Lafayette City Court Judge, Michelle Odinet has been suspended from performing judicial functions without pay after being filmed using a racist slur while at home. Supreme Court of Louisiana issued the order after people across the country called for her resignation.
Odinet faced several calls to resign this week, including from Gov. John Bel Edwards, after multiple people were recorded using a racist slur in a video over the weekend following a failed burglary attempt early Saturday morning.
The video shows a television set displaying security footage of what appears to be a foiled burglary at the judge’s home. Laughter and racist slurs are heard from the viewers who aren’t visible on camera, as they watch two people capture the suspect.
A male voice was heard saying, “And Mom’s yelling n****r, n****r,” followed by a female voice, alleged to be Judge Odinet, laughing and saying, “We have a n****r. It’s a n****r, like a roach.
Judge Michelle Odinet confirmed to Lafayette news outlets that the recording was made at her home. But she said she had taken a sedative at the time the video was made and does not remember it.
Odinet’s attorney, Dane Ciolino, confirmed to The Acadiana Advocate this week that Odinet used the racial slurs in the video filmed in her home. He said she was going to request unpaid leave from the Judiciary Commission while she considered her future actions. The Lafayette City Judge has now been suspended without pay pending further proceedings on the matter.
The request for the interim disqualification came from Judge Odinet herself, according to the order by the Louisiana Supreme Court.
Docs filed on Friday December 17, read “hereby is disqualified from exercising judicial functions, without salary, during the pendency of further proceedings in these matters.” This means the LA Supreme Court has officially opened an investigation against the disgraced judge, with the possibility of more action to be taken in the future.