Judge declines to supervise sidewalk sign sentence

8:10 AM, Nov 14, 2012   |    comments
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CLEVELAND -- A Cleveland judge unhappy with how a woman carried out her unusual sentence declined to supervise day two of the sentence in person.

Judge Pinkey Carr confirmed to Channel 3 News that she would not come out to East 38th Street and Superior Avenue to see Hardin serve her sentence.

Carr told WKYC that she didn't want to cause a scene. She said she is confident that Hardin will never drive on a sidewalk again.

Judge Carr said she spoke with Hardin's attorneys and told them Hardin needs to hold the sign up for traffic to see.

Cleveland Municipal Court Judge Pinkey S. Carr recently sentenced Shena Hardin, of Cleveland, to two mornings of standing on a street corner holding a sign that says "only an idiot would drive on the sidewalk to avoid a school bus."

In September, Hardin was caught on cell phone video twice driving on the sidewalk because she did not want to stop for the school bus stopped in front of her.

The second time, police were waiting.

Carr was upset when she learned Hardin merely leaned on her sign for an hour Tuesday morning, while she chain-smoked, texted, and hopped back into a waiting car a couple times during the hour she was supposed to be clearly displaying the sign.

"If I wanted someone standing there for an hour texting and smoking cigarettes, I would have had that as part of her sentence," Carr told WKYC. "But, clearly, she's missing the point. Clearly, it's still a situation where she's defiant."

Related story: 'Sidewalk driver' wears 'idiot sign' as part of punishment

Hardin was ordered by Judge Carr to hold a sign that read, "Only an idiot would drive on the sidewalk to avoid a school bus."

Tuesday, during the first hour of her two hour sentence, Hardin smoked, texted, talked on the phone and listened to music while she was supposed to be holding up her sign.

Carr says that Hardin is still serving a sentence being that she is about 10 days into her 30-day license suspension.

"She's offended the public. She's offended this community and they have a right to know who this person is," Carr said, as she watched video of Hardin merely leaning on her sign Tuesday morning.

"I didn't expect her to say anything. I didn't expect her to chant. I didn't expect her to smile. I'm sure she's not pleased about it," Carr said.

"It's cold out there and it's snowing but at least hold the sign because that was part of your sentence. She needs to hold that sign up. It kind of defeats the purpose."

Hardin endured occasional taunts from passersby and a scolding from Lisa Kelley, the mother of a girl in a wheelchair who was trying to board the school bus when Hardin drove on the sidewalk and tore around the bus.

"She has no remorse for what she's done," a visibly upset Kelley said, as she observed Hardin. "She's been texting, smoking her cigarettes, talking on the cell phone. She don't care. This is no punishment for her."

Judge Carr said she has no objection to Hardin wearing a hat and sunglasses while she displays the "idiot" sign Wednesday morning, but insists the Cleveland woman hold it up clearly.




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