Judge agrees to suspension over racially charged comments
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) – A Kentucky judge facing possible banishment from the bench for racially charged comments aimed at a prosecutor has instead been suspended by the state Judicial Conduct Commission.
Olu Stevens, a circuit judge in Louisville, accepted a 90-day suspension without pay on Monday in an agreement with attorneys for the commission.
The agreement came at the start of a hearing that potentially could have ushered Stevens off the bench for good.
A contrite Stevens admitted to violating judicial canons and said his social media onslaught against prosecutor Tom Wine was wrong. Stevens is black; Wine is white.
In provocative posts that threatened to end his judicial career, Stevens’ comments ignited a debate about racial fairness, judicial impartiality and free speech for judges. His outburst came after Wine questioned his authority to scrap a jury panel because it lacked minorities.
Copyright 2016 The Associated Press.