April 26, 2011
This responds to your inquiry (10-12) asking if you may serve on the Revaluation Review Committee and the Finance Advisory Committee of the municipality where you preside.
The Committee initially concluded that it would be improper for you to serve on these Committees. However, the Committee has since reconsidered this conclusion in light of Opinion 07-204, in which the Committee advised that a part-time town justice may also serve as the appointed assessor for the same municipality wherein the judge presides; and of section 100.4(C)(1) of the Rules Governing Judicial Conduct which prohibits only full-time judges from accepting an appointment to a governmental committee unless it deals with issues of fact or policy concerning the improvement of the law, the legal system or the administration of justice (see 22 NYCRR 100.4[C]). Neither this Rule nor any other limits part-time judges to serving on governmental committees which only deal with issues of fact or policy concerning the law, the legal system or the administration of justice. And, if a part-time town justice may also serve as the appointed assessor for the same municipality wherein the judge presides, then it is permissible for you to serve on a Committee formed for the limited purpose of reviewing the town’s previous revaluation for fairness and consistency with the NYS assessment guidelines, and preparing education materials to explain how the tax assessment and revaluation process works.
I have enclosed a copy of prior Opinion 07-204 for your convenience.