A Pennsylvania county judge accused of calling a Black woman “Aunt Jemima” and making other racist comments now faces disciplinary charges from the Judicial Conduct Board. Judge Mark V. Tranquilli, who is a former prosecutor, became a judge in 2014. Tranquilli made the offending comments after a jury acquitted a man who had been hit with drug delivery charges in January. He reportedly asked the district attorney why a Black woman, whom he called “Aunt Jemima,” had been allowed on the jury, and said he “knew darn well when she goes home to her baby daddy, he’s probably slinging heroin, too,” according to investigators.
Tranquilli also asked prosecutors why a “knucklehead” and the mother of a public defender had been permitted to join the jury. In 2015, Tranquilli was accused of telling Black parents at a custody hearing that he would “split (their) baby in half like Solomon and sleep like a baby that night.”