State District Louisiana Judge Mike Erwin has been banned from Sammy’s Grill on Highland Road in Baton Rouge after supposedly using a racial slur in a verbal confrontation with Kaneitra Johnson, a black woman. Johnson wrote about the incident on her Facebook page, although she later deleted the post and was unavailable for commentary when asked. Erwin denied usage of the racial slur when he was questioned by the authorities.
All messages to acquire comments from Erwin’s office have been ignored and effectively denied. The Advocate newspaper noted that Erwin’s refusal to communicate was expressed via his issue of “no comment” through two of his staff members.Casey Rayborn Hicks, spokesperson for the East Baton Rouge Sheriff’s Office, says that reports detailing the incident have yet to be finalized as of Friday evening. According to Kicks, Erwin denies use of the slurs and also notes the inability of customers in the restaurant to corroborate the allegations against him.
The manager of Sammy’s Grill, Andy McKay has stated that Erwin will be banned from the establishment, upon orders from the owner, Sammy Nagem. Both parties were unavailable for questioning.
Valerie Willard, a spokesperson for the Louisiana Judiciary Commission, stated that the nine member body holds investigatory hearings when complaints of misconduct are made against judges. If guilt is proven, then the body reserves the right and power to issue penalties ranging from censuring to terminating judges and those performing judicial functions. Willard announced that complaints related to this specific case would remain confidential at this point in time.
Speculations against the nature of the rift between Erwin and Johnson have arose. In 2010, he was assigned a traffic case against her, according to court records discovered by The Advocate. Johnson alleges to having no recognition of Erwin and complete ignorance of his position as a judge until later conversing with deputies following the dispute. Erwin has been calling upon by The Advocate to end his silence on the matter, but thus far, he has yet to do so.
Source: NY Post
Photo: NY Post