This is DESPICABLE. This CANNOT be tolerated.
Allegheny County Common Pleas Judge Mark Tranquilli referred to a black female juror as “Aunt Jemima” repeatedly in comments in chambers following the acquittal of a drug suspect two weeks ago, according to a written complaint, leading to his reassignment this week.
President Judge Kim Berkeley Clark reassigned Judge Tranquilli on Tuesday to summary appeals following an interview of the judge by the court administration staff about what he allegedly said.
The action was taken after Judge Tranquilli made comments in his chambers in the presence of the prosecutor, Ted Dutkowski, and the defense attorney, Joe Otte.
The judge has not responded to requests for comment this week and Mr. Dutkowski also did not respond to a message. But a written complaint by Mr. Otte to the state Judicial Conduct Board, obtained by the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, details the conversation with the judge. Mr. Otte declined to comment.