BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WIAT) — Former Jefferson County Commissioner Shelia Smoot was arrested Tuesday after an incident in family court.
Smoot is charged with resisting arrest and obstructing government operations. According to Smoot, she and her daughter had an appearance this morning at family court to file a restraining order against a man when an altercation broke out.
“It was just a mistake,” Smoot said. “I’m sure it will clear up when calmer heads prevail, which I was calm.”
The Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office says a deputy working at the court was alerted to a disturbance in one of the courtrooms just after noon today. According to officials, the deputy found Smoot’s daughter, 22-year-old Mecca Scarver,”yelling and disrupting court proceedings,” and tried to calm her down without success. The deputy reportedly tried to escort her out, but she refused. The deputy then told Scarver she was under arrest for disorderly conduct.
Scarver allegedly ran to the back of the courtroom, and officials say Smoot tried to keep the deputy from arresting her daughter. The deputy used pepper spray to gain control of Smoot’s daughter.
Smoot says that the deputies did not give her a chance to help her daughter, who was in distress because the man who she has protective orders against showed up with his family in court.
“My daughter was going into an anxiety attack,” Smoot told CBS42’s Jamie Ostroff. “I grabbed her, and the officer that came in there never said anything to me, never asked me to get back, never tried to stop her from having a seizure, and basically said I was obstructing justice.”
The Sheriff’s Office says Scarver was taken to a patrol car, where she slipped out of handcuffs and began kicking the rear window and door.
Scarver is charged with escape in the 3rd, attempting to elude, and disorderly conduct/disturbing the peace.
“It should not have happened,” Scarver said. “It’s a shame with everything going on in the world today that things like this are still occurring for someone that is crying out for help and ends up being the bad guy.”
Smoot’s total bond is set at $1,500; her daughter’s is set at $6,000. Both Smoot and Scarver spoke exclusively to CBS42. In the interview, Scarver accuses a female deputy of punching her while she was in the holding cell. Jefferson County Chief Deputy Randy Christian says that is a lie.
“That is an interesting comment coming from someone that just embarrassed themselves in a court of law of all places. It’s also a lie. I’m sure at some point we will get an apology,” Christian said.
You can watch the raw interview with Smoot and Scarver below:
Updated with information from the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office