The Knucklehead of the Day award
Today's winner is Bay County Judge Michael Hauversburk. He gets the award for the following.
PANAMA CITY - A first-year Bay County judge was ordered to accept mentoring after bringing a loaded gun into his courtroom and announcing he was "locked and loaded."The judge was within the law but used poor judgment in his words and actions. That is all TFM needs to make Bay County Judge Michael Hauversburk today's Knucklehead of the day.
County Judge Michael Hauversburk said he brought the handgun to court because he was frustrated that a defendant facing a felony parole violation was being tried for a separate misdemeanor charge in a courtroom with inadequate security, The News Herald reported for Sunday editions.
According to the courtroom's recording system, Hauversburk told the defense attorney he was "locked and loaded," then said: "Tell your client that the deputies have certain constraints about the rules of engagement, but I do not. If he does anything that I see as a threat to me or anybody in this courtroom, then I'm going to fire first and ask questions later."
Hauversburk told the newspaper that he overreacted. This year is Hauversburk's first on the bench.
"I got frustrated when I shouldn't have," he said.
The July 24 incident was not reported to Chief Circuit Judge William Wright until last month. Wright said Hauversburk assured him it was an isolated incident and accepted mentoring.
"He made the wrong decision," Wright said. "All new judges have a learning curve they have to go through, and it takes a while to get adapted to the system."
Judges are permitted by state law to carry concealed weapons.
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