May 25, 2016
This responds to your inquiry (16-59) asking whether you may preside over a case involving recent, high profile allegations of misconduct by the local police merely because you served as a local prosecutor for many years, over a decade ago, and the municipality has a relatively small population.
Assuming you, in your former prosecutorial capacity, had no involvement in the current matter, there is no ethical bar to presiding over this case, provided you can remain fair and impartial, will not be improperly swayed or otherwise affected by public opinion (see 22 NYCRR 100.3[B]), and there is no other disqualifying factor. Further, since you served as a prosecutor over a decade ago, disclosure of that fact is solely in your discretion.
Enclosed, for your convenience, are Opinions 16-20 and 14-62 which address this issue.
Very truly yours,
George D. Marlow, Assoc. Justice
Appellate Division, First Dep’t (Ret.)