Florida Supreme Court Rejects Punishment for Miami-Dade Judge Who Used Racial Slur

The court will hold hearings to determine any possible "appropriate discipline" over the "alleged violations"

What to Know

  • A state judicial commission in May recommended the judge be suspended and fined over the racial comments.
  • The Florida Supreme Court, rejecting the recommendations, said it will determine "appropriate punishment" after further review.
  • Some have called for the judge to be dismissed from his position at the Miami-Dade County Circuit Court.

The Florida Supreme Court has rejected a commission's recommendation to suspend and fine a Miami-Dade County judge for making racial comments.

Florida's Judicial Qualifications Commission in May recommended Miami-Dade County Circuit Judge Stephen Millan be suspended for 30 days without pay and ordered to pay a $5,000 fine.

The Florida Supreme Court on Friday said it "rejects the stipulation and disapproves the proposed sanctions."

The state's top court said it sought to hold additional hearings to determine any possible "appropriate discipline" over the "alleged violations."

"We remand for further proceedings to include a full hearing before the Judicial Qualifications Commission in order to fully develop the facts regarding any misconduct that occurred," the court said in a statement.

The commission made the recommendation after it was reported that Millan used a slur to describe a black defendant in October 2016. In another recorded instance, he referred to friends and family members of a black defendant as "thugs."

Documents filed with the Florida Supreme Court show that Millan admitted to twice using demeaning language. Millan apologized for the comments and attended a racial bias seminar.

The Wilkie D. Ferguson, Jr. Bar Association called for Millan to be dismissed, stating a suspension and fine would not be enough.

"It's very troubling. Those of us who have heard or been called this name not pleased to hear these statements, and we are rightly outraged that this is being used by someone who is a public servant," Trelvis D. Randolph, who is a member of the association, said. "We don't feel that he represents the judiciary to where he should be sitting on the bench."

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