Alabama ethics court votes to remove judge after racism, sexism complaints

by Erika DuBose
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In a nearly unprecedented move, Alabama has decided to remove a judge with a history of using racist and sexist language, along with fostering a hostile work environment. The Alabama Court of Judiciary recently voted to remove Probate Judge Randy Jinks of Talladega County from his office. 

Citing multiple violations of the Alabama Canon of Judicial Ethics, the state’s judicial ethics court recommended Mr. Jinks’ immediate removal from the bench. Mr. Jinks was initially elected to a six-year term in 2018. 

Meanwhile, the former judge’s record is astoundingly combative, with over 100 complaints lobbied against him. Among the information includes allegations that Mr. Jinks discussed pornography with lower-level employees, showed videos of lap dances, and made hostile comments about George Floyd’s murder at the hands of law enforcement. 

George Floyd sculpture alabama

In this Thursday, Sept. 30, 2021, file photo, a sculpture of George Floyd, one of three sculptures as part of the “SEEINJUSTICE” art exhibition that also feature the likenesses of Breonna Taylor and John Lewis, is unveiled as Floyd’s brother Terrence, second from left, looks at Union Square in the Manhattan borough of New York. The statue honoring Floyd was vandalized on Sunday, Oct. 3, police said. (AP Photo/John Minchillo, File)

Complaints spanned across 78 pages

One employee of the court, Darrius Pearson, noted that when Mr. Jinks saw Mr. Pearson’s new car, he inquired if Mr. Pearson was selling drugs to pay for the vehicle. “My heart skipped a beat,” said Mr. Pearson when he learned of the court’s ruling against Mr. Jinks, noting the importance of the move. 

In fact, the decision among the ethics court was unanimous. Following a 78-page list of the allegations against Mr. Jinks, he was suspended from his position pending the outcome of the investigation. However, the court did note that Mr. Jinks’ offensive comments were made from his office rather than while on the bench. 

But to the ethics court, those small details didn’t matter when taken as a whole. Additionally, Mr. Jinks does not have a background in law, which is allowed in Alabama probate courts, but can indicate a lack of recognition for the law. 

Judge denies allegations

Meanwhile, Mr. Jinks denies all the allegations against him. His attorney, Amanda Hardy, noted “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.”

Mr. Jinks also commented, telling local Alabama station WOTM-TV that, “the majority of these vicious, vile and vulgar accusations are nothing to fear. They can say what they want, they can’t hurt me.” He has not yet decided whether or not to appeal the decision, which would then go to the Alabama Supreme Court. 

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