Miami-Dade Circuit Judge Stephen Millan may be hit with a 30-day suspension and $5,000 fine for his remarks in October 2016
A Miami judge who grew up in New York is being heavily scrutinized after he called a black defendant ‘moolie’.
Miami-Dade Circuit Judge Stephen Millan may be hit with a 30-day suspension and $5,000 fine for remarks made while speaking with the defendant’s lawyer in his chambers back in October 2016.
The word ‘moolie’ is an abridged version of ‘mulignan’ which is a Sicilian slur for eggplants, according to court documents. It is used to refer to black people with darker skin.
Millan, 52, apologized for using the term but claimed it was used ‘intermittently’ as a ‘youngster’ when he was growing up in New York.
He grew up in the city and Long Island and has both Italian and Puerto Rican roots.
Millan was also said to have been taking a break during a hearing for an African-American defendant in 2017, when he told the bailiff to grab his wallet.
‘I don’t trust it in there with those thugs,’ he said.
He used the word ‘moolie’ which is an abridged version of ‘mulignan’ which is a Sicilian slur for eggplants, according to court documents. It is used to refer to black people with darker skin
The defendant’s lawyer thought that the judge was referring to the defendant’s family and added that the ‘family and friends were good people.’
The judge was to do racial sensitivity training, but that was deemed not a suitable punishment by Florida’s Judicial Qualifications Commision.
The State Supreme court will determine whether Millan – who specializes in immigration and bankruptcy cases – will be suspended.
‘It was not unusual for my friends and I to occasionally use slur words when referring to others, including our friends and ourselves,’ he told the JQC, according to the Miami Herald.
He is also being punished for inappropriately communicating with lawyers outside a courtroom about scheduling.
‘It was not unusual for my friends and I to occasionally use slur words when referring to others, including our friends and ourselves,’ Millan explained to the JQC.
But the chair of the JQC, Judge Krisina Marx, wasn’t buying that excuse.
‘The use of racially derogatory and demeaning language to describe litigants, criminal defendants or members of the public, even behind closed doors or during off-the-record conversations, erodes public confidence in a fair and impartial judiciary,’ she said.
‘The Commission is unswayed by Judge Millan’s testimony that he gained familiarity with the use of certain racial slurs during his youth.’
Millan is currently overseeing cases in the juvenile division.