Ontario judge says he was trying to lighten things up

An Ontario judge has told a disciplinary hearing that he wore a hat into court bearing a slogan used by U-S President Donald Trump to ``lighten things up.''

Justice Bernd Zabel says he was shocked to discover that what he meant as a joke was viewed by some as a show of support for the controversial Trump.

Zabel told an Ontario Judicial Council panel in Toronto today that he had no malicious intent when he wore the baseball cap with the slogan ``Make America Great Again'' into court a 
day after Trump won the U-S election -- and vowed he would never wear the hat in court again.

Zabel -- who is based in Hamilton but is no longer being assigned cases -- admitted his actions constitute judicial misconduct.

The judicial council says it received 81 complaints about Zabel's behaviour and it must decide what penalty, if any, to impose.