LAFAYETTE, La. (KLFY) — Former Lafayette City Court Judge Michelle Odinet, who admitted to using racial slurs in a video captured at her home in 2021, will face no further disciplinary action.
Odinet was seen, on surveillance video that went viral on social media, repeatedly using the N-word during an incident in which she and her family witnessed a burglary of a vehicle in her driveway.
In a ruling by a 3-member committee of the Louisiana Attorney Disciplinary Board released Monday, Odinet was found to have violated two canons of the Louisiana Bar Association’s Code of Judicial Conduct and two rules of professional conduct, but that having resigned as judge was adequate punishment for the violations.
“Even if a sanction was warranted, this Committee finds [Odinet] established by clear and convincing evidence numerous mitigating factors, including the absence of a prior disciplinary record, absence of a dishonest or selfish motive, timely good faith effort to rectify the consequents of her conduct, full disclosure and a cooperative attitude toward these proceedings, good character or reputation, the imposition of other penalties and remorse,” the ruling read.
The incident took place on Dec. 11, 2021 and Odinet resigned from the bench on Dec. 31, 2021.
In a response, Odinet said: “I was given a sedative at the time of the video. I have zero recollection of the video and the disturbing language used during it.”
In Monday’s ruling, the committee noted that Odinet “believed the incident reflected poorly on her and her ability to act as a judge and resigned due to her undignified and unprofessional behavior. She classified the language as repugnant and demonstrated remorse for her actions and language in her testimony at the hearing.”
The hearing was the result of formal charges filed against Odinet by the Office of Disciplinary Counsel on Aug. 29, 2022.
The ruling was signed by committee chair Catherine M. Landry, lawyer member Timothy Maragos and public member Bradley Pellegrin.