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February 1, 2014

Fired drug court director: I am a ‘scapegoat’

Susan Knoebel says she was following judge’s orders

(Continued)

JEFFERSONVILLE — WHO IS RESPONSIBLE?

Knoebel said she believes her termination is related to the recent claims of extended incarceration for drug court participants, some of whom were not brought before a judge for months — nor given legal representation — and are planning civil action against Clark County.

She said it is beyond her authority to determine how long a person entering the jail will remain behind bars or when they have a hearing before a judge. She said the attorneys who sit on the staffing committee should take steps to assure no participants’ rights are violated after their initial incarcerations.

Glickfield claims the drug court program is broken and that Knoebel is taking the blame for the actions of all those involved in the program.

“I just wish that this team would have enough integrity to stand up for what is right,” Glickfield said. “[And], acknowledge that Susan Knoebel is not to blame for all of this. Every single person on that staffing team is a part of this. And, instead of dwelling and trying to sweep it under the carpet and make it go away and say, ‘Oh, Susan Knoebel is the problem. She is gone now, so everything is OK ... because that would fix nothing.

“That court will continue on the exact same way that it is going right now, unless somebody stops and says ‘You know what? We screwed up. We got to fix this.’ That is what needs to happen.”

No matter what recommendations the staffing committee may provide, the final determination is made by the judge who presides over participants’ subsequent court appearance.

“I follow the orders of the judge,” Knoebel said. “You see what is happening to me now. If I don’t follow the orders of the judge, this would have happened to me a long time ago.”

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