Upstate NY judge resigns over alleged anti-LGBTQ Facebook posts

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A judge in upstate New York has resigned amid allegations that he made biased posts on Facebook including ones that were anti-LGBTQ and anti-Muslim, officials announced on Wednesday.

Kenneth Knutsen will be leaving his positions on July 1 as town court justice and village court associate justice of Schoharie — a town roughly 30 miles southwest of Schenectady and with a population of less than 900, according to the Committee on Judicial Conduct.

Knutsen — who’s held his judgeships since 2002 — handed in his resignation on May 26, the same day he was set to testify in the CJC’s case against him for the allegedly offensive posts, according to the commission.

Knutsen was accused of writing anti-LGBTQ, anti-Muslim, pro-cop and anti-defendant posts on the social media platform. He also allegedly posted “partisan political content” and “commentary on pending cases,” including about since-convicted cop Derek Chauvin’s murder trial, according to an agreement Knutsen signed with the commission.

Those posts have since been taken down, the CJC said.

As part of Knutsen’s agreement with the committee, Knutsen — who is not a lawyer — will never seek a judicial position again.

Commission Administrator Robert Tembeckjian said in a statement that Knutsen’s exit “is warranted.”

“Public confidence in the integrity of the courts requires judges to avoid even the appearance of bias,” Tembeckjian said. “Social media posts that exhibit anti-LGBTQ, anti-Muslim, pro-police or other biases are abhorrent and inimical to the role of a judge.”

Knutsen’s lawyer did not immediately return a request for comment.

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