December 11, 1990
Please consult 22 NYCRR 100.0(Q) and 100.5(A)(2)(v) before relying on this opinion.
Digest: A part-time village justice who is an announced aspirant for the appointed position of interim county court judge may attend a meeting of the county democratic committee held for the purpose of selecting a candidate to be recommended to the Governor for such appointment.
Rules: 22 NYCRR 100.7(a)(1)
A part-time village justice who has announced the aspiration to be appointed to the position of interim county court judge inquires whether the judge may attend a meeting of the county democratic committee which is held for the purpose of selecting a candidate to be recommended to the Governor for such appointment.
Section 100.7 of the Rules of the Chief Administrator states in pertinent part:
No judge during a term of office shall hold any office in a political party or organization or contribute to any political party or political campaign or take part in any political campaign except his or her own campaign for elective office. Political activity prohibited by this section includes:
(a) The purchase, directly or indirectly, of tickets to politically sponsored dinners or other affairs, or attendance at such dinners or affairs sponsored by a political organization for a nonpolitical purpose, except as follows:
This limitation shall not apply during a period beginning nine months before a primary election, judicial nominating convention, party caucus or other party meeting for nominating a candidate for elective judicial office for which the judge is an announced candidate, or for which a committee or other organization has publicly solicited or supported his or her candidacy, and ending, if the judge is a candidate in the general election for that office, six months after the general election. If the judge is not a candidate in the general election, this period shall end on the date of the primary election, convention, caucus or meeting. (Emphasis supplied.)
Although the position sought is not presently elective, and the appointment is an interim appointment pending the next general election, the meeting described by the judge appears to otherwise fall within a category of political events at which the judge’s attendance is permissible, and therefore, the judge may attend.