Fines stayed for reporter in anthrx case

March 12, 2008 at 2:47 PM

WASHINGTON, March 12 (UPI) -- A former USA Today reporter has won a temporary reprieve from owing thousands of dollars in fines for refusing to name her sources for an anthrax story.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia granted Tracy Locy's request that the fines be blocked while her lawyers appeal the contempt order issued by U.S. District Judge Reggie Walton, USA Today reported Wednesday.

Locy, who teaches journalism at a West Virginia University, was one of six reporters that lawyers for Army scientist Steve Hatfill subpoenaed in a bid to disclose the government sources who named him as a person of interest in the 2001 anthrax attacks.

Walton set fines of up to $5,000 a day for Locy's refusal to reveal her sources and ordered that she alone be responsible for paying the fines.

"I'm relieved and thankful that the Court of Appeals has found that my legal arguments are worthy of its consideration," Locy said Tuesday after the stay was issued.

She was joined in her appeal by 29 other media organizations who described the fines a potentially ruinous.

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