Judge to supervise Ohio woman holding 'idiot' sign

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Associated Press

Posted on November 14, 2012 at 8:11 AM

Updated Wednesday, Nov 14 at 8:13 AM

CLEVELAND (AP) -- A Cleveland judge who sentenced a woman to hold an embarrassing sign in public plans to personally supervise the second day of the punishment after being unsatisfied with the woman's demeanor the first day.

Judge Pinkey Carr told WKYC-TV she feels Hardin 32-year-old Shena Hardin wasn't sufficiently holding up the sign and was "missing the point."

Hardin was sentenced to serve the highly public sentence Tuesday and Wednesday for the Sept. 11 citation after she was caught on camera driving on a sidewalk to pass a Cleveland school bus that was unloading children.

She arrived bundled up against the 34-degree cold at the intersection near downtown Cleveland as passing vehicles honked. Satellite TV trucks streamed the event live. She puffed on a cigarette, wore headphones, and ignored passers-by and crowds of reporters as she stood for an hour Tuesday under a judge's order holding a sign that said, "Only an idiot would drive on the sidewalk to avoid a school bus."

Hardin refused to comment, as did her mother, who watched from a parked car. A message seeking comment was left for Hardin's attorneys.

Hardin's license was suspended for 30 days and she was ordered to pay $250 in court costs.

Lisa Kelley, whose 9-year-old daughter boards the bus that Hardin had been passing on the sidewalk, said the sentence fit the crime.

"She's an idiot, just like her sign says," Kelley said as she watched Hardin lean against a fence, her head down and her eyes hidden by dark glasses.

"She did this almost every day last year," Kelley said. "She won't stop laughing. She's not remorseful, she laughed at every court appearance. She's still laughing, so she needs to be humiliated like this."

Kelley said she was only sorry the woman was standing in the cold and not the rain or snow.

Bill Lipold, 37, who works nearby in the blue-collar neighborhood of older homes and factories, yelled to Hardin: "Why do you hate kids?" He hopes the punishment works.

"How else are you going to stop her from doing it again?" he said. "She really didn't show remorse for her action after being caught, so you've got to try something."

With two schools located within two blocks of the location and busy commuter traffic, the area can be risky for youngsters walking to class, Lipold said.

 

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