March 28, 2008
We have received your inquiry dated December 26, 2007, in which you ask whether you may continue to hold the position of election machine custodian in your county after having been appointed an Acting Village Justice.
A part-time judge may accept certain private or public employment provided such employment is not incompatible with judicial office and does not conflict or interfere with the proper performance of the judge’s duties (see 22 NYCRR 100.6[B]). While the Committee has previously held that a town justice may not serve as an election inspector on behalf of a political party (see Opinion 94-83, enclosed herewith), we have also held that a town justice may serve as a Deputy Commission of Elections, even if the position amounts to a political party designation, provided he/she adheres to the various constraints imposed by the rules governing judicial conduct, including those involving impermissible political activity (see Opinion 03-44, also enclosed).
Accordingly, the two positions are not incompatible if the election machine custodian job does not require engagement in partisan political activity or behavior otherwise proscribed by the rules governing judicial conduct.