Lafayette Judge Michelle Odinet to Take Unpaid Leave After Controversial Video Sparks Outrage
Lafayette City Court Judge Michelle Odinet says she will take an unpaid leave of absence in the wake of a controversial video that circulated recently which involves racist language allegedly used by Odinet and family members.
Dane Ciolino, Judge Odinet's attorney, told KATC that he will file a motion on Thursday morning with the Judiciary committee for his client to go on unpaid leave.
Ciolino went on to say that Odinet is "embarrassed and humiliated and sorry for what she has done and the harm she has caused to the community."
This all comes after video footage taken at Odinet's home over the weekend has been circulated online following an attempted burglary at her residence.
The video appears to contain 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. It is believed that voice is of Odinet.
The judge would later say 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."
Many local leaders have weighed in on the controversy and uniformly have deemed it despicable and reprehensible.
The story has also garnered national attention, with groups like The Anti-Defamation League and the Urban League of Louisiana the latest to weigh in. The ADL wants the Judiciary commission to examine the judge's conduct and take "swift and appropriate action."
Ciolino says Odinet will use her time away from the bench to think about "what is next."
The State Supreme Court has appointed Judge Ronnie Cox to take over Odinet's cases through December 21st. However, the order does not appear to have anything to do with the video controversy, as it was requested on December 8th.
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