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Feel good story: In display of integrity, judge fines self for contempt after phone disrupts court

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
April 23rd, 2013
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

A Michigan judge has taken his own medicine and fined himself for contempt of court. It's a surprising display of integrity from a public official.

IONIA, MI (Catholic Online) - Judge Raymond Voet has a sign in his courtroom saying that owners of electronic devices causing disturbances during court will be cited with contempt. Last Friday, Voet caught himself infracting his own rule.

During the closing arguments of a jury trial, his phone interrupted a prosecutor when it prompted him for a voice command. Voet believes he somehow inadvertently activated the feature. Of course, his phone was on as opposed to off.

Although the mistake was innocent, it's still against his posted rules, so Voet cited himself for contempt and paid the fine of $25.

He explained that if he cannot live by the rules he enforces, then he should have no business enforcing the rules.

Although both the infraction and fine were small, they spoke volumes about his integrity. If only more public officials were this honest, we might not need so many judges.

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