Michelle Odinet

Michelle Odinet

Lafayette City Court Judge Michelle Odinet will take an unpaid leave of absence, her lawyer, Dane Ciolino, told The Acadiana Advocate on Wednesday.

“I am going to call the Judiciary Commission, and we are going to file the motion,” he said in a phone interview. “She intends to start a period leave without pay.”

Ciolino said Odinet feels “humiliated, embarrassed, and sorry for what she has done and the harm she has caused to the community.” He said, “what, happens in the long term is something she is going to think about in the weeks to come.” 

Calls began for Odinet's resignation after a racial slur was captured in a video recorded at her home and circulated Monday.

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Ciolino confirmed it was the judge's voice on the video using the racial slur.

The disclosure comes amid community outcry after a video was released showing Odinet's family gathering to watch home security footage of a burglary that took place Saturday in their driveway, in which a voice is heard saying, “And mom’s yelling n*****, n*****,” to which a female voice answered: “We have a n*****; it’s a n*****, like a roach.”

Private citizens and community organizers filed complaints with the Louisiana Judiciary Commission starting Tuesday morning. Meanwhile, at least one Lafayette law firm asked Odinet to recuse herself from two of their defendants’ cases.


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