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Judge apparently on war path, requests phone records on colleagues and sheriff through attorney

6 months 4 weeks 22 hours ago Tuesday, March 03 2020 Mar 3, 2020 March 03, 2020 5:34 PM March 03, 2020 in News
Source: WBRZ

GONZALES- Disgraced Judge Jessie Leblanc appears to be on a warpath now, after admitting to using racist language and resigning from office.

A number of public officials confirmed they were hit with public records requests from Leblanc's attorney Jill Craft asking for phone records and call logs. The requests ask for information dating back to 2017 and were sent to all of Judge Jessie Leblanc's former judge colleagues except for Judge Thomas Kliebert. A similar request was also sent to Assumption Parish Sheriff Leland Falcon.

Leblanc came under fire after racist messages were exposed by the WBRZ Investigative Unit. Leblanc admitted to sending the texts, which referred to an African American law clerk and deputy as a racial slur.

The deputy mentioned in the texts, Erick Taylor, was issued a bench warrant last year by Leblanc after he didn't show up for a court date. Taylor claims to have notified the district attorney's office about his absence and was out of town on law enforcement training. Leblanc issued a warrant for his arrest.

A string of emails obtained by the Investigative Unit show Leblanc felt disrespected by Taylor from an incident dating back 18-24 months prior to the bench warrant being issued.

Taylor hired nationally-known civil rights attorney Ben Crump. Crump said the language that was used and the retaliation his client received was not warranted.

"...based on the racial epithets that she used in referring to African Americans to make sure nothing unconstituttional was done to deprive those citizens of their liberty," Crump said.

District Attorney Ricky Babin said he is sending letters out to all defendants who ever came before Leblanc's court to alert them of the racist language she used.

We asked Leblanc's lawyer about what she hoped to glean from the public records requests. We did not get a response.

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