Reporter Held in Contempt in Anthrax Story

Fine reaches $5K a day until she discloses source
By Jane Yager,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 8, 2008 7:16 AM CST
A letter sent to Sen. Patrick Leahy is shown after being opened at Ft. Detrick, Maryland, Wednesday, December 5, 2001. The letter has tested positive for anthrax spores.   (KRT Photos)
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(Newser) – A judge yesterday held a former USA Today reporter in contempt of court for refusing to disclose her sources in stories about the 2001 anthrax attacks, the AP reports. He also ordered her to pay daily fines reaching $5,000 out of her own pocket until she cooperates . The reporter wrote about an ex-Army scientist under scrutiny in the attacks.

The scientist, Steven J. Hatfill, is now suing the government for violation of his privacy. The court has ruled that journalists must identify the government sources who spoke to them about Hatfill. The reporter, Toni Locy, called the judge's ruling a "draconian sanction" and says she cannot remember who spoke to her about Hatfill.