October 7, 2013
This responds to your inquiry (13-119) asking whether it is ethically permissible for a non-lawyer/town justice to accept a full time civil service position with the county Department of Motor Vehicles. While the work site would be located in the same county as the town court where you preside, it would not be within nor adjacent to your town or jurisdiction.
The Committee has previously advised that a justice’s activities as a Deputy County Clerk in charge of motor vehicles operations are “sufficiently attenuated from court operations to negate any direct conflict or incompatibility with ... judicial office,” subject to certain caveats not applicable here (Opinion 88-05). Therefore, the Committee perceives no ethical conflict when a part-time justice also is employed as a civil servant with the Department of Motor Vehicles.
Enclosed, for your convenience, is Opinion 88-05 which addresses this issue.
Very truly yours,
George D. Marlow, Assoc. Justice
Appellate Division, First Dept. (Ret.)