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A judge used the n-word and called George Floyd a ‘thug,’ staffers said. He’s been ousted from his job.

The Washington Post logo The Washington Post 11/2/2021 Julian Mark
Former Judge Randy Jinks speaks on WOIL's "Daybreak" in March 2021. He said the allegations that he engaged in racist and sexually inappropriate behavior were "vicious and vile" and that the majority are false. Former Judge Randy Jinks speaks on WOIL's "Daybreak" in March 2021. He said the allegations that he engaged in racist and sexually inappropriate behavior were "vicious and vile" and that the majority are false.

About five months after Randy Jinks became an Alabama county probate judge in 2019, he noticed his office’s only Black employee had bought a new car.

“I can’t even afford a car like that, and I’m the judge here," Jinks told the employee, according to a complaint filed against the judge in March. "What are you doing? Selling drugs?”

Jinks’s comment was one of several examples of explicitly racist and sexually inappropriate behavior by the judge since he took office in January 2019, the Alabama Court of the Judiciary concluded on Friday. That behavior, the court found, included Jinks using racist language and displaying “sexually inappropriate conduct.”

The court also concluded that Jinks had used his position to secure the early release of an incarcerated woman he knew.

As a consequence, the court — a nine-member panel that can impose discipline on judges in the state — removed Jinks as a probate judge in Talladega County, where he was elected in 2018 and took office the following year.

The decision followed a probe into Jinks’s behavior, which resulted in a 78-page complaint chronicling numerous allegations of racism and sexual harassment, including occasionally mouthing the n-word and making inappropriate comments to female employees. Jinks also once referred to George Floyd, a Black man murdered by a Minneapolis police officer, as a “thug” who “got what he deserved," the complaint alleged.

Jinks denied the allegations after the complaint was filed in March. “I’m not saying I haven’t made a few errors along the way,” he told WOIL. “But the overwhelming majority of these very vicious and vile and vulgar accusations are false.”

Jinks’s attorney, Amanda Hardy, did not immediately respond to questions from The Washington Post late Monday. In a statement to AL.com following the court’s decision, Hardy said that Jinks “spent his entire life not being accused as being a racist. Once he entered politics and became the first Republican to hold that office, that all changed.”


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“Judge [Jinks’s] 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. “Racism was imputed into the statements he made. His every action and utterance was documented and interpreted in the worst possible light.”

Jinks is one of several judges who have lost their jobs over allegations of racism. In April, a Colorado judge resigned amid claims that she used the n-word in conversation and said “all lives matter” in the courtroom. Last November, a Pennsylvania judge resigned after he allegedly referred to a juror as “Aunt Jemima.” Months earlier, a Louisiana judge resigned after admitting to using the n-word in a text exchange.

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Before Jinks became a judge, he was elected to the Talladega County Commission in 1986 and spent six years as a staffer for former Republican Rep. Bob Riley, who later became Alabama’s governor, according to an archived profile of Jinks on the Talladega County website.

In most Alabama counties, probate judges are not required to be lawyers, AL.com reported. Jinks, who is not a lawyer, was responsible for legal matters such as adoptions, estates, wills, guardianships, conservatorships, involuntary commitments and overseeing elections, according to the Talladega County Probate Office’s website.

Following a trial this fall, the court concluded that there was “clear and convincing” evidence Jinks made racist comments to employees. One of them was the incident in which Jinks asked if his employee sold drugs to buy a new car.

In another incident, the panel found, Jinks approached an attorney and asked casually if they knew an acronym that suggested that Black people were too poor to buy nice cars. The acronym contains the n-word.

In August 2020, Jinks made light of protests sparked by the police killing of Floyd in Minneapolis during a phone conversation recorded by an employee, the court concluded. He said protesters needed to stop lighting things on fire because “you’re going to need something to burn down after Trump gets reelected for a second term.”

“Although the complaint alleges ‘racially insensitive demeanor,’ this Court is of the opinion that Judge Jinks’s conduct rose above racial insensitivity,” the panel wrote in its decision.

The court also concluded that Jinks showed subordinates sexually explicit videos in the workplace. On one occasion, Jinks showed a male employee a video of a naked woman dancing despite his protests, according to the complaint.

In another incident, the complaint alleges, Jinks showed a female employee a video of a woman “gyrating” and dancing provocatively. When the employee said she did not want to watch it, Jinks allegedly said, “Oh, it’s funny.”

Furthermore, the court found that Jinks inappropriately used his position to secure the early release of a woman convicted of two drug charges. The woman was a server he met at a diner.

Despite the woman’s criminal history and concerns from the district attorney’s office, Jinks wanted to hire the woman in the probate office and leaned on attorneys who practiced before him to help him file for her early release, the court concluded.

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