Ontario Court Justice Bernd Zabel, 69, “breached the standards of judicial conduct,” according to a judicial conduct review panel.
The panel met last month to discuss possible sanctions against the judge, which included recommending to the attorney general his removal from the bench.
But, despite branding his behavior “aberrant and inexplicable,” the panel concluded his record on the bench along with his reputation among judicial colleagues and the bar “demonstrates that he is an entirely fair minded and impartial judge.”
Zabel admitted the stunt — which sparked a record 81 complaints from legal associations, law professors, lawyers and the public — constituted an error in judgment.
Soon after the outcry, he apologized for what he described as a “misguided attempt to mark a moment in history by humor in the courtroom following the surprising results in the United States election.”