published Thursday, May 5th, 2011

Bradley County judge fines court interpreter $10 for ‘criminal contempt’

CLEVELAND, Tenn. — A Bradley County judge this afternoon fined a court interpreter $10 and suspended him from his work in court through July after testimony that he viewed pornography on a laptop computer there.

General Sessions Court Judge Sheridan Randolph imposed what he called the maximum allowable fine on interpreter Mark Weissenberg.

Two women who work in Randolph’s courtroom and a male police officer testified today that they saw Weissenberg look at pornography on a laptop computer in the courtroom.

After watching courtroom surveillance video, Randolph fined Weissenberg, citing “criminal contempt of court.”

Weissenberg testified he innocently opened an email from his brother in California and slammed the computer shut when he saw the contents. He said the complaints are an attempt to embarrass and intimidate him because he has filed a federal lawsuit alleging the county has not paid him for interpretation services.

“I’ve got news for those people. They are not going to intimidate me,” Weissenberg said. “We are made of stronger wood than that. We don’t crack, and we don’t split.”

On July 29, Weissenberg will testify on the matter before the Tennessee Administrative Office of the Courts in Nashville, and that board may make its own findings, the judge said.

For complete details, see tomorrow’s Chattanooga Times Free Press.

about Randall Higgins...

Randall Higgins covers news in Cleveland, Tenn., for the Times Free Press. He started work with the Chattanooga Times in 1977 and joined the staff of the Chattanooga Times Free Press when the Free Press and Times merged in 1999. Randall has covered Southeast Tennessee, Northwest Georgia and Alabama. He now covers Cleveland and Bradley County and the neighboring region. Randall is a Cleveland native. He has bachelor’s degree from Tennessee Technological University. His awards ...

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