April 9, 2015
PERSONAL AND CONFIDENTIAL
This responds to your inquiry (14-176) asking if you may ethically be Village Justice and continue employment as Head Automotive Mechanic for the County Department of Public Works. You say that in that capacity, you interact with Sheriff’s Deputies who drive vehicles your Department services and those deputies may appear in the Village Court.
The Committee previously advised that a part-time judge, who also is employed as a mechanic for the Office of Parks, Recreation & Historic Preservation, is not disqualified from presiding over matters involving the State Park Police (see Opinion 08-56). In reaching this conclusion, the Committee assumed the command structure and administrative hierarchy of the Park Police is different from the regional and managerial operations of the Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation. However, the judge should disqualify him/herself in any proceeding involving other employees of the office or agency that employs the judge as a mechanic (id.).
Similarly, assuming the command structure and administrative hierarchy of the County Sheriff’s Department is distinct from the regional and managerial operations of the County Department of Public Works, you may serve as Village Justice and continue as Head Automotive Mechanic for the County Department of Public Works.
I have enclosed Opinion 08-56 for your convenience.
Very truly yours,
George D. Marlow, Assoc. Justice
Appellate Division, First Dept. (Ret.)