A judge in Utah has been suspended without pay for six months after he made critical comments about President Donald Trump in court and on his Facebook page.
According to the ruling by the Utah Supreme Court, Judge Michael Kwan’s Facebook posts were “laden with blunt, and sometimes indelicate, criticism” of Trump.
The comments were made over the last several years, during both Trump’s 2016 campaign and after he became President. They included a reference to the “Access Hollywood” tape in which Trump made crude comments about women and in one instance referred to his presidency as a “fascist takeover.”
Utah’s Supreme Court concluded Kwan’s remarks violated the state’s Code of Judicial Conduct and could potentially undermine the judiciary’s integrity and impartiality.
Kwan’s attorney, Gregory Skordas, told CNN he and his client “were disappointed with the ruling but not necessarily surprised.”
Skordas said Kwan acknowledges he made comments about political candidates and elected officials, “but felt that his overriding message was on policies and not candidates.”
Kwan has served the Salt Lake City suburb of Taylorsville, Utah, as a justice court judge for the past 20 years, according to the Utah courts website.
Although Taylorsville is under no obligation to rehire Kwan, Taylorsville spokeswoman Kim Horiuchi told CNN. that “as far as we know” the city will hire him back after the suspension. The city has hired an interim judge who starts work Tuesday and will leave after Judge Kwan returns, she said.