December 23, 2008
This responds to your inquiry (08-194) in which you ask whether your security firm may provide both armed and unarmed security services to local municipalities.
The Rules Governing Judicial Conduct permit a part-time judge to engage in private employment that 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]). A judge, however, is prohibited from accepting employment as a peace officer or police officer (see CPL 2.15; Town Law 31; UJCA 105[c]; 22 NYCRR 100.4[C][b]).
The Committee previously has advised that a town justice cannot accept employment as a “Special Deputy U.S. Marshal” (see Opinion 96-39 [Vol. XIV]) or as Deputy Commissioner of Public Safety for a municipality adjoining the town in which the justice serves (see Opinion 05-50). In both Opinions, the Committee concluded that, while neither position carries with it peace or police officer status, the duties of these positions are so similar in nature to those of law enforcement officers that it is ethically impermissible for a judge to perform them.
For the same reasons, it is ethically impermissible for you to provide security services to municipalities in New York State.
I have enclosed copies of Opinions 96-39 and 05-50 for your information.
Very truly yours,
George D. Marlow
Justice of the Supreme Court