St. Louis Public Radio News
1:31 pm
Fri April 4, 2003

Public Defender Quits After Telling Racist Joke

St. Louis – The head of the public defender's office in St. Louis has resigned a week after telling a racist joke to several of the department's lawyers.

District Defender Kent Hall quit Thursday. Others in his office tell the St. Louis Post-Dispatch that Hall's joke caused credibility problems, especially considering that more than 90 percent of their clients are black.

Lawyers in the office told the newspaper that last week, Hall drove four lawyers, including a fair-skinned African-American, to a restaurant. Along the way, he told a racist joke.

After lunch, the black member of the group reported the incident.