A federal judge filed criminal charges against senior officials from the U.S. Marshals Service in response to an incident where a subordinate refused to reveal their COVID-19 vaccination status in court.
South Dakota District Judge Charles Kornmann charged three marshals – Chief of Staff John Kilgallon, South Dakota Marshal Daniel C. Mosteller, and deputy South Dakota Marshal Stephen Houghtaling – with contempt of court and obstructing justice.
The charges follow an incident where Kornmann demanded a deputy marshal reveal whether or not she had been vaccinated while working in his courtroom. She refused to share the information, prompting Kornmann, a judicial nominee of former President Bill Clinton, to order her to leave.
“The marshals who were present then took three of the defendants scheduled for hearings that day out of the courthouse in what Kornmann described as a “kidnapping” that disrupted the court’s work,” reports note.
While announcing the charges, Kornmann criticized the U.S. Marshals Service for an hour, asserting “this was such an outrageous thing to do.” “Nothing like this that we could find has ever been done in this country. If it is the marshals’ position that they can override court orders, they are badly mistaken,” he added.