During his End of the Year Press Conference on Thursday, Governor John Bel Edwards was asked whether he believed Lafayette Judge Michelle Odinet should resign.
“The answer is yes. There is no place for that language, especially for members of the judiciary who have the most important work of administering justice in our state,” Edwards said. “I believe she should resign. I hope she concludes that for herself.”
Odinet has been facing questions after video surfaced online of her using a racial slur. The video began circulating following an attempted burglary at her home over the weekend.
The video appears to show a group of people watching home surveillance. A woman’s voice can be heard saying the n-word and comparing the suspect to a roach. Odinet said in a statement that she was given a sedative at the time of the video and has “zero recollection of the video and the disturbing language used during it.”
Edwards says there is also a practical problem to Odinet’s use of the racial slur.
“I believe that you would see perhaps all, if she were not to resign, perhaps all of the litigants before her who were African American would seek her recusal. And I’m not sure she has a valid basis for denying that recusal,” said Edwards. “There is no efficient administration of justice if she stays on the bench.”
Odinet’s lawyer confirmed with KATC a motion was filed Thursday evening with the Judiciary committee for Odinet to go on unpaid leave.
Written by KATC News