Opinion 12-165

April 1, 2013

Dear Justice:

         This responds to your inquiry (12-165) asking whether it is ethically permissible to publicize, in a variety of forums, a memo which states your position on the town board’s upcoming budget.

         While the Committee does not comment on the specific contents of the memo, your position regarding the need for pay raises for the town court’s employees concerns the administration of justice and, thus, may be made public (22 NYCRR 100.4[C][1]). However, your position should be set forth in a dignified manner and contain no personal attacks on the town supervisor or members of the town board.

         Accordingly, with the above limitations, you may give the memo to the local paper without further comment; distribute the memo as a flier and distribute it in the town; distribute the memo to selected individuals in the community; and make the public aware of your position for the need for salary increases for court employees.

         Enclosed, for your convenience, are Opinions 04-122 and 99-37 which address this issue.

                                                 Very truly yours,

                                                 George D. Marlow, Assoc. Justice

                                                 Appellate Division, First Dept. (Ret.)

                                                 Committee Chair