January 11, 2017
This responds to your inquiry (16-167) asking whether it is ethically permissible to simultaneously serve as town justice and as a federal prosecutor.
The Committee has previously advised that serving as a prosecutor is incompatible with judicial office and may create the appearance of impropriety as prosecutors have a special relationship with the police and other law enforcement authorities.
This prohibition applies even when there is no jurisdictional overlap between the two positions. Moreover, even though the extra-judicial employment is federal, you would likely be involved from time to time with state and local police. Accordingly, it is impermissible to simultaneously serve as a town justice and as a federal prosecutor.
Enclosed for your convenience are Opinions 07-163; 01-20; 98-30; and 90-188 which address this issue.
Very truly yours,
George D. Marlow, Assoc. Justice
Appellate Div., First Dep’t (Ret.)
Hon. Margaret T. Walsh
Family Court Judge
Acting Justice, Supreme Court