Ethics case accuses judge of making racist and sexist remarks, mouthing N-word, criticizing overweight people
Judge Randy Jinks. Photo from the Talladega County, Alabama, probate office.
An elected probate judge in Alabama has been temporarily suspended after he was accused in a March ethics complaint of making racist and sexist remarks and throwing a tantrum over a missing sandwich.
NBC News covered the allegations against 65-year-old Judge Randy Jinks of Talladega County, Alabama, whose role is to oversee adoptions and guardianships, mental health commitments and the issuing of marriage licenses.
The Alabama Judicial Inquiry Commission filed the ethics complaint March 3.
The ethics complaint alleges that Jinks “exhibited grossly inappropriate demeanor” that created a “difficult, unprofessional and inappropriate atmosphere” during the workday.
Among the allegations are that Jinks mouthed the N-word on occasion to the deputy chief clerk, said George Floyd was “just another criminal,” and he “pretty much got what he deserved,” and told a Black employee that he didn’t want him marching with Black Lives Matter protesters.
He was also accused of telling employees private details about his marriage and the reason that he and his wife lived in separate residences. He allegedly made inappropriate comments about the appearance and anatomy of women, shared “sexually inappropriate anecdotes,” shared a striptease video with employees, made degrading comments to or about women, and generally used “crude, coarse, vulgar, offensive and improper language.”
Jinks allegedly used the B-word to refer to the county administrator and said another employee was nothing but a “whore.”
The alleged misbehavior extended to interactions with lawyers.
“When encountering women, including female customers and attorneys, Judge Jinks noticeably scans their bodies and then stares primarily at their breasts, even during conversation,” the complaint said.
Jinks is also accused of making so many negative comments about weight that one employee thought that he considered her disgusting, ugly and overweight. She changed her lunch hour to 11 a.m., when Jinks was usually out of the office, so he would not see her eating. For one month in 2020, she ate only a chicken breast each day and went to the gym to work out daily.
The alleged sandwich tantrum happened in July 2020, after an employee cleaning out the refrigerator threw away a sandwich that he later learned belong to Jinks. When Jinks couldn’t find the sandwich, the complaint said, he began yelling and cursing, yelling comments such as, “Where’s my damn food?”
Jinks allegedly yelled so loud that a customer at the front counter could hear him.
The complaint also said Jinks, or someone with his permission, used a county-owned cellphone to access a website selling sex toys, to store photos of Jinks in a tight swimsuit, and to access websites showing photos of women in low-cut apparel. The complaint includes the photos.
Jinks mostly denied the allegations in his response to the complaint. Some comments, he said, were made in a personal and private capacity while in his office, and employees should not have been eavesdropping.
A lawyer for Jinks, Amanda Hardy, told NBC News that the allegations were concocted by a few disgruntled employees. The Alabama Judicial Inquiry Commission failed to include exculpatory evidence in the complaint, she said. She also said allegations of racism by Jinks were “fabricated to generate antagonism with the public, the court of judiciary and the media.”
In an interview on WOTM, Jinks said he is innocent, although he has made a few mistakes in his life.
“I am a decent person,” he said. “I am very respectful around women. I do not use racial slurs.”