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Jacksonville Judge Denies Racism Allegations, Asks For Hearing


A Jacksonville circuit judge up for re-election is flatly denying accusations of inappropriate conduct leveled at him before the state Supreme Court.

Judge Mark Hulsey is also calling for a hearing to tell his side of the story.

Last month, the state Judicial Qualifications Commission said Hulsey made racist and sexist remarks at the office, including the comment that blacks should “get back on a ship and go back to Africa.” The panel also accused Hulsey of interfering with their investigation by coaching his staff attorney what to tell them.

But in a response filed Monday, Hulsey denies those charges and all others.

The judge is also requesting an investigation into what he calls a “breach” that led to “widespread knowledge” of the allegations before formal charges were filed.

A protest against Hulsey’s alleged racism was held outside the courthouse a month before investigators filed their report.

Jessica Palombo supervises local news gathering and production, podcasts and web editorial content for WJCT News, ADAPT and Jacksonville Today. She is an award-winning writer and journalist with bylines including NPR, Experience Magazine, and The Gainesville Sun. She has a master’s degree in broadcast and digital journalism from Syracuse University and is an alumna of the University of Florida. A nearly lifelong resident of Jacksonville, she considers herself lucky to be raising her own children in her hometown. Follow Jessica Palombo on Twitter: @JaxJessicaP