February 24, 1989
Topic: Propriety of a sitting judge acting as co-chairman of a fund-raising dinner.
Digest : A sitting judge is prohibited from acting as co-chairman for a fund-raising dinner.
Rule: 22 NYCRR 100.5(b)(2)
An acting city court judge has been asked to act as a co-chairman of an annual fundraising dinner of a religious organization in honor of a guest speaker. He asks whether it is permissible for him to accept the role of co-chairman of the dinner and whether he may attend the dinner as a paying member.
Section 100.5(b)(2) of the Rules of the Chief Administrator provides, in pertinent part:
No judge shall solicit funds for any educational, religious, charitable, fraternal or civic organization, or use or permit the use of the prestige of the office for that purpose, but may be listed as an officer, director or trustee of such an organization; provided, however, that no such listing shall be used in connection with any solicitation of funds. No judge shall be a speaker or the guest of honor at an organization's fundraising event, but he or she may attend such events.
This section prohibits a sitting judge from acting as co-chairman of a fund-raising dinner for a religious organization because the prestige of his office would be utilized to assist in soliciting or raising funds. However, the section does not prohibit the judge from attending such an event.