'Intemperate' Reply To Pregnant Woman Costs Detroit Magistrate His Job

December 18, 2013, 8:59 AM

Being short-tempered and snappish at work can be a career-killer if your job is administering justice.

That lesson reportedly is hammered home for Stephen Lockhart, who served 13 years as 36th District Court magistrate until last week. Alexis Wiley of Fox 2 tells why Friday was his final day:

Sources tell Fox 2 a woman appeared in his courtroom Friday who owed nearly $4,000 in fines. Lockhart ordered she be held in Wayne County Jail on a $2,000 bond. Her attorney told Lockhart she was three months pregnant, was having problems with the pregnancy and didn't have a job so she couldn't make bond. Lockhart's response implied she and her baby would then die in jail.

People in the courtroom gasped.

The court administrator confirms that Lockhart was fired for "intemperate" remarks, Wiley reports.

Judge Kenneth King of the court tells the reporter:

"Sometimes we have to be firm, but that doesn't mean that we have to cross the line."

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