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Judicial hearing for judge accused of racist, sexist remarks delayed again

Judge Mark Hulsey denies allegations in response to formal complaint

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JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The Florida Judicial Qualifications Commission's hearing for a Jacksonville circuit judge accused of making racist and sexist remarks has been delayed again until June. 

The five-day evidentiary hearing on formal charges filed by the commission against Judge Mark Hulsey was first slated for February and then it was pushed back to May. 

In an order filed Jan. 6, the hearing was delayed again until June 12 in Jacksonville at a location to be decided. A six-member panel will hear the case. 

There will be status hearings by teleconference in April and May. 

In November, the commission filed an amended notice of formal charges against Hulsey, who was removed from the criminal bench after being accused of making racist and sexist remarks, acting in a demeaning and condescending manner toward his staff and being unnecessarily critical of lawyers in the state attorney’s office.

The amended filing by the commission informs Hulsey that because of “indifference to your judicial duties,” staff attorneys are wasting their time on “routine and mundane judicial acts,” thus limiting their availability to other judges.

The commission says Hulsey forces staff to take care of his personal affairs, and to take work home.

The complaint also accuses Hulsey of trying to coerce one of his staffers into telling the commission that he would never make derogatory remarks about African-Americans or women.

Hulsey was transferred to the probate division when the JQC announced its investigation. He was re-elected to another term on the 4th Judicial Circuit bench, winning in a recount.

Hulsey denies the allegations and has now filed an amended response, affirming his denial of the allegations.

In the response, his lawyer says, “Hulsey can say with absolute confidence and conviction that he is not a racist, he rejects and does not hold the ideas expressed ... and he denies making the statement alleged.”

Hulsey repeatedly apologizes in his amended response for misunderstandings over his actions and comments, and admits he made mistakes. He also insists he is not indifferent to his judicial duties.