ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. - A top prosecutor is under fire for controversial comments he made on Facebook.
Assistant State Attorney Kenneth Lewis is one of Ninth Circuit State Attorney Jeff Ashton's top prosecutors. But Lewis is facing backlash over a controversial post on his personal Facebook page.
The post reads "Happy mothers day to all the crack hoes out there. It's never too late to tie your tubes, clean up your life and make difference to someone out there that deserves a better mother."
Judicial watchdog Dana Jackson told Channel 9's Mario Boone that she was shocked to read Lewis' comments.
"Maybe Jeff Ashton can tie his tubes and get him to speak appropriately," said Jackson, who is with Justice for All Ministries. "He's a public official and he needs to be reminded of that. He's paid with the tax dollars and he's paid to prosecute and keep the evil off the streets not to degrade mothers."
Boone caught up with Lewis at the Orange County Courthouse. Lewis said he was too busy trying a case to do an interview, but he did confirm the Facebook post was his, saying, "It's an inspirational message to do the right thing."
Criminal defense attorney Carlus Haynes doesn't see it that way.
"I think that's a cop-out, a way of trying to save himself," said Haynes.
Haynes said he wonders if criminal defendants and victims who fit Lewis' "crack hoe" description can get a fair trial.
"I would think it would be impossible to at least continue in his position without being reprimanded by his employer," said Haynes.
When Boone asked for a response from the State Attorney's Office, Boone received this response from Ashton:
"I have been made aware of certain statements attributed to Assistant State Attorney Kenneth Lewis on social media. I do not agree with the political sentiments expressed by him and I find some of the words he chose to be both offensive and dehumanizing. Political speech is protected by the first amendment of the United States Constitution and I do not police the private thoughts, views or expressions of those in my employ."