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Gov. Edwards Demands Resignation Of District Judge Who Used Racist Slurs

Feb 26, 2020

Governor John Bel Edwards is calling on a Judge Jessie LeBlanc of the 23rd Judicial District to resign after she admitted to using a racist slur. 

LeBlanc, who is white, used the slur in reference to two black public officials in her district, which includes Ascension, Assumption and St. James Parishes. 

LeBlanc was already in hot water for admitting to having an extramarital affair with Chief Deputy Bruce Prejean of the Assumption Parish Sheriff’s Office. Prejean was demoted after admitting to the affair last year.

LeBlanc’s use of the slur turned up in text messages revealed during the investigation into that affair.

In an interview with WAFB on Sunday, LeBlanc admitted to using the slur. Since then the Baton Rouge NAACP, the Legislative Black Caucus and now the Governor have called on her to resign. 

When news of the affair emerged, 23rd JDC District Attorney Ricky Babin and Chief Public Defender Alan Robert requested LeBlanc recuse herself from all criminal cases. 

Hundreds of LeBlanc’s cases are under review.

The embattled judge says she won’t resign, and that she will seek reelection this fall.

Read Gov. Edwards’ full statement below: 

“The admitted and repeated use of racial slurs by a judge who has taken an oath to administer justice fairly and impartially is wrong, period. There is never any circumstance or context in which such derogatory and degrading language is okay.

Sadly, inequities still exist in society and in our judicial system. Judge LeBlanc has compromised her ability to preside as a judge, and she has damaged the judiciary.  She should resign. The people of the 23rd Judicial District and our state deserve better.”