Vince Sicari, a municipal judge in South Hackensack, has been performing stand-up comedy for years under the name Vince August, and his gigs have included warming up crowds for Comedy Central's "The Colbert Report" and regular appearances on ABC's "Primetime: What Would You Do?" where he portrays many bigoted characters designed to get reactions from unsuspecting members of the public, The (Hackensack) Record reported Monday.
The state ethics board told Sicari he would have to give up his second career to keep his position on the bench. The board said Sicari's comedy and acting work could make defendants question his impartiality.
"It seems a bit unusual that a United States Supreme Court justice can appear on the show but a municipal court judge making [$13,000] a year can't warm up the crowd," E. Drew Britcher, Sicari's lawyer, said of his client's work for "The Colbert Report."
Britcher said Sicari would not speak publicly on the matter as the litigation is pending.
The New Jersey Supreme Court is set to hear the case Tuesday.