January 10, 2011
This responds to your inquiry (10-157) asking whether you may participate in certain fund-raising activities sponsored by a civic organization of which you are a member.
A judge may assist an organization in planning fund-raising and may participate in the management and investment of an organization’s funds, but is prohibited from personally participating in the solicitation of funds or other fund-raising activities (see 22 NYCRR 100.4[C][b][I]). Therefore, you may not distribute flyers at the local grocery store asking customers to donate food items, or collect donations of either food or cash. However, you may assist the organization by packing food donations and loading them into a truck for storage prior to distribution to needy families. Also, you may deliver food baskets to needy families and drive your personal vehicle bearing judicial license plates when doing so. Finally, you may participate in the organization’s lunch for needy families by serving food to guests even though the local media will cover the event and publish pictures of the participants.
I have enclosed Opinions 10-22 and 96-121 (Vol. XV)for your information.