Rank Can Stay, LULAC Says

Kathryn Garcia, Corpus Christi Caller-Times, April 1, 2006

The LULAC Council 4444 president announced Friday the group will not ask for the resignation or removal of a municipal court judge who it says made slanderous comments toward Hispanics.

But Nancy Vera, president of the League of United Latin American Citizens Council No. 4444, issued Judge John Rank a stern warning.

“If we hear so much as a whimper from his court, then we will be all over him like white on rice and we will have no mercy,” Vera said during a press conference Friday at Wynn Seale Academy with Rank present.

In October, Rank was overheard saying, “I don’t know if the person was stupid, on drugs or Hispanic” to a colleague when discussing a woman whose case he had presided over, according to the city’s investigative report that found that Rank’s comment could be offensive to Hispanics.

The woman was not responding when Rank was explaining the charges against her, Rank said. He had meant to question her ability to speak English, according to the report.

Rank apologized publicly and said he was thankful to the council for its decision.

“I made a very serious mistake,” Rank said. “I did not intend to belittle the prisoner or offend the member of our staff who overheard that portion of the conversation, but my words did offend that person and many others. Words do hurt.”

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