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COLUMN

Happytown

Wherein we work ourselves up for the redistricting tour of awesomeness only to be summarily dressed down (naked! In prison!) by Polk Sheriff Grady Judd. Oh, the agony.

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Then, in May, Wachs was arrested by Polk deputies yet again, this time for ”moaning repeatedly in a sexual manner from an open window in her house, saying, ‘Oh, John,’ in a crescendo, as a ploy to stop neighbors, including a young boy, from playing basketball,” according to the New York Times. That was evidently the last straw, as Wachs filed an injunction against Judd in federal court on June 24, citing the sheriff’s “pervasive religiosity” as a motivating factor in her punishment. “They’re the most obviously retaliatory arrests that one can imagine,” says her Longwood-based lawyer, Lawrence Walters, who has battled Judd on First Amendment grounds nearly without pause for the last decade and a half.

On a lighter note – well, at least for those not in a Polk County prison cell – Judd announced on July 14 that inmates would have to buy their own underwear beginning in August. The price will be $4.48 for boxers and $2.54 for briefs – Fruit of the Loom, in case you’re wondering. The sheriff has a long history of finding a queer delightin punishing his prisoners; besides taking away prisoners’ basketball hoops, he has also eliminated every beverage but water from the cafeteria and recorded inmates’ phone calls, effectively ending communications between inmates and the public defender’s office. His spokesman, Scott Wilder, says the decision was mostly economic, given that the sheriff’s office stands to save $45,000 from the move. “The sheriff has long advocated that people should be safe, secure and have their needs met, but also that they do not need luxuries or extras,” Wilder told Happytown™. Never mind the bollocks!

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