April 22, 2013
This responds to your inquiry (12-170) asking whether you may attend a retirement/birthday party of a non-judicial, elected official who is also a close friend and, if so, whether you may serve as the master of ceremonies. You indicate that there is no price to attend, but surplus campaign funds will be used to pay for the event.
The Committee has previously determined that there is no ethics rule prohibiting a judge from attending, speaking at or serving as master of ceremonies at a non-political dinner or affair honoring a retiring public official. Therefore , you may attend and speak.
Enclosed, for your convenience, is Opinion 97-06 which addresses this issue.
Very truly yours,
George D. Marlow, Assoc. Justice
Appellate Division, First Dep’t (Ret.)