A Hamilton judge who wore a “Make America Great Again” hat in court the morning after Donald Trump’s U.S. election win last November has been suspended for 30 days.
Judge Bernd Zabel appeared before a disciplinary hearing last month, and said he did not support the American president, but was simply trying to make people laugh when he wore the baseball cap with the phrase Trump used during his campaign.
The decision also said Zabel is suspended for 30 days without pay. He has not been hearing cases since December.The suspension is the most serious sanction that the Ontario Judicial Council can impose, short of dismissing the judge.
After news broke that Zabel wore the hat in court on Nov. 9, 2016, the council received 81 complaints about his conduct. According to the decision, the most common theme throughout them was that the veteran judge’s conduct “represented an unacceptable expression of partisan political views by a judge.”
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