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Colorado Judge Withdraws Resignation After Exiting Court With Racial Slur, Appeals Court Says

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Colorado’s top court on Thursday approved the resignation of a judge who drew widespread criticism for using the N-word while drawing a courtroom picture on the last day of his tenure.

The Colorado Supreme Court joined Colorado Attorney General Cynthia Coffman in accepting the resignation of District Judge Elizabeth R. Beckner, who published a self-published piece of work that included the slur, according to both the Associated Press and The Denver Post.

In an emailed statement, the Colorado Court of Appeals cited a transcript of the disciplinary hearing. It included a ruling by Chief Judge Paul W. Nassar in March in which he said Beckner was guilty of civil contempt for using “the hate word, something she should not have done.”

The Denver Post reported that Beckner’s notoriety for picking a fight with gay rights advocates cost her her courtroom and courthouse credentials in 2015. She lost one case in the Colorado Court of Appeals in 2015, and another in the state Supreme Court.

The Feb. 12 incident occurred in a courtroom full of witnesses in a case involving an inmate who claimed his mother sexually abused him.

The three-page transcript stated that Beckner had a debate with a man who testified that his mother had committed incest with him and sexually abused his brothers. The transcript reported that Beckner was upset by the man’s claims, as reported by the Denver Post.

During a break, the paper reported, Beckner stepped out of the courtroom and picked up a large sign painted on the pavement and used it to trace around her body. She then made a similar drawing and hand with the letter “E” and placed it on the sidewalk.

After a meeting with the state’s ethics commission, Beckner submitted a self-published piece of writing, titled “Inside the Conflict in the Denver Sheriff’s Dept.,” where she wrote that she feared for her “life and/or that of my family.”

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