Valley Brook, a town known mostly for its bars, strip malls and strip clubs, made the decision to re-issue several warrants -some of which date back 20 years - for a multitude of crimes, ranging from DUIs, probation violations and minor offenses.
On Tuesday, I interviewed a man who claims he already paid the initial citation and was forced to repay again after the Valley Brook city attorney reportedly told him that he would face steeper fines for "failure to appear." He doesn't have proof that he paid the fine, since it happened 20 years ago.
Since the story aired, we've gotten at least one call into our newsroom from a viewer, claiming he was also unfairly targeted. A phone call and a subsequent visit to the Valley Brook officials yielded no comment, with the exception of a deputy court clerk named Christine who claims the city has no records of how many warrants were re-issued.
Apparently, there is no statute of limitations for warrants in Valley Brook, and mostly anyone would agree that the punishment should fit the crime, regardless of when the transgression took place. But it's a sad day when a person is for to repay a debt to society because of faulty accounting and a need for small-town revenue. Double jeopardy prevents us from being re-tried in court for the same crime. It would behoove Valley Brook officials to consider that and carefully review each warrants before sending them out.