LAFAYETTE, La. (KLFY) – The attorney representing embattled Lafayette City Judge Michelle Odinet says she is considering resigning from the bench.
“She’s certainly heard the calls for her resignation from the governor, community leaders, and other lawyers. That’s at the top of the list of things she’s considering at this point,” said attorney Dane Ciolino.
Ciolino says the Louisiana Supreme Court order, to effectively suspend Judge Odinet until further notice, was a mutual agreement between Odinet, the court, and the State Judiciary commission. According to the court’s directive, Odinet is “disqualified from exercising judicial functions, without salary, during the pendency of further proceedings.”
There was a dissenting opinion on the from Judge Jefferson Hughes, who says all the information on the judge is coming from media reports and he needs some hard facts.
“She realizes her words have brought all of this on her. She’s not feeling like she’s being victimized by the media or anything. She understands the words she said are the most hurtful and offensive in modern language. She’s humiliated and embarrassed. The press coverage is something that’s happened, and it’s her fault,” said Ciolino.
The court is now investigating Odinet, who is heard on a video taken inside her home, saying racial slurs to describe a man who attempted a burglary, which was caught on security camera. The video is all over social media.
“Hearing her speak one word, odious though it was, is not a good window into her soul, as it is being sold. Again, no excuse,” said Ciolino.
A city judge can not be recalled by the voters. Only the Supreme Court can remove a judge. However, the court’s action on the matter could spell the beginning of a permanent end for Judge Odient on the bench.
“She’s basically realizing that saying ‘I’m sorry’ is never going to be enough here. She’s got to get on the long road to redemption and community forgiveness. That’s something that’s not going to be easy,” said Ciolino.