Opinion 87-20

January 28, 1988


Topic:          Town Justice working at Bingo one evening a month incidental to his active membership in his local Volunteer Fire Department.


Digest:         Working at Bingo is incompatible with the dignity and integrity of the office of Town Justice and with the high standards of conduct required of a judge; such activity violates the spirit of the rule which proscribes judges from soliciting funds for fraternal or civic organizations.


Rules:          100.1; 100.2; 100.5(b)(2)


         A recently elected Town Justice asks whether working at Bingo one evening a month, as an incident of active membership in the local Volunteer Fire Department would conflict with the position as a Town Justice.

         Every judge is required to observe high standards of conduct, to respect and comply with the law and to conduct himself or herself at all times in a manner that promotes public confidence in the integrity of the Judiciary (Rules 100.1; 100.2). Working at Bingo is incompatible with the foregoing obligations and it would be improper for the judge to continue to participate in that activity.

         While the letter does not specifically so indicate, it may be assumed that the Bingo games are operated for purposes of raising funds for the Volunteer Fire Department and, in such case, the judge’s participation also would violate the spirit of Rule 100.5(b)(2) which proscribes solicitation of funds or fund-raising activities by a judge for any educational, religious, charitable, fraternal or civic organization.

         This Opinion is advisory only and is not binding upon either the Office of Court Administration or the Commission on Judicial Conduct.