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Old 11-16-2020, 05:43 PM
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Default Judge admonished for meme that implied Bill Clinton killed Jeffrey Epstein

https://nypost.com/2020/11/16/judge-...illed-epstein/

Judge admonished for meme that implied Bill Clinton killed Jeffrey Epstein
By Rebecca Rosenberg
November 16, 2020 | 5:51pm

It was meme malfeasance.

An upstate judge has been admonished for posting “undignified” messages on Facebook — including a meme that implied former President Bill Clinton had killed Jeffrey Epstein, according to the New York Commission on Judicial Conduct.

Nine days after securing the Republican nomination as Brunswick Town Court Justice, Bob Schmidt posted a meme that “propounded on conspiracy theories” suggesting Epstein hadn’t committed suicide in federal lockup but was murdered, the decision states.

During his 2019 campaign, he posted another message that showed a photograph of a Nazi book burning accompanied by the text “BOOK BURNINGS DON’T JUST LOOK LIKE THIS, THEY ALSO LOOK LIKE THIS.” Below the text was an image of a social media warning that says posts in violation of the platform’s rules will be removed.

In another breach, Schmidt endorsed a candidate for Brunswick Town Council on his Facebook page. During a judge’s campaign, he’s subject to the rules governing judicial conduct.

On Jan. 1, Schmidt formally assumed his position as Brunswick Town Court Justice, which he had previously held for a period until 2015. He changed his Facebook account to list his occupation as “Local Criminal Court Judge.”

Three days later, Schmidt announced on Facebook that he had completed the first nighttime arraignment of his new term. Another user asked if the defendant “had been released before the judge got ‘back in bed,’ ” according to the decision.

“Of course. This is NY 2020,” he replied.

A month later, Schmidt shared a link to a NY Post article titled, “Fatal DWI suspect bragged about bail reform: I’ll be out tomorrow” and wrote, “sign of the time.”

On Feb. 2, 2020, he posted another link to a Post article titled, “Suspect in brutal mugging of elderly woman caught on video released under new bail law.”

Judges aren’t allowed to comment on pending criminal cases — even those in other jurisdictions, the decision states.

Schmidt has been “cooperative and contrite” and told the commission that reviewing his posts had made him “cringe.”

The panel determined that he had violated the rules governing judicial conduct by disparaging bail reform laws that he’d have to uphold as a judge , engaging in partisan political activity and commenting publicly on pending cases.

“Regardless of the forum, judges are prohibited from commenting on pending cases, endorsing political candidates or otherwise making statements that undermine the integrity, independence, and impartiality of the judiciary,” said commission administrator Robert Tembeckjian. “In other words, judges cannot say on Facebook or other social media what they cannot say in or out of court.”

Schmidt’s current term expires Dec. 31, 2023.
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