with interest to Christina’s story.
“I looked her history up here from our office records and couldn’t find anything,” the sheriff said.
“I was there for an hour and a half trying to get to the bottom of it,” said Christina.
But once the sheriff found information on Christina M. Carson, that prompted a call to the lawyers.
“The DA’s office was really cooperative and said they’d get right on it and they did,” he said.
Once the arrest records were sent by Sheriff McCoig to the DA’s office, District Attorney General Jimmy Dunn said he could see a mistake had been made.
Within days, the attorney general sent an order to the judge to correct the error.
Christina is grateful to the sheriff for believing her and helping her.
He says it’s just part of the job.
“That’s my policy. I try to treat people the way I want to be treated, and we’re here to help,” McCoig said.
Christina just had two words for the sheriff.
“Thank you. Thank you, thank you, thank you.”
Christina’s name no longer appears on any arrest records.
Information from the judge has been passed on to the election board and to police agencies around the state.
The DA’s office said they are not sure how the error may have happened, but said they are checking into Christina M. Carson to see what happened in her cases.