In the Sept. 15 article, "Plan brings forfeited bail bond money back home," Porter Superior Court Judge David Chidester blames bail agents for where the forfeited bail money goes, and he accuses bail agents for having influential lobby who cozy up to legislators.
I take offense to Chidester's false statements. Bail agents did not write this 200-year-old law concerning where the forfeiture money is distributed. When a bond is forfeited, the bail agents write a check to the clerk of the court. What is done with that money is not our responsibility, nor it it our fault Chidester's court is not receiving any of it.
The truth is the entire bail profession believes the money from forfeited bonds should stay in the county the bond was originated. We have lobbied this for years to give the courts more incentive to issue surety bonds.
Is it the money the courts want or the fugitive?
- Kelly Bertholet, Valparaiso, Porter County resident and licensed bail agent