Image credit: Facebook/Donald J. Trump

Ontario judge who donned Trump hat faces disciplinary hearing

Disciplinary hearing today for Ontario judge who wore ‘Make America Great Again’ hat

An Ontario judge who wore a hat in court bearing a slogan used by U.S. President Donald Trump is facing a disciplinary hearing today.

Justice Bernd Zabel is before an Ontario Judicial Council panel in Toronto to face allegations of judicial misconduct over the November 2016 incident.

The council says it’s alleged Zabel wore a baseball cap with the slogan ”Make America Great Again” in court on Nov. 9 — the day after Trump won the U.S. election — and made comments about the election, “his views and those of his judicial colleagues.”

Zabel later apologized publicly for his behaviour, calling it a “lapse in judgment,” but the council says it’s alleged his statement ”was not consistent with comments he made in court” on the day of the incident.

Zabel’s lawyer, Ricardo Federico, says his client made the “biggest mistake of his judicial career” when he wore the hat, but maintained the judge did not intend to make a political statement.

“Justice Zabel wore the hat for less than one minute…it was a joke,” he told the panel. “He will never wear that hat in court again.”

An agreed statement of facts shows Zabel admits his actions were contrary to the standard of conduct expected of a judge and constitute judicial misconduct.

The judicial council says it received 81 complaints about Zabel’s behaviour on that day.

If Zabel is found guilty, the panel may impose a number of sanctions or recommend he lose his job.

The Ontario Court of Justice said in January that Zabel, who is based in Hamilton, was no longer being assigned cases.

A Hamilton city councillor, who said the incident raised concerns about Zabel’s impartiality in the courtroom, has called for the judge to step down or be removed from the bench.

Paola Loriggio , The Canadian Press

Just Posted

Ladysmith marijuana producer bought by Aphria in $230M deal

Ontario licensed marijuana producer Aphria has reached an agreement to acquire Ladysmith-based… Continue reading

VIDEO: Orcas put on a show near Hornby Island

Louis Jobodin shares photos and video of his experience

CVRD hikes fire protection requisition limit for rural Ladysmith by 25 per cent

Cowichan Valley Regional District is increasing the annual requisition limit for fire… Continue reading

Ladysmith runner reaches podium on new Pioneer 8K course

Meg Lewis-Schneider with CeeVacs Roadrunners Club sets event record

B.C. boy denied $19,000-per-month drug to ease ‘crippling pain’ for 3rd time

Sooke mom Jillian Lanthier says son Landen Alexa has been forgotten about by Premier John Horgan

Island passengers say Sunwing left them stranded in Abbotsford

Company says late arrival led to difficulties securing accommodation, transportation

UPDATE: City of Nanaimo senior manager dismissed

Chief operations officer Brad McRae no longer employed by the city

Ice dancers Virtue and Moir to carry flag for Canada at 2018 Olympics

The pair earned a gold medal at the 2010 Vancouver Olympic Games

Diplomacy on agenda at North Korea summit in Vancouver

Foreign ministers from 20 countries are meeting Tuesday to discuss security and stability on the Korean Peninsula.

Kids chained in Calif. house of horrors; parents arrested

Authorities say an emaciated teenager led deputies to home where her 12 brothers and sisters were locked up in filthy conditions

‘Reprehensible’: Trudeau abortion policy raises ire of U.S. right

“This man is reprehensible,” tweeted former White House staffer Sebastian Gorka

‘I shouldn’t have to have a husband:’ Winnipeg woman criticizes men-only club

Jodi Moskal discovered the Winnipeg Squash Racquet Club continues to ban women as members, as it has done since opening in 1909.

Most Read