After being accused of racist and sexist behavior as well as producing a hostile work environment, an Alabama probate judge was removed from office on Friday. Talladega County Probate Judge Randy Jinks, who had over 100 complaints filed against him, was unanimously removed from office by a state judicial ethics panel.
The decision by the state ethics court to remove Jinks, 65, from office is an uncommon one in Alabama. The Alabama Court of Judiciary found Jinks in violation of many of the state’s Canons of Judicial Ethics, which specify “the rules and norms that bear on judges and address such things as how to maintain independence, impartiality, and prevent impropriety.”
During the multi-day hearing, the court heard testimony from Jinks, including a recording of him reciting a meme about the countrywide riots that erupted after George Floyd’s death last year. Those remarks are said to have been made in the judge’s office.
Jinks allegedly 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——.”
The court declared in the verdict, “Although the complaint alleges ‘racially insensitive manner,’ this Court is of the opinion that Judge Jinks’ conduct rose above racial insensitivity.” Jinks, who had been suspended since the spring, was reportedly forced to pay for the disciplinary hearing as well.
Jinks allegedly made racist and sexist statements to staff, according to the complaint, which was outlined in a 78-page document by the Judicial Inquiry Commission. This includes discussing pornography and showing a video of a woman performing a striptease.
Employees reportedly accused the White Republican judge of making derogatory remarks against Floyd, the Black Lives Matter movement, the office’s only Black employee, and other Black visitors.
Despite being a judge, the Black employee, who works as a clerk, claimed that when Jinks saw his new automobile in 2019, he informed him he couldn’t afford it. “What are you doing, selling drugs?” Jinks asked, according to the clerk.
According to NBC News, several employees claimed Jinks made vulgar comments, threw tantrums, and exploited his status as a judge to solicit or dole out favors. Jinks, on the other hand, was not chastised for making derogatory remarks while on the bench. The judge is accused of making those remarks at the office, at work, and during conversations with staff. No claims leveled against Jinks were found to be in violation of ethics norms, according to the Court of Judiciary.
After being elected for a six-year term on the Republican Party’s platform in 2018, Jinks has been working as a probate judge. Jinks’ attorney, Amanda Hardy, responded to the court’s judgment by saying that the accusations of racism brought against him only emerged when “he entered politics and became the first Republican to hold that post, that all changed.”
“Judge Jinks’ remarks were taken completely out of context and cast in a light calculated to defame the judge’s character and further the accusatory employees’ attempts to remove him from office,” Hardy continued, before adding that “closer scrutiny should have led to a more measured response to this case.”
Jinks also denied the charges against him in a March interview with WOTM-TV. “I’m not saying I haven’t made mistakes,” he said, “but the vast majority of these hateful, vile, and filthy charges are nothing to be afraid of.” “They have the right to say whatever they want, but they can’t hurt me.”
Meanwhile, Hardy stated that Jinks is considering appealing the ruling.