July 11, 2013
This responds to your joint inquiry (13-43) asking whether you may permit a part-time assistant court clerk to work also as the assistant to the Chief of the same Police Department that regularly appears in your court.
The Committee previously has advised that a judge may not permit the court clerk to be employed also by the same police department that serves the court where the judge presides (see Opinion 11-25 [part-time town court clerk as principal clerk of patrol operations for county sheriff’s department]; 10-154 [village court clerk as receptionist/clerk for village police department]; 01-43 [village court clerk a clerk for the village police department]; 04-118 [village court clerk as secretary for police academy; attends and participates in training exercises]; 98-59 [Vol. XVII] [village court clerk as dispatcher in village police department]).
In the Committee’s view, the court clerk’s involvement in on-going police activity would erode public confidence in the integrity and impartiality of the judiciary (see 22 NYCRR 100.2[A]; Opinion 98-59 [Vol. XVII]). Here, the court clerk’s close working relationship with the Chief of Police would have the same effect. Therefore, you should not permit your part-time assistant court clerk to work also as the assistant to the Chief of the same Police Department that regularly appears in your court.
I have enclosed Opinions10-154, 01-43, 04-118 and 98-59 for your convenience.
Very truly yours,
George D. Marlow, Assoc. Justice
Appellate Division, First Dept. (Ret.)