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Allegheny County Judge Mark Tranquilli Petitions Court To Overturn His Suspension

By: KDKA-TV News Staff

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) - Allegheny County Judge Mark Tranquilli, who was accused of making racially insensitive comments, has petitioned the court to overturn his suspension.

Tranquilli was suspended without pay from the state after being charged with judicial misconduct. He's now petitioned the Pennsylvania Court of Judicial Discipline to overturn that ruling.

In a court filing, he says he was suspended without due process, "without any argument, hearing or briefing." He says the decision is causing significant hardship for his family in lost salary and health insurance.

Tranquilli is facing six counts of judicial misconduct, most of which concern alleged racially insensitive remarks directed at jurors and defendants. He was relieved of his duties after allegedly using a racial slur against a Black juror.


KDKA first reported that after a jury acquitted a drug defendant on several charges, Tranquilli is accused of referring to the juror as "Aunt Jemima," and speculated that her "baby daddy" was probably "slinging heroin himself."

A report goes on to cite other alleged incidents of Tranquilli using the Black urban dialect, known as Ebonics, from the bench.

The report cites other comments as well, like when Tranquilli told a single Black mother "if you lay down with dogs, you wake up with fleas" and that she should have supplied the fathers of her two children with condoms: "for the cost of three shiny quarters in any bathroom in any rest stop In Pennsylvania, you probably could have gone in a different direction."

He faces a full hearing in front of the Court of Judicial Discipline in October where penalties against him can range from sanctions to permanent removal from the bench.

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