DETROIT (AP) _ The Michigan Supreme Court has suspended a judge who allegedly made racial slurs against blacks and Jews.

Wayne County Circuit Judge Andrea Ferrara was put on interim suspension with pay Tuesday while the state Judicial Tenure Commission checks the allegations.

Ms. Ferrara said she had expected the court to wait for her response before making its decision.

``I'm a little confused about it because I'm on an approved sick leave. I don't know if the Supreme Court is aware of it,'' she said.

Stacey McKay, a clerk for one of Ms. Ferrara's attorneys, said a mixup delayed delivery of the judge's response. She said the attorney, Constance Cumbey, planned to ask the court to reconsider.

Ms. Ferrara, 44, went on a three-month leave of absence from her $109,257-a-year-job in early March after the tenure commission began its investigation.

The commission sought the suspension while it investigates remarks Ms. Ferrara allegedly made in phone conversations recorded by her ex-husband, Howard Tarjeft of suburban Trenton.

The recordings containing the slurs were made when Ms. Ferrara was running for judge in 1992 and shortly after she took office in 1993. She has insisted the tapes were faked.

Uttering such slurs violates the Michigan Code of Judicial Conduct.

The nine-member tenure commission's recommendation is not binding on the Supreme Court, which would decide if Ms. Ferrara faces disciplinary action. Sanctions could range from a reprimand to suspension to removal.