A New York state Supreme Court justice has resigned from an administrative role amid controversy over a Halloween costume he wore more than three decades ago.
According to the Washington Examiner, New York Supreme Court Justice Craig Doran tendered his resignation as an administrative judge after photos were leaked showing him dressed as who he later described as “a well-known public figure of color.”
The judge said he plans to continue serving his district “as an elected Supreme Court Justice,” according to RochesterFirst.com.
“I am deeply sorry for my decision to appear in this manner,” Doran, who is white, said in a statement. “I did not comprehend at the time the hurtful nature of my actions.”
“I ask for forgiveness”
In his statement, also shared by WXXI News, Doran said he’s since recognized that his actions were racist, but claims they “in no way” reflect his current values.
“I know now that an act of this nature is considered to be racist. I can assure you that this event in 1988 in no way reflects my beliefs and principles,” the judge said.
As the outlet notes, it remains unclear where the incriminating photos were leaked to.
Reports also haven’t revealed who Doran had dressed up as back in the late 1980s.
“I ask for forgiveness from these who have been hurt by this, those I may have embarrassed, and from the people who have taken time in their lives to educate me about the hurt my actions caused,” the now-former justice said in his statement.
Can people change?
Doran went on to say that his resignation came “[i]n accordance with the Chief Judge’s zero-tolerance policy on matters of racial bias and insensitivity.”
“I will no longer be exercising my responsibilities as Administrative Judge of the Seventh Judicial District. I plan to continue my service to the District as an elected Supreme Court Justice,” he said. “I pledge to make the transition to a new administrative judge seamless.”
Following news that he was stepping down, some came out in support of the judge. “I can say unequivocally that Judge Doran is not a racist,” Rev. Lewis Stewart, of the United Christian Leadership Ministry, told the Washington Examiner. “Many of us are not who we were over 33 years ago.”