An upstate New York town judge resigned after he shared a racially charged Facebook post that featured a noose and President Donald Trump's campaign slogan "Make America Great Again."
The New York State Commission on Judicial Conduct announced Tuesday that Altona Town Court Justice Kyle R. Canning resigned from the $8,700-a-year-job June 27.
A formal written complaint from the commission said Canning appeared "to convey racial and/or political bias" and "failed to act in a manner that promotes public confidence in the integrity and impartiality of the judiciary."
The text on the posted image read in large capitalized letters: "IF WE WANT TO MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN WE WILL HAVE TO MAKE EVIL PEOPLE FEAR PUNISHMENT AGAIN."
Commission administrator Robert H. Tembeckjian issued a statement saying it undermined the judiciary's integrity, along with public confidence in the courts, for a judge to use "the image of the noose in making a political point."
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"The noose is an incendiary image with repugnant racial connotations," he said in the statement. "It is the very antithesis of law and justice."
In an interview with the New York Times, Canning described himself as a registered Democrat and said he did not consider the post's racial symbolism.
"There is not a man that I could despise more than Donald Trump," said Canning.
He added that his Facebook post was meant to convey his stance on the death penalty and capital punishment, of which he's in favor.
It didn't need to have been a noose, Canning told the newspaper.
"It could have been a gas chamber," he said. "It could have been an electric chair."
Canning, who is not an attorney, agreed never to hold judicial office again. He had been a justice in the town located near the Canadian border since 2018.
It's not required to be attorney to take the bench, according to the Justice Court Manual, however interested parties must undergo some training in introductory law, which is provided by the OCA's Office of Justice Court Support.
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The Times reports that Canning delivered bread for a living.
In his resignation letter, Canning said he felt coerced into resigning due to his financial situation and family obligations.
He acknowledged the complaint from the commission and wrote "they have presented me with several different options in resolving what they claim to be a serious offense."
Contributing: Associated Press. Follow Adrianna Rodriguez on Twitter: @AdriannaUSAT
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: New York town judge shares noose, Trump's 'MAGA' slogan on Facebook