An Alabama ethics court came to the unanimous decision to remove a state probate judge from office after he was accused of violating several ethics guidelines, including making various racist and sexist remarks in the workplace.
NBC News reports that the court’s decision to discipline Judge Randy Jinks came after a days-long hearing that featured testimony on how his behavior created a hostile work environment and evidence of misconduct, like this:
Among the evidence presented to the court was a recording of Jinks repeating a meme in his office about the nationwide racial unrest in 2020 in which he said, “You sons of b——— are going to need something to burn down after Trump gets re-elected for a second term, sons of b———.”
“Although the complaint alleges ‘racially insensitive demeanor,’ this Court is of the opinion that Judge Jinks’ conduct rose above racial insensitivity,” the court said in its final judgment, which also ordered Jinks to pay for the costs of the proceeding.
Per NBC, Jinks was suspended in March after more than 100 allegations against him were detailed in a 78-page document issued by the state’s Judicial Inquiry Commission–a body that reviews complaints against judges and decides if the case needs to be presented to a governor-appointed panel for further action.
As you can probably guess, further action needed to be taken in this instance.
More from NBC:
The commission’s complaint detailed accusations of racist and sexist conversations that employees claim Jinks initiated, including talking about pornography and a video of a woman doing a striptease. Some of the employees alleged that Jinks, who is white, also made disparaging remarks about George Floyd, the Black Lives Matter movement, Black people who came into the office and the office’s sole Black employee, a clerk.
That employee, Darrius Pearson, had testified that in May 2019, when Jinks saw his new car, he said that he, as a judge, couldn’t afford one but asked, “What you doing, selling drugs?”
Upon learning of the court’s decision Friday, Pearson said, “My heart skipped a beat,” adding that it was “important” to hold the judge accountable.
The court’s ruling, which you can read here, didn’t find that Jinks was guilty of displaying uncouth behavior for every allegation leveled against him.
But he did enough to be removed from the bench, which is something that NBC reports rarely happens to judges in Alabama. Unless you’re Roy Moore, who is someone you really don’t want to be keeping the same company with.
Amanda Hardy, Jinks’ attorney, said in a statement Saturday that he had never previously been accused of being racist, but “once he entered politics and became the first Republican to hold that office, that all changed.”
“Judge Jinks’ remarks were taken completely out of context and cast in a light calculated to besmirch the judge’s character and further the accusatory employees attempts to remove him from office,” Hardy said, adding that “closer scrutiny should have led to a more measured response to this case.”
Hardy told NBC that Jinks is deciding whether he should appeal the decision before Alabama’s Supreme Court. Until then, looks like he’s leaving his robe and gavel behind for his replacement.