A federal judge held a former USA Today reporter in contempt of court Friday and ordered her to pay up to $5,000 a day if she refuses to identify her sources for stories about a former Army scientist under scrutiny in the 2001 anthrax attacks.
U.S. District Judge Reggie B. Walton said Toni Locy must pay fines out of her own pocket as long as she continues to defy his order that she cooperate in scientist Steven J. Hatfill's lawsuit against the government.
Hatfill accuses the Justice Department of violating his privacy by discussing the investigation with reporters.
Locy had asked that a contempt citation be delayed while she appeals to the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia. The judge refused.
Starting at midnight Tuesday, Locy is ordered to pay fines of $500 a day for the first week, $1,000 a day for the second week and $5,000 thereafter until she appears before the judge on April 3.