A Louisville judge held a press conference to explain her reasons for jailing a social worker on contempt charges, says the Louisville Courier-Journal. Judge Michelle Stengel appeared with a public defender, who cited social worker Tricia Mack’s “critical comments directed toward the court. It was her tone more than anything else that was very offensive.” Mack, a 33-year-old state social worker for nine years, said did nothing to warrant a contempt finding. Stengel said that she took the unusual step of discussing court proceedings because juvenile court operations have been disrupted since the incident became public. Two social workers have failed to show up for hearings in her court.
The judge cited Mack’s “continuous interruption of the court, the things she said as she was leaving the courtroom on two occasions and for her behavior in the courtroom.” Mack was jailed for 30 hours after the court hearing in which she tried to persuade Stengel not to release a juvenile girl with a troubled history. The girl has been released and placed in a home near Lexington. Stengel sentenced Mack to 30 days in jail, but suspended 29 days — which she could reinstate if she finds any other problems with Mack’s behavior.