An Alabama court has removed a judge from office after accusing him of racist behavior and misconduct in the workplace.
The Alabama Court of the Judiciary, a panel of nine members, filed an unanimous order detailing concerns about Talladega County Probate Judge Randy Jinks’ actions.
The court’s ruling followed a days-long hearing of testimony of Jinks’ racist and sexist comments that included him saying George Floyd “got what he deserved.” Floyd was killed by a Minneapolis police officer in May 2020.
Jinks allegedly called Floyd “just another thug” and mouthed the n-word when referring to Black people during racial justice protests, according to court records.
Jinks told a deputy clerk that Black people get benefits and welfare “because of the color of their skin” that don’t go to white people, the complaint said.
Courts records show Jinks denied most of the claims made against him by blaming coworkers for eavesdropping and misinterpreting jokes.
Earlier this year, the state’s Judicial Inquiry Commission issued a 78-page document underlining 100 or more allegations of Jinks’ misconduct, which led to his suspension.
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Jinks, who doesn’t have a law license, was first elected in 2018 and took office the following year.
The court found that after Jinks saw a new automobile purchased by the only Black employee in the probate office, he remarked: “I seen that car. I can’t even — I’m the judge and I can’t even afford a Mercedes. What you doing, selling drugs?”
Jinks also improperly tried to help a woman get an early release from a prison sentence imposed in a neighboring county, the court found.
Jinks denied the allegations, and his lawyer released a statement to media outlets saying his remarks were taken “completely out of context” and viewed in a way to make Jinks look as bad as possible. The ruling can be appealed to the Alabama Supreme Court.
Located east of Birmingham, Talladega County has about 80,000 residents. Jinks’ duties under state law included supervising elections in the county, and he also handled probate matters including wills. Probate judges under state law are not required to be attorneys.
Jinks was elected to the Talladega County Commission in 1986 and worked six years on the staff of former Rep. Bob Riley, who later served two terms as Alabama governor.