January 27, 2000
Under the circumstances, the judge's court attorney, who is the judge's
personal appointee, should not serve as treasurer of the judge's re-election
22 NYCRR 100.5(A)(4)(b); 100.5(A)(5).
A full-time judge, running for re-election asks whether the judge's court attorney, who is the judge's personal appointee, may serve as treasurer of the judge's re-election committee. As treasurer, the court attorney's function would be to keep and prepare financial disclosure statements as required by law, receive and deposit contributions, and pay bills. The court attorney would not be involved in the solicitation of contributions.
A judge who is seeking re-election to judicial office is prohibited from
not only soliciting but also from accepting campaign contributions. 22
NYCRR 100.5(A)(5). The Rules further provide that the judge as a candidate
for office is also obligated to prohibit employees who "serve at the pleasure
of the candidate . . . from doing on the candidate's behalf what the candidate
is prohibited from doing." 22 NYCRR 100.5(A)(4)(b). Here, among other duties,
the court attorney-treasurer, in receiving and depositing campaign contributions,
is accepting such contributions and thus doing what the judge could not
personally do. Regardless of any other reasons that might apply, that fact
alone warrants the conclusion that the judge's court attorney should not
serve as treasurer of the judge's campaign committee.