Opinion 90-173

December 11, 1990


Digest:         A judicial hearing officer may serve on a community board, subject to recusal in cases involving such board.


Rules:          22 NYCRR 100.(b)


         A full-time judge who is retiring at the end of 1990 and who will be applying for appointment as a judicial hearing officer pursuant to 22 NYCRR §§ 122.1 et seq., inquires whether a judicial hearing officer may serve as a member of a local community board either within or without the county, in which he or she serves as a judicial hearing officer. Members of the community board are appointed by the borough president. The position of judicial hearing officer is quasi-judicial in nature. Judicial hearing officers are permitted to practice law subject to the restrictions set forth in 22 NYCRR 122.10.

         Section 100.5(b) of the Rules of the Chief Administrator permits judges to participate in civic and charitable activities that do not reflect adversely on impartiality. Accordingly, the hearing officer may serve on the local community board, as long as the officer recuses himself or herself in any matters involving the board.