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

Eckville gets in holiday spirit

The tree lighting is set to happen on Nov. 30

Aces host provincials Nov. 23-25

The Aces finished second in league play, and travel for zones Nov. 17-18.

Make a pledge for change

“One Thing. Anything. It Begins with You” is the theme for this year’s Change Day campaign

Centre for Positive Relationships open in Eckville

The ribbon cutting for the new centre was held in the library Nov. 16

Bank of Canada cautious of future rate hikes

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

London theatre received allegations against Kevin Spacey

The theatre said Thursday the 20 allegations deal with incidents between 1995 and 2013.

Da Vinci’s Christ painting sells for record $450M

The painting, “Salvator Mundi,” Latin for “Savior of the World,” is one a few paintings by Leonardo known to exist

Loblaws closing 22 stores, launching home delivery ahead of ‘difficult year’

“We are excited about our future. But…we expect 2018 will be a difficult year,” said Galen G. Weston, Loblaw CEO.

Walk of Fame bash celebrates David Suzuki, Donovan Bailey, Anna Paquin

Suzuki says he’ll be thinking of his late parents as he accepts the honour

Trudeau to personally unveil Liberals’ peacekeeping plan

This marks Canada’s first tangible step back into peacekeeping

Blake Shelton named Sexiest Man Alive 2017

“I think to describe myself as a child, one word comes to mind. And that’s fat.”

UPDATE: Northern California gunman kills 4 in rampage

Kevin Neal used a semiautomatic rifle and two handguns to shoot 14 people, killing four

Most Read