O’Brien Fellow Jenni Monet arrested for DWI, resisting arrest


Monet was booked to Santa Fe Adult Detention Facility April 5. Photo courtesy of Santa Fe Adult Detention Facility

O’Brien Fellow and independent journalist Jenni Monet was arrested April 5 and charged with aggravated driving while intoxicated and resisting arrest in Sante Fe, New Mexico.

Monet, whose full name is listed as Jenni Renne Monnette in court records, was selected for the 2018-’19 academic year to work on an investigative project for the O’Brien Fellowship in Public Service Journalism. Through the project, Monet was paired with Marquette University student interns for research and reporting assistance. 

O’Brien Fellows at Marquette receive $65,000 salaries for nine months of work in the fellowship, according to the program’s website. They receive a travel and research allowance of up to $8,000.

Monet was charged with aggravated driving while intoxicated while driving a gray Volkswagen SUV due to her refusal to submit to chemical testing, according to court records.

Monet was officially booked to Santa Fe County Adult Detention Facility April 5 and was released April 7, according to the inmate information from the Santa Fe County Adult Detention Facility.

Monet pleaded not guilty to both charges against her April 10, according to court records.

Monet declined to comment on her arrest. O’Brien Fellowship director Dave Umhoefer declined to comment as well.

Ana Garner, chair of journalism and media studies in the College of Communication, said she does not know the details and cannot comment on whether anything will happen regarding Monet’s position in the fellowship.

Monet was at a liquor store in Santa Fe and attempted to buy two bottles of wine, according to a report by KRQE, a television news station in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Staff refused her purchase, claiming she appeared drunk.

Both Monet and the staff called for deputies, according to KRQE.

An officer asked Monet if she had been drinking, to which she replied she had not, according to body camera footage obtained by KRQE.

The officer then asked why he could smell a strong odor of alcohol. Monet stated she did not know, and she said she had not been drinking.

She refused requests from the officer for field sobriety tests and a breathalyzer.

“I’m not walking any f—ing line for you. You hear me? I am not walking any f—ing line for you,” she said, according to the body camera footage.

Monet told the officer she was being racially profiled.

“You f—ing fat-fingered f—!” Monet said. “You f—ing racist motherf—er. You f—ing white supremacist!”

Monet planned to speak at the Museum of Indian Arts and Culture in New Mexico April 7. However, due to “a personal emergency” she canceled, according to a Facebook post from the museum.

Monet remained in jail on the date of the event, according to the Santa Fe County Adult Detention Facility.

An appearance bond and conditions of release were established April 9, according to court records. An appearance bond allows an accused individual to make a written promise to appear in court. It indicates the amount of money the accused person will have to pay if he or she does not appear in court as required.

Monet’s appearance bond was $2,500 with the use of Soberlink, an alcohol monitoring breathalyzer, according to its website.

Monet’s bond and conditions for release were amended April 10 to allow her to leave the state of New Mexico, according to court records.

According to KRQE, a warrant was out April 19 for Monet’s arrest. Monet tested 13 times where the results showed she failed five times and missed two tests.

Monet is represented by Paul M. Linnenburger, an associate at Rothstein Donatelli LLP, according to court records. The law firm specializes in criminal defense in Santa Fe, Albuquerque and Tempe, Arizona.

Linnenburger did not respond for comment.

Monet will have a pre-trial hearing May 14 in New Mexico, according to court records.

This story is developing.

Note: Members of the Marquette Wire who are part of the O’Brien Fellowship were not involved in the reporting of this story.