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Lafayette judge resigns amid controversy over racist video
LAFAYETTE — Lafayette judge Michelle Odinet, who was recently tied to a video that features racist language, is resigning as Lafayette City Court Judge.
According to KATC, weeks after the video went viral on social media, Odinet on Friday had her attorney, Dane Ciolino, send a letter to the Louisiana Supreme Court announcing her resignation.
The news outlet says Odinet's letter was sent to Chief Justice John Weimer and explains that she will be stepping down, effective immediately.
The letter states:
"I take full responsibility for the hurtful words used to describe the individual who burglarized the vehicles at my home. 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.
After much reflection and prayer, and in order to facilitate healing within the community, I hereby resign as judge of the Lafayette City Court effective immediately. I am sending a copy of this letter to the Secretary of State and hope that a special election can be scheduled to fill the vacancy that my resignation creates."
Before announcing her resignation, Odinet was widely criticized because of the video and placed on unpaid leave.
The video in question was taken at her home after an attempted burglary. It seems to feature Odinet and her family watching footage of the attempted burglary of their home and mocking the suspect.
At some points in the video, the commentators use racially derogatory language in referring to the suspect.
KATC reports that Retired Opelousas City Judge Vanessa Harris will be seated as judge pro tempore of Division A, Lafayette City Court, for the period of December 17, 2021 through February 28, 2022, subject to the completion of any unfinished business, according to the La. Supreme Court.
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