39.9 F
Fort Worth
Tuesday, December 1, 2020
Government Top US judge in LA steps down over remark called insensitive

Top US judge in LA steps down over remark called insensitive

Other News

Airline crews report jetpack flier near Los Angeles airport

LOS ANGELES (AP) — The Federal Aviation Administration and the FBI said Tuesday they are investigating reports from airline pilots that someone was flying...

LOS ANGELES (AP) — The top-ranking federal judge for the Los Angeles area has told fellow judges and court staff that he is stepping down from his post because of a remark he made about a Black woman who is the court’s top administrative official that some regarded as racially insensitive, the Los Angeles Times reported.

U.S. District Judge Cormac J. Carney, chief judge of the federal Central District of California, announced his decision Friday in an email that summarized his remarks, the critical reaction and his decision to leave the four-year position he had begun on June 1, the Times reported Sunday.

Carney apologized to Kiry K. Gray, who has been the district’s executive and clerk of the court since 2015.

“I have apologized to Ms. Gray, but I have concluded that a simple apology will not put this matter to rest. There will be division in the Court, unnecessary, negative and hurtful publicity, and a diversion from the Court’s essential mission of administering justice if I were to continue serving as the Chief District Judge,” Carney wrote. “I cannot allow the Court to become politicized and embroiled in controversy.”

The Times said the controversy dates to a June 9 webinar sponsored by the local chapter of the Federal Bar Association.

Carney was speaking about taking on the role of chief district judge when he mentioned Gray.

“Fortunately for me, we have just a fabulous clerk of the court in Kiry Gray. She’s so street-smart and really knows her job,” Carney said.

When Carney learned that some who heard or learned of the “street-smart” remark thought it was derogatory or racially insensitive, he explained: “To me, the term means a person of great common sense, initiative, and ability to work with people and get things done. It saddened me greatly to learn that some people view the term to be demeaning to people of color. I never knew that there was a different definition of the term.”

Carney said that during a later conversation with Gray he learned that some thought he should step down as chief judge.

“In a moment of anger and frustration, I said to Ms. Gray that the people criticizing me were equating my well-intended use of the term ‘street-smart’ with the reprehensible conduct of a police officer putting his knee on a person’s neck,” Carney said.

Carney said that statement was wrong and it was directed at critics, not Gray.

“My statement was an insensitive and graphic overreaction to the criticism that was leveled against me. I never should have made the comparison,” Carney said.

Gray declined to comment when reached by phone, the Times said.

Carney is a former Orange County Superior Court judge who was appointed to the federal bench by President George W. Bush in 2003.

Carney, who will remain a judge, said Judge Philip S. Gutierrez will take over as chief of the district, which includes Los Angeles and six adjacent counties.

close

Oh hi there 👋
It’s nice to meet you.

Sign up to receive awesome content in your inbox.

We don’t spam! Read our privacy policy for more info.

Latest News

Mayor Price announces COVID recovery as cases surge in Texas

Fort Worth Mayor Betsy Price announced that she and her husband, Tom, have both recovered from COVID-19 on Monday, Nov. 30. “I am pleased to...

A&M System Regents OK Tarleton Analytical Policing Institute

The Texas A&M University System Board of Regents has approved creation of Tarleton State University’s Institute for Predictive and Analytical Policing Sciences, a part...

U.S. Supreme Court leery of Trump’s bid to exclude undocumented immigrants from congressional reapportionment

Some Supreme Court justices on Monday seemed skeptical of President Trump’s claim he has the authority to exclude undocumented immigrants from population totals when...

Despite staggering pandemic losses, Texas budget forecast better than expected, state comptroller says

Despite “historic declines,” state lawmakers will have more money to work with in the upcoming legislative session than Comptroller Glenn Hegar expected over the...

Tarrant reports 5 deaths as Texas reports 3,954 new coronavirus cases, 102 deaths

Tarrant County Public Health on Sunday reported five COVID-19 deaths. The deceased include a man from Fort Worth in his 90s, a woman from...