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

Young conductor to premiere new composition at Celebrate Canada concert Monday in Victoria

“Spirit of the True North” the latest musical accomplishment for View Royal’s Jared Richardson

Saanich Peninsula businesses recognized during annual Crystal Awards

Chamber of Commerce hosts 11th annual business excellence awards

Former Peninsula News Review carrier crowned Miss Teen Canada Globe

Anna Serogyna, a Grade 11 student at Stelly’s Secondary, did not intend… Continue reading

Rebels season over after loss in Cullen Cup Final

Westshore had won ten straight games prior to championship game

Island athletes compete at Dragon Boat Championship in China

Eight paddlers part of team Canada at five-day event wrapping up Oct. 23

Sooke fudge company on Dragon’s Den Nov. 2

Fudge in A Round appearance on Dragon’s Den celebrated with a viewing party at the local Legion Nov. 2

VIDEO: Oprah Winfrey and a celebrities attend ‘B.C. Miracle Concert’

Fundraiser featured Foster, Steven Tyler, The Tenors, Matteo Bocelli, Laura Bretan, Carly Rae Jepsen

Council to hold public hearing on EDPA report Oct. 28

Saanich residents will finally get a chance to comment on a long-awaited… Continue reading

Human remains found at Silver Creek property

RCMP have been searching the property in the 2200 block of Salmon River Road for the past three days

Pumpkins’ versatility goes beyond Halloween

Linda Geggie For the Saanich News Get this. My 13-year-old just came… Continue reading

New B.C. acute care centre opens for young patients, expectant mothers

Facility aims to make B.C. Children’s Hospital visits more comfortable

Search ramps up for B.C. woman after dog, car found near Ashcroft

Jenny Lynn Larocque’s vehicle and dog were found in Venables Valley, but there is no sign of her

Event puts pets in the picture for Halloween

Pets West holding Halloween party Oct. 29 at its Broadmead Village location

Police officer hit by car, stabbed in Edmonton attack back on job

Const. Mike Chernyk, 48, returned to work Thursday

Most Read