Trump hat-wearing judge suspended

Ontario judge who wore Trump hat in court suspended without pay for 30 days

An Ontario judge who wore a hat in court bearing a slogan used by U.S. President Donald Trump has been suspended without pay over the incident.

The Ontario Judicial Council says Justice Bernd Zabel’s conduct warrants the most serious reprimand possible short of removing him from the bench.

The council, which heard Zabel’s case last month, says the incident marks a “single aberrant and inexplicable act of judicial misconduct” from an otherwise respected judge.

Zabel will be suspended for 30 days. The Hamilton-based judge has not been assigned cases since January.

Related: Ontario judge who donned Trump hat faces disciplinary hearing

At his hearing last month, Zabel said he meant to lighten the mood by wearing a baseball cap with the slogan “Make America Great Again” while walking into court on Nov. 9, 2016 — the day after Trump won the U.S. election.

He testified that it was only after his actions made headlines that he realized some believed he was showing support for the controversial American president and his policies.

“Justice Zabel’s conduct that day gave rise to a perception by many that he was a Trump supporter and that he agreed with Trump’s views and policies. In doing so, he violated a fundamental principle of judicial ethics and, particularly in view of the controversy surrounding Donald Trump’s campaign, engaged in serious misconduct,” the council panel wrote in a decision released Tuesday.

“His conduct on Nov. 9, 2016 was completely at odds with the exemplary judge he has been for the past 27 years. We are satisfied that Justice Zabel does not hold any of the discriminatory views that the complainants attribute to Donald Trump,” it said.

“We are satisfied that members of vulnerable groups need have no fear about the treatment they would receive from Justice Zabel.”

Zabel’s actions prompted 81 complaints to the council.

Paola Loriggio, The Canadian Press

Just Posted

WATCH: The public gets a taste of robotics

Lacombe students show off their skills in Red Deer

Details of Mr. Big sting operation discussed in Castor-area triple homicides

Klaus confesses to arranging murders, says Frank pulled the trigger

Red Deer Royals see over 1,000 letters of support for funding

MP Blaine Calkins to make an appeal to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau

Man who stopped impaired school bus driver honoured

Red Deer’s Kurt Stenberg receives Lieutenant Governor of Alberta’s Award for Bravery

Missing Ontario man may be headed to Red Deer

Police are searching for Tyler Haney, who may be in the area to find work

WATCH: Lacombe voters eager to get to the polls

Lacombe voters are out today to decide who will represent their interests in the community

Nebraska approves TransCanada’s Keystone XL pipeline

Nebraska’s Public Service Commission approved TransCanada’s Keystone XL route in a close vote

Forecast calls for a snowy Canadian winter

Canadians told to brace for a ‘classic’ Canadian winter with lots of snow

Queen Elizabeth II, Prince Philip celebrate 70th anniversary

The Queen and The Duke of Edinburgh are celebrating their platinum wedding anniversary

Three-car pile-up on Northstar Drive and 58th Street

No injuries reported at Thursday afternoon incident

Charles Manson, leader of murderous ’60s cult, dead at 83

Charles Manson, whose cult slayings horrified world, dies

VIDEO: The Last Jedi is going to be the longest ‘Star Wars’ movie yet

Newest movie in the franchise will beat Star Wars: Episode II - Attack of the Clones

Dead boy’s father posts Facebook response after Appeal Court upholds conviction

David, Collet Stephan were found guilty in their son Ezekiel’s 2012 death from bacterial meningitis

Bank of Canada cautious of future rate hikes

The Bank of Canada remains cautious on future rate hikes due to low- inflation risk

Most Read