Order in the court-- A New Jersey judge has quit after being told to leave his side job as a moonlighting entertainer or face expulsion from the state.
According to a report from the Associated Press Thursday Vince Sicari, a part-time municipal judge in South Hackensack, N.J., was ordered by the state’s Supreme Court to discontinue his career as a comedian and actor under the stage name Vince August or face termination. “The judge's acting and comedy career is incompatible with the Code of Judicial Conduct and therefore he may not serve as a municipal court judge while continuing with that career," said the court according to the AP.
Following the ruling, in which the court voted in favor of the state with a unanimous 7-0 vote, Sicari, 44, revealed to the AP Thursday that he is officially leaving his judging career behind. "I'm disappointed. I'm proud of being a judge; I take great pride in it. It is a great life accomplishment, a great career accomplishment," Sicari told CNN, confirming he will still continue to work as an attorney. "I'm going to keep doing what I was doing, but now I'm not a judge,” he added.
Sicari’s entertainment career first became a conflict after he previously revealed to the Advisory Committee in 2008 that he was working as a standup comedian in New York and made appearances on the TV series, “What Would You Do?” Thursday’s appearance in front of the New Jersey Supreme Court was reportedly an appeal requested by Sicari after his entertainment career was determined a “conflict” by the state ethics board.
“When I'm a lawyer I'm focused on that, when I'm on stage, on set, I focus on that," Sicari told CNN, adding, "I thought I've done it pretty well." According to the report, judges denied Sicari the option to continue both careers claiming he ridiculed certain national origins, religions and revealed his political stance in comedic routines. "The court cannot ignore the distinct possibility that a person who has heard a routine founded on humor disparaging certain ethnic groups and religions will not be able to readily accept that the judge before whom he or she appears can maintain the objectivity and impartiality that must govern all municipal court proceedings,” said one judge.
Sicari commented on the recent court ruling on his Twitter account Friday thanking his 405 followers for their kind words. “The support has been amazing...THANK YOU! :)” he said.