An Alabama probate judge was removed from office Friday after he was accused of racist and sexist conduct and also promoting a hostile working environment. A state judicial ethics court unanimously ruled that Talladega County Probate Judge Randy Jinks who had over 100 allegations leveled against him must be removed from office.
The state ethics court’s decision to disbench Jinks, 65, is a rare ruling in Alabama. And per the sanctioning, the Alabama Court of the Judiciary established Jinks had contravened many of the state’s Canons of Judicial Ethics – which outlines “the standards and norms that bear on judges and covers such matters as how to maintain independence, impartiality, and avoid impropriety.”
During the multi-day hearing, the court was presented with evidence including a recording of Jinks reuttering a meme directed at the nationwide protests that ensued following the death of George Floyd last year. The judge allegedly made those comments in his office.
“You sons of b—— are going to need something to burn down after Trump gets re-elected for a second term, sons of b——,” Jinks allegedly said.
“Although the complaint alleges ‘racially insensitive demeanor,’ this Court is of the opinion that Judge Jinks’ conduct rose above racial insensitivity,” the court stated in the judgment. Jinks, who had been on suspension since the spring, was also reportedly ordered to bear the cost of the disciplinary hearing.
And per the complaint that was detailed by the Judicial Inquiry Commission in a 78-page document, Jinks allegedly made racist and sexist comments while talking to employees. This included speaking about pornography as well as a video which showed a woman performing a striptease.
Employees also accused the White Republican judge of making unsavory comments about Floyd, the Black Lives Matter movement, the only Black employee in the office as well as other Black people who visited the office.
The Black employee, who is a clerk, testified that after Jinks set his eyes on his new car in 2019, he told him he couldn’t afford such a vehicle despite being a judge. The clerk said Jinks then went ahead to ask him, “What you doing, selling drugs?”
Other employees also alleged Jinks made profane comments, threw tantrums and also used his position as a judge to receive or dole out favors, NBC News reported. However, Jinks wasn’t pointed out for making offensive comments while he was on the bench. The judge allegedly made those comments in the office, during workplace settings and during conversations with employees. The Court of the Judiciary also established no allegations leveled against Jinks were a breach of ethics guidelines.
Jinks had been serving as a probate judge on the ticket of the Republican party after he was elected for a six-year term in 2018. Responding to the court’s decision, Jinks’ attorney, Amanda Hardy, said the allegations of racism leveled against the judge only came after “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 added before saying “closer scrutiny should have led to a more measured response to this case.”
In a March interview with WOTM-TV, Jinks also refuted the allegations leveled against him. “I am not saying I haven’t made some errors, but the majority of these vicious, vile and vulgar accusations are nothing to fear,” he claimed. “They can say what they want, they can’t hurt me.”
Meanwhile, Hardy said Jinks is exploring the possibility of appealing the decision.