Debra Collins, wife of Charles County Commissioner Reuben Collins, who was arrested for drunk driving on Thursday, Jan. 31, says she felt like the guards at the Charles County Detention Center were “messing with me.” Collins made the statement at a Vigil of Hope service held for her husband at New Hope AME Church in Waldorf Feb. 6.

Mrs. Collins asserted at the service that “They asked me over and over to repeat his name,” Collins said. “They had me spell his name. They said, “Oh, we don’t have anybody by that name here.” And then they told me, “He won’t be out for seven days.” Oh, they had fun. If they treat the wife of a Charles County commissioner that way, how do they treat the mother of an unknown person?”

Arthur Mills, Collins campaign manager for his upcoming reelection campaign, told the congregation, “I was there with Mrs. Collins when this was occurring. I witnessed it firsthand.”

Diane Richardson, head of media relations for the Charles County Sheriff’s Office, responded to Collins’ accusations by asking if Mrs. Collins mentioned to the crowd that she was talking through an intercom system.

“Mrs. Collins came to the detention center at about 11 p.m.,” Richardson stated. “After hours there is no receptionist in the lobby area. There is an intercom system in the lobby for people to use. That connects back to the control tower in the middle of the jail. They may have asked her to repeat the name because of the intercom system itself. I think we’ve all been frustrated by intercom systems. It’s not unusual to ask people to repeat their information; it’s just the way it is with the intercom.

“Mrs. Collins wasn’t there that long,” Richardson added. “The staff directed her to a different part of the building. Mr. Collins was in the same building in a different area. The staff directed her to a different part of the building to make it easier for her. The staff acted professionally,” she stressed.

Collins has a March 31, 2014 court appearance for his driving while under the influece (DUI) of alcohol offense.