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

Pedestrian killed on Highway 22 Saturday evening

Police say 51-year-old man died after being hit by car

UPDATE: DriveBC says highway re-opened after accident

Highway 22 closed for seven hours on Saturday

Forestry workers set to begin job action in Kootenays

Operations in Castlegar, Cranbrook, Galloway, Elko, Radium, Golden may see job action this week.

Métis Flag flies in Trail on Louis Riel Day

Area students, officials and public attend flag raising at Trail City Hall

Early Trail borrowed a couple of names from the U.S.

Place Names: Connection between Trail and Butte, Montana

1st Indigenous woman to start Canadian airline looks to B.C.’s remote regions

Teara Fraser is the first Indigenous woman in Canada to start her own airline, called Iskwew Air

Bankruptcies in British Columbia on the rise

Consumer bankruptcies climbed by 6. 1 per cent in August 2018 from the same month last year.

22 public toilets in Victoria: 136 people currently peeing

World Toilet Day floats some serious health issues

Calgary Stampeders back to Grey Cup with 22-14 win over Winnipeg Blue Bombers

Calgary was favoured to win the 2017 and 2016 Grey Cups, but lost to the Toronto Argonauts and Ottawa Redblacks respectively.

‘A giant step forward’: new $10 bill featuring Viola Desmond to enter circulation

A new $10 banknote featuring Viola Desmond’s portrait will go into circulation, just over 72 years after she was ousted from the whites-only section of a movie theatre in New Glasgow, N.S.

Searchers in California wildfire step up efforts; 77 dead

Trump arrived at the oceanside conclave Saturday afternoon after visiting Northern California to survey the wildfire damage in the town of Paradise.

Trump says ‘no reason’ for him to hear Khashoggi death tape

“It’s a suffering tape, it’s a terrible tape. I’ve been fully briefed on it, there’s no reason for me to hear it,” Trump said in the interview.

Canada Post calls for ‘cooling off’ period to allow for mediated talks

The proposal came as Canada Post workers continued their rotating strikes Monday after rejecting the Crown agency’s latest offer.

Metro Vancouver homicide detectives busy after separate weekend deaths

Homicide detectives in Metro Vancouver are investigating separate cases involving two deaths they say appear to be either targeted or suspicious.

Most Read