Fairfax County officials, who are still refusing to give a Richmond man $27,000 he said he left in a Fairfax motel room last December, yesterday sought to include the motel janitor who found the money as a possible recipient.
Assistant county attorney David T. Stitt is trying to give the janitor, Charles Black, a shot at collecting money although Black has not asked for it and Stitt, a motel spokesman and police said they do not know where Black is.
"He did this incredibly decent thing" when he gave police the money he found stuffed in a Garfinckel's shirt box, Stitt said. "I want him to be in the case at least to protect his interest."
Stitt said the county has no interest in keeping the money for itself, although the county director of finance has deposited the money in an interest bearing account. Whoever eventually is deemed the money's owner will get the interest, Stitt said.
"The only reason the county has the money is this guy (Black) did this public-spirited thing and gave it to the police," Stitt said. "The county will presumably keep the money if (Thomas) Tucker (the Richmond man) can't prove it's his or we can't find Black. I'm trying to see that justice is done."
Tucker, who is in his mid-20s, filed suit against county police Jan. 10 because they would not give him the money, said Vic Glasberg, Tucker's attorney. The county was given 30 days by Circuit Court Judge Thomas J. Middleton to investigate the money to determine if it is stolen or involved in any illegal activity. But that search truned up nothing.
"I think that they (police) think it's suspicious and perhaps bothersome if a young man's walking around with $27,000," Glasberg said.
Glasberg yesterday showed a reporter a receipt for rental of Room 15 at the Brookside Motel listing Tucker as the room's occupant on Dec. 28, the place and the date the money was found.
Glasberg said he did not know how Tucker got the money. "I think he was involved in some real estate transactions," Glasberg said.
Police hope to question Tucker on Monday, Stitt said.
Judge Middleton yesterday denied Stitt's motion to include Black in the proceedings because Stitt had improperly filed his motion. Middleton gave Stitt seven days to file it correctly.
The claims of at least 10 people, who sought the money after its discovery was publicized, were quickly eliminated by police.