Arkansas Judge Apologizes for Racist, Homophobic Posts
An Arkansas judge has admitted that he posted a series of anonymous online comments that critics say are racist, sexist and otherwise inappropriate, including one in which he revealed alleged details of confidential proceedings involving actress Charlize Theron’s adoption of her son.
Circuit Judge Mike Maggio acknowledged Wednesday that he posted the comments on a Louisiana State University fan message board, Tiger Droppings, under the pseudonym "geauxjudge." He also ended his campaign for a seat on the Arkansas Court of Appeals.
"I take full responsibility for the comments that have been attributed to me," Maggio said in a statement. "I apologize deeply for my lapse in personal judgment and for that, I have no excuse. The comments posted were not acceptable. These comments are not a reflection of who I am."
The state’s Judicial Discipline and Disability Commission is investigating Maggio’s postings, said its executive director, David Sachar.
Maggio, whose term as a 20th Judicial District judge expires at the end of the year, asked for privacy for his family. He didn’t immediately respond to an email or phone message left at his office Thursday seeking comment.
Political blogger Matt Campbell first suggested that "geauxjudge" was Maggio in a Monday posting on his website, Blue Hog Report. He included screen grabs of "geauxjudge" postings from the past few years, including some that dropped biographical hints or that many would find racist, sexist or homophobic.
In a Jan. 17, 2012, posting, "geauxjudge" disclosed what he said were details of Theron’s adoption proceedings. He wrote that a "judge friend" handled the case, but it wasn’t immediately clear if Maggio, himself, was involved. Such proceedings are confidential in Arkansas, and there are no cases in the state’s online court records that mention Theron’s name. Her publicist, Amanda Silverman, declined to comment about the matter.
Theron announced in March 2012 that she had adopted a boy from South Africa named Jackson.
In a June 2011 posting, "geauxjudge" suggested that women who seek divorces after their husbands cheat may be better off financially by staying married. In Arkansas, circuit judges like Maggio handle divorce cases, among other civil and criminal casework.
"I see it everyday. A woman makes (an) emotional decision to divorce because the husband stepped out. When otherwise he was a good provider, father, and husband," the posting says. "Then a year or two later realizes uh oh I am worse off financially, emotionally and relationship wise but hey they showed that SOB. Too many times the women get their advice from other divorced women."
In a posting from last December about baby names, "geauxjudge" wrote about the effect a name can have on an individual’s success, the website reported.
"How many Doctors do you hear named Dr. Taneesha or HaHa?" he wrote, apparently referring to Ha’Sean "Ha Ha" Clinton-Dix, a black University of Alabama football player. "How many bankers do (you) hear named Brylee? So stick with something close to normal. Or come sit in criminal court any day and see the ’common names.’"
Responding to a story about a woman who was arrested for allegedly having sex with a dog, "geauxjudge" wrote that it was "just a small step" from having "TGGLBS" sex, an apparent reference to transgender, gay, lesbian or bisexual sex.
Associated Press writer Tim Jacobs in Chicago contributed to this report.