On Wednesday, February 28, 2024, Q2 News reported that a discrimination complaint had been filed against a Laurel City Court judge.

According to the report, Richard Asong, an attorney who previously worked with the Office of the State Public Defender, has accused Judge Jean Kerr of discriminating against him due to his race. Asong, who is Black, alleges that Kerr instructed the public defender’s office to assign a case specifically to a Caucasian female attorney. This resulted in Asong being denied a case assignment for which he was available and qualified.

Asong filed a complaint with the Montana Human Rights Bureau on October 23, 2023, detailing the racial discrimination claims against Kerr. The case is currently pending review by the bureau.

In response to media inquiries, Laurel City officials stated they were not previously aware of the allegations against Kerr prior to the complaint being filed. However, the city said it would have taken appropriate action had they known of any misconduct. The officials also noted that defending Kerr against the complaint, as required by law, may result in a lengthy legal process and substantial damages.

While the city has little control over an elected judge like Kerr, officials sought to assure the public they do not condone discrimination of any kind.



Source: Q2 News