Judge Jessie LeBlanc admits to racial slurs, resigns

Published 10:46 am Saturday, February 29, 2020

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NAPOLEONVILLE — Judge Jessie LeBlanc of the 23rd Judicial District Court resigned on Thursday. LeBlanc came under fire this week when several groups and Governor John Bel Edwards called for her resignation after she admitted to using racial slurs in reference to an Ascension Parish deputy and a court employee.

The text messages reportedly included LeBlanc using the “N-word” while referring to an African-American deputy and law clerk.

LeBlanc was the Division D Judge for the 23rd Judicial District, which is located in Gonzales and serves Ascension, Assumption and St. James parishes.

In a letter to Chief Justice Bernette J. Johnson of the Louisiana Supreme Court, LeBlanc tendered her resignation with “a heavy heart and profound regret.” She goes on to say that she does not excuse her behavior, but will continue to apologize for it. The letter also cited an extramarital affair with high-ranking Assumption Parish Deputy Bruce Prejean. The affair had been revealed by media sources and influenced LeBlanc’s decision to resign.

On Wednesday, Governor Edwards said, “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. There is never any circumstance or context in which such derogatory and degrading language is okay.”

Edwards said that, sadly, inequities still exist in society and in our judicial system.

“Judge LeBlanc has compromised her ability to preside as a judge, and she has damaged the judiciary,” he claimed. “She should resign. The people of the 23rd Judicial District and our state deserve better.”

Leblanc served on the court since she was elected in 2012 and re-elected in 2014, when she ran unopposed. Her term was set to expire on Dec. 31, 2020.