Judge makes stink about mayor’s ‘No Smoking’ signs

From today’s Macomb Daily comes word of big, spiffy yellow signs, with Warren Mayor Jim Fouts’ name prominently displayed on them, which prohibit smoking within 100 feet of city buildings on which the signs are displayed.

The signs are a big problem for Chief Judge John Chmura of the 37th District Court, who ordered them removed from the court building almost as soon as they were put up.

Chmura fumed that there is no ordinance to back up Fouts’ unilateral edict, issued in a mayoral order last week.

“[W]e can’t have one person deciding things like this on his own. If there is a law out there that says you can’t smoke within 100 feet of our court, I have no problem with that,” the Macomb Daily quotes Chmura about Fouts’ signs.

Tough to quibble with that. But Fouts blew some smoke of his own.

“To me, this reinforces the idea that some judges think they are above moral law and the law of the land,” said Fouts of Chmura’s decision to take down the courthouse signs.

Warren mayor asks court to adopt zero-tolerance for workplace drug/alcohol use

After a 37th District Court officer was accused of being drunk on the job, the mayor of Warren is urging the District Court to adopt a random drug and alcohol screening policy.

From The Detroit News:

Mayor Jim Fouts said Tuesday he is urging the city’s district court to adopt a random drug and alcohol screening policy after a longtime bailiff was accused of drinking on the job.

The 37th District Court officer, placed on paid leave Monday, was accused of being intoxicated while transporting a prisoner from the courthouse to the city police station. Court officials said the officer was “stumbling and mumbling” and smelled of alcohol when he arrived at the station around 3 p.m. Jan. 26.

Fouts said the officer was armed and had cuffed the prisoner’s hands in front of his body, rather than behind. Court officials were notified of the incident Friday. The employee is now indefinitely prohibited from transporting prisoners.

In a letter Friday to District Judge Jennifer Faunce, the mayor asked that the judge terminate the bailiff and insisted the court implement a code of ethics to adopt a “zero tolerance” policy.