A town justice in Northern New York has resigned after he was accused of making homophobic remarks to an attorney about actor Viggo Mortensen, the Commission on Judicial Conduct reports.
LeRay Town Court Justice John Hallett was facing formal charges from the commission over the remarks.
According to a complaint, while discussing a film festival the attorney was promoting, where Mortensen was an honoree, Judge Hallett reportedly said the following: “The film festival was ‘about the gayest thing I have ever heard.’”
The complaint also alleges that Judge Hallett told the attorney that “you and Viggo Mortensen should get a hotel room” to perform a sex act.
Five months later, speaking with the same attorney, the judge is accused of making a lewd gestures to “connote oral sex” and patting the attorney on the cheek and saying: “There, there little boy.”
In a statement, Commission Administrator Robert Tembeckjian wrote, “Homophobic remarks and anti-LGBTQ sentiments have no place in the lexicon of the courts or the vocabulary of a judge. Such statements undermine public confidence in the integrity and impartiality of the judiciary, which demands that a judge be and appear fair-minded and unprejudiced toward all who have business in the courts.”
Judge Hallett has served as LeRay town justice since 2003. His current term was set to expire at the end of next year.