Can Judge Have Comedy Career? Court to Rule

Vince Sicari has appeared on reality TV
By Matt Cantor,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 25, 2013 3:25 PM CST
Can Judge Have Comedy Career? Court to Rule
A judge is facing a decision over his comedy career.   (Shutterstock)

Municipal Judge Vince Sicari has seen success in a very different field: As a comedian and actor, he's primed audiences for Stephen Colbert and appeared on ABC's What Would You Do? But tomorrow, things could change, compliments of the state Supreme Court. That's because New Jersey state ethics officials ruled in 2008 that the two jobs don't mix and recommended he lose the acting gig. Though that ruling wasn't binding, they re-affirmed it in 2010, leading Sicari to worry he could find himself "in trouble down the road," as the Record reports.

Ethics officials worry that Sicari's roles, performed under the name Vince August, could make defendants doubt his impartiality. Sicari has, for instance, played a racist security guard and a homophobic bar patron on What Would You Do? But an attorney who has argued before him says he's "very professional on the bench" as he deals with misdemeanors and parking tickets. "I never got the impression that he was a stand-up comic," the lawyer says. Meanwhile, Sicari's own lawyer says he draws a firm line between his two jobs: Sicari won't even do lawyer jokes. (More stand-up comedy stories.)

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