12:38, September 17 208 0 abajournal.com

2019-09-17 12:38:11
Judge who posted noose photo on Facebook resigns and agrees to never again seek judicial office

Facebook computer

Photo by Seasontime/Shutterstock.com.

A town justice in New York has resigned and agreed to never again seek judicial office after he posted a picture of a noose on Facebook to make a point about the need for harsh punishment.

Kyle Canning, a justice of the Altona Town Court in Clinton County, New York, was accused in a May 7 ethics complaint of posting the noose image along with the caption, “If we want to make America great again we will have to make evil people fear punishment again.” The Albany Times Union and the Washington Post coverage.

Robert Tembeckjian, the administrator of the New York State Commission on Judicial Conduct, said in a Sept. 17 press release that the image harmed public confidence in the courts.

“The noose is an incendiary image with repugnant racial connotations.” Tembeckjian said. “It is the very antithesis of law and justice. For a judge to use the image of the noose in making a political point undermines the integrity of the judiciary and public confidence in the courts.”

The photo and caption, posted in February 2018, were visible to the public. Canning removed the post in August 2018 after receiving a letter from the New York State Commission on Judicial Conduct.

The commission said it has closed the ethics proceeding against Canning as a result of his resignation and his stipulation that he would not seek judicial office in the future.

In his June 27 resignation letter, Canning told the Altona town supervisor he was resigning “with a sense of despair” after a formal ethics complaint was filed against him by the judicial conduct commission.

“I feel as though, due to my current financial situation and obligations to my family, I am being coerced into resigning. So effective immediately I will be vacating the office of town justice,” Canning wrote in the letter.

Canning had been a town justice since January 2018. He is not a lawyer.