An Alabama judge has been suspended after a complaint was filed last month accusing him of racial discrimination, among other inappropriate behavior.
Judge James T. Patterson was accused by the Judicial Inquiry Commission of mocking the accent of an Asian juror in the courtroom, and taking an ageist dig at the state’s governor, Kat Ivey.
He was suspended last month but the complaint, which was filed on June 15, was made public on Wednesday, per NBC News. The complaint included numerous accounts of Patterson’s inappropriate conduct, including foul language, inappropriate comments, and name-calling.
According to the complaint, Patterson referred to Governor Kay Ivey as “Governor MeMaw” on multiple occasions to attorneys and court staff. Patterson also referred to the Alabama state prison system as “Governor MeMaw’s prison system.”
In another instance, Patterson also made sexually inappropriate comments in his courtroom, per the complaint. He also stated to a defendant during a probation revocation hearing, “you don’t want to be somebody’s girlfriend when you go up the road,” a joke referring to sexual assault in prison. The assistant district attorney who was present felt the comment was demeaning to the defendant.
In August 2019, Patterson inappropriately addressed a jury pool that included Asian Americans. Patterson asked the jury if they spoke “Engrish” while imitating an offensive, stereotypical Asian accent. A day later, addressed the issue on his Facebook page.
“The liberals call everyone they disagree with a racist nowadays,” Patterson wrote on his Facebook page, according to the complaint. “I am nothing of the kind.”
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