"To help restore public trust and confidence in the Ferguson municipal court division, the Supreme Court of Missouri today transferred Judge Roy L. Richter of the Missouri Court of Appeals, Eastern District, to the St. Louis County Circuit Court, where he will be assigned to hear all of Ferguson's pending and future municipal division cases," the Supreme Court said in a statement Monday.
"Extraordinary action is warranted in Ferguson, but the court also is examining reforms that are needed on a statewide basis," Chief Justice Mary R. Russell said in the statement.
The announcement came the same day Municipal Court Judge Ronald Brockmeyer resigned as Ferguson's judge.
"Mr. Brockmeyer recognizes that the Department of Justice report, as well as recent media reports, regardless of their accuracy or validity, have diminished the public's confidence in the Ferguson Municipal Court," his attorney Bert Fulk said in a statement.
"Mr. Brockmeyer believes that it is paramount to begin immediately on promoting the public's confidence in the Ferguson Municipal Court. Promoting the public confidence in the Ferguson Municipal Court will help Ferguson begin its healing process."
The Justice Department's report
said Brockmeyer approved the creation of additional fees, "many of which are widely considered abusive and may be unlawful, including several that the City has repealed during the pendency of our investigation. These include a $50 fee charged each time a person has a pending municipal arrest warrant cleared."
Just about every branch of Ferguson government -- police, Municipal Court, City Hall -- participated in "unlawful" targeting of African-American residents for tickets and fines, the Justice Department concluded
The millions of dollars in fines and fees paid by black residents served an ultimate goal of satisfying "revenue rather than public safety needs," the Justice Department found.
Its report detailed how Ferguson operated a vertically integrated system -- from street cop to court clerk to judge to city administration to city council -- to raise revenue for the city budget through increased ticketing and fining.
The investigators also found evidence of racist jokes being sent around by Ferguson police and court officials.
One November 2008 email said President Barack Obama wouldn't likely be President for long because "what black man holds a steady job for four years." Another email joked that African-American women should use abortion to control crime.
"Our investigation has not revealed any indication that any officer or court clerk engaged in these communications was ever disciplined," the Justice Department's report said.
The DOJ's probe came after public outcry over the death of unarmed black teenager Michael Brown, who was shot by Ferguson police Officer Darren Wilson in August. Wilson, who was not indicted on any charges, has resigned from the police department.