Removal Recommended for Judge Who Disparaged ‘White Folks’
Posted Mar 21, 2008 6:56 AM CDT
By Debra Cassens Weiss
A judge accused of making racially charged statements about “white folks” and then lying about it in an affidavit should be removed from the bench, according to the Mississippi Commission on Judicial Performance.
Judge Solomon Osborne is accused of making the statement in a September 2006 speech, the Clarion Ledger reports. "White folks don't praise you unless you're a damn fool,” he reportedly said. “Unless they think they can use you. If you have your own mind and know what you're doing, they don't want you around."
Osborne denied making the comment in a sworn statement, the commission says in a recommendation filed with the Mississippi Supreme Court. It contends Osborne showed bias, made “a public spectacle of himself” and eroded confidence in the judiciary. The supreme court will make the final determination.
This is not the first time Osborne has landed in trouble with the commission, the newspaper says, citing two past instances. In 2002 he was suspended for trying to stop repossession of a car owned by his wife and mother-in-law. In 2004 he was suspended for continuing his private legal practice after becoming a judge.
Brant Brantley, executive director of the commission, acknowledged that the ethics body did not seek removal for two other judges recently accused of making insensitive remarks, including a judge who made derogatory comments about gays and lesbians. Boland said Osborne’s case is different because of his disciplinary history and allegations that he made false statements under oath.