LAFAYETTE, La. (KLFY) – Former Lafayette city court judge Michelle Odinet, who admitted to using racist language in a video captured at her home last December, will try to persuade a judge this week to let her keep her law license.
Odinet, who was heard on video using the N-word, took full responsibility for her actions in a notice sent to KLFY last year.
“I am sorry for the pain that I have caused my community and ask for your forgiveness, as my words did not foster the public’s confidence and integrity for the judiciary,” she wrote at the time.
She resigned on December 31, 2021.
The first step in a three-part trial was held Tuesday at Lafayette District Court.
The Office of Disciplinary Council (ODC) said Odinet’s behavior compromised the integrity of the court.
Odinet, who appeared for the proceedings alongside her attorney and her family, had mostly vanished from the public eye.
Dane Ciolino argued on day one that his client should be allowed to keep her law license given that the incident happened inside her home.
“What we are here for is to ask whether people with occupational licenses lawyers, dentist, plumbers, electricians, can have their occupational licenses places in peril by something that they might do in their own homes.”
Hearings resume Wednesday at 9 a.m.
Opelousas City Court Judge Vanessa Harris who was appointed to fill Odinet’s seat temporarily, will be leaving the bench in January following the election of Judge Jules Edwards.