Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards (D-La.) on Wednesday called on a state judge to step down after she admitted to texting racial slurs in messages.
Edwards said in a statement that the “state deserves better,” and that District Judge Jessie LeBlanc “has compromised her ability to preside as a judge, and she has damaged the judiciary. She should resign,” according to a local news network WAFB.
LeBlanc admitted to using a slur to describe two black individuals, one whom is a sheriff’s deputy and the other a law clerk in her court.
“They deserve an apology from me,” LeBlanc said. “I sincerely apologize to both of them for using that word … while I may have been upset, angry, scared, it does not excuse my actions.”
She used the slurs in a private message sent to former Assumption Parish Chief Deputy Bruce Prejean. The two engaged in a previous extramarital affair, according to the report.
The governor maintains his position that LeBlanc should resign.
“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,” Edwards said in the statement. “There is never any circumstance or context in which such derogatory and degrading language is okay.”
Baton Rouge NAACP President Eugene Collins said LeBlanc “should be removed from the bench,” warning that a demonstration will take place if she does not voluntarily step down.
Despite multiple calls for her resignation, LeBlanc asserts that she is still the right person for the job of district court judge.
“I know in my heart that I have done my job to the very best of my ability,” she said.
LeBlanc plans to run for another term for the 23rd Judicial District after her current term on the bench ends in December.