As women inmates jeered from their windows, a shaken Karol Levitt arrived at the Baltimore City Jail this evening to serve the first days of her 15-weekend sentence on a contempt of court conviction.
Levitt, wearing sunglasses and a blue leather-like coat, arrived at the jail five minutes before her 6 p.m. deadline to report. She was driven through the jail compound's main gate in a green Volvo, accompanied by two of her attorneys.
A chorus of taunts echoed from half-opened jalousie windows of the third-floor Women's Detention Center as Levitt's car passed. A half-dozen or so voices took up the cry, "We want Karol!"
A young woman, one of several dozen residents of the rundown neighborhood who stood in the cold for hours to get a glimpse of Levitt, stared through the chain-link gate as it closed behind the Volvo.
"I feel sorry for her, I really do," said the woman. "But the inmates don't. That's why they're in there."
Levitt, along with her husband, former Old Court Savings & Loan president Jeffrey Levitt, were sentenced Jan. 8 for criminal contempt of court. They violated a court order limiting their spending to $1,000 a week.
The order was issued last summer in connection with the state's $200 million civil suit against the Levitts and other former Old Court owners and directors in order to preserve the couple's assets for possible recovery if the state wins its suit.
Jeffrey Levitt reported to the Department of Corrections Thursday to begin serving an 18-month sentence.
After dropping off his client, Paul Mark Sandler, one of Karol Levitt's attorneys, told reporters that she "is in the mood anyone would be under these circumstances."
Jail officials said Karol Levitt will be given no special privileges during her stay. She, along with two other female weekend inmates, will be housed with about 130 women prisoners in the detention center.
Levitt was expected to be assigned to a single cell for her own protection, officials said. The center has about 20 such cells, along with four large dormitory areas that house most of the inmates.
Levitt, once prominent in charitable activities here, has been seen in public only rarely since irregularities at Old Court triggered the state's savings and loan crisis last May. During a court appearance Jan. 8, she stood silent and red-eyed beside her husband as their sentences were handed down.
Like other weekend prisoners, she is being permitted to wear her own clothes and to bring a change of clothes with her. She was also allowed to bring in toiletries, one book or two magazines and $2.50 in change. No radios, televisions or food may be brought into the jail, officials said.
Jail officials turned down requests from Levitt's lawyers that she be allowed to bring in certain items, including a special pillow.
"No institution is going to give her more favors than they would anyone else," said Ken Dashiell, director of the jail's weekend inmate program.
Tonight, after completing paperwork and submitting to a search, Levitt was expected to go through the detention center's chow line for a dinner of fish fillets, chopped greens, corn and fruit cocktail.
Levitt will have access to the Detention Center's small library, television sets in common areas and a recreation room with gym equipment.
Dashiell said Levitt could trim one or two days off her 30-day sentence if she receives credit for good behavior. Her sentence requires her to serve consecutive weekends until mid-May.