January 25, 2007
Digest: It is not ethically permissible for a full-time judge to serve as an inspector for the New York State Athletic Commission.
Rules: McKinney’s Unconsolidated Laws of NY §8906 (Title 25 Sports, Chapter 1 Boxing and Wrestling); 22 NYCRR 100.4(A); 100.4(C)(2)(a).
A full-time judge asks whether it is ethically permissible for him/her to serve as an inspector for the New York State Athletic Commission. While such inspectors receive no salary from the Athletic Commission, they are paid a fee for each boxing event they inspect. They also are reimbursed for travel expenses and meals. The judge would only inspect boxing events that take place outside the geographic jurisdiction of his/her court.
A judge is permitted to engage in extra-judicial activities that do not (1) cast reasonable doubt on the judge’s capacity to act impartially as a judge; (2) detract from the dignity of judicial office; or (3) interfere with the proper performance of judicial duties. 22 NYCRR 100.4(A). Pursuant to section 100.4(C)(2)(a) of the Rules Governing Judicial Conduct, however, a full-time judge is prohibited from accepting appointment to a governmental commission concerned with issues of fact or policy in matters other than the improvement of the law, the legal system or the administration of justice.
The New York State Athletic Commission is “ . . . vested with the sole direction, management, control and jurisdiction over all such boxing and sparring matches or exhibitions to be conducted, held or given within the state of New York and over all licenses to any and all persons who participate in such boxing or sparring matches or exhibitions and over any and all gyms, clubs, training camps and other organizations that maintain training facilities providing contact sparring for persons who prepare for participation in such boxing or sparring matches or exhibitions, and over the promotion of professional wrestling exhibitions. . .” McKinney’s Unconsolidated Laws of NY §8906 (Title 25 Sports, Chapter 1 Boxing and Wrestling). As these functions do not concern the improvement of the law, the legal system or the administration of justice, the inquiring judge is expressly prohibited by section 100.4(C)(2)(a) of the Rules Governing Judicial Conduct from serving as an inspector for the New York Athletic Commission.