December 11, 2003
Digest: A part-time Justice may serve as a data entry clerk in a County Sheriff’s Department provided the judge disqualifies himself or herself from all matters involving the department.
Rule: 22 NYCRR 100.6(B)(4); Opinion 91-149 (Vol. VIII).
A part-time judge inquires whether it is permissible to accept a position as a data entry person for the local Sheriff’s Department. The position would involve the filing of arrest reports, incident reports and other papers. The justice would not be answering the phone or acting as a dispatcher.
Section 100.6(B)(4) of the Rules Governing Judicial Conduct provides that a part-time judge may accept private or public employment provided that such employment is not incompatible with judicial office and does not conflict or interfere with the proper performance of the judge’s duties. 22 NYCRR 100.6(B)(4).
In applying that provision, this Committee has previously advised that a part-time judge may serve as a civilian employee of the New York State Police provided he or she disqualifies himself or herself in all cases in which the state police are in any manner involved. Opinion 91-149 (Vol. VIII). In addition, that opinion advised that the judge must choose between the two positions and resign from one or the other should the judge find it necessary to disqualify himself or herself too frequently.
Accordingly, in our opinion, the judge may accept the position as described in the inquiry, subject to the restrictions set forth in Opinion 91-149 (Vol. VIII).