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A Louisiana judge who appeared at a Halloween party in shackles, an afro wig and blackface makeup last year should be suspended for a year without pay, a state commission said Tuesday. The recommendation by the Judiciary Commission of Louisiana goes to the state Supreme Court, which will make the final decision on the punishment for Timothy Ellender, a state district judge in Terrebonne Parish, southwest of New Orleans. “Judge Ellender’s integrity and his ability to be fair and impartial towards African-Americans who appear before his court as defendants in criminal and other proceedings will be forever in doubt,” the commission said. The commission said Ellender made it clear in testimony “that he will take great care not to exhibit racial bias or to promote racial stereotypes in the future.” Ellender, who is white, was not immediately available for comment when The Associated Press called his office. The judge showed up at the party last Halloween accompanied by his wife, who was dressed as a police officer. He wore a prison jump suit and handcuffs, as well as the afro wig. The party was private, but it was held at a restaurant in view of other patrons. There was no indication when the Supreme Court would decide. Copyright 2004 Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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