In Quebec, 'Hot Mic' Gaffe Reveals What Judge Really Thinks
The truth, the whole truth ... and exactly what he thinks — but should never say out loud.
We all know the risks of teleworking and what can happen when someone accidentally forgets to turn off a camera or mute a microphone. Just last week a Canadian member of Parliament was caught naked during a Zoom conference when his laptop camera switched on as he was changing into his work clothes.
Turns out the exposed lawmaker isn't the only high-profile Canuck to make a faux pas in the daunting new world of digital workplaces. This week, a Superior Court judge in Joliette, Quebec had an embarrassing "technical incident" of his own, one that would end up costing him the high-stakes bankruptcy case he'd been handling.
As the daily Journal de Québecreports, Judge Michel A. Pinsonnault was presiding over the $1.7 million case when, on April 20, he was heard saying during videoconference proceedings: "They lie, they lie, they lie."
The far-too-candid comments were in reference to a pair of witnesses who are under investigation for alleged fraud in a parallel case. The judge had forgotten, it turns out, to mute his microphone during his lunch break.
So much for impartiality.
A lawyer for the witnesses told the newspaper that it was "quite a deep shock" for his clients, especially since it was only the second day of the hearings.
The embarrassed judge said his microphone was left on without his knowledge because of a "malfunction." He then apologized for his "unfortunate comments' and recused himself from the case, which is being delayed pending Judge Pinsonnault's replacement by another magistrate.