Judge Throws an Injudicious Tantrum

<i> Associated Press</i>

A judge who once jailed a man for swearing and slamming a courtroom door flew into a rage when a public defender was tardy and slammed his own courtroom door so hard that he shattered the glass window, witnesses said.

Allegheny County Judge Donald Machen declined to comment.

Maintenance crews had replaced the glass by Wednesday afternoon, but not before the broken pane drew a stream of lawyers to the fifth floor to see the damage.

In June 1996, Machen charged Michael Weidler with contempt and sentenced him to six months in prison because Weidler used vulgar language and slammed a door as he left court.


Weidler served 70 days in the County Jail before the American Civil Liberties Union filed a petition to have him released.