Jax judge denies calling woman lawyer ‘c-word’


A Jacksonville judge has formally denied allegations he made racially biased and other derogatory comments off the bench, including calling a female attorney the “c-word.”

Late Monday, Circuit Judge Mark Hulsey III filed a written response to judicial misconduct charges against him.

He also asked for a separate investigation into a leak of the case before it became public last month.

One accusation says he referred to a woman attorney by using a vulgar term for female genitalia. He’s also accused of mistreating courthouse staff attorneys and his judicial assistant. (Previous story here.)

The “allegations wrongly imply that he harbors ill-will toward female attorneys or African-Americans,” according to Hulsey’s filing. “He treats all persons with whom he comes in contact as a judicial officer with proper courtesy and respect.”

Hulsey, elected in 2010 to a six-year term, is running for re-election this year. He has previously called the allegations “dirty political tactics.”

He’s being challenged by Gerald Wilkersona Jacksonville lawyer who specializes in family law and criminal defense. Judicial races are nonpartisan.

A group of Jacksonville pastors already has called for Hulsey to resign, referring to an alleged 2011 remark to a staff attorney that African-Americans “should go get back on a ship and go back to Africa.”

Hulsey “does not subscribe to, and rejects, the beliefs described,” the filing said.

He also rejected claims he abused his staff, though admitted on one occasion his judicial assistant “volunteered to, and did, drive Judge Hulsey’s wife to a medical appointment.”

The woman, who no longer works for Hulsey, “offered to do so because (she) used the same physician as Judge Hulsey’s wife and told Judge Hulsey she was happy to do so,” the filing said.

Further, Hulsey “denies that he has asked his new judicial assistant to undertake tasks that are purely personal in nature.”

The case is being pursued by the Judicial Qualifications Commission, which investigates misconduct accusations against judges.

Hulsey’s father was the 1969-70 president of The Florida Bar and once served as chair of the Judicial Qualifications Commission, the same body now investigating his son.

Jim Rosica

Jim Rosica is the Tallahassee-based Senior Editor for Florida Politics. He previously was the Tampa Tribune’s statehouse reporter. Before that, he covered three legislative sessions in Florida for The Associated Press. Jim graduated from law school in 2009 after spending nearly a decade covering courts for the Tallahassee Democrat, including reporting on the 2000 presidential recount. He can be reached at [email protected].


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