U.S. District Judge Cormac J. Carney has stepped down as Chief Judge of the Central District of California because he complimented a black court official for being “street-smart.”

Carney will remain a judge, but will yield his senior post as leader of the country’s largest federal court jurisdiction.

The Los Angeles Times reported Sunday that Carney, a George W. Bush appointee, had attempted to praise court executive and clerk Kiry K. Gray, who has worked for the court for 35 years.

Carney was addressing a webinar organized by the local bar association, and commented on the vandalism of courthouses by the Black Lives Matter movement:

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