December 26, 1990
Digest: A judge’s campaign committee may not hold a post-election fundraiser for the purpose of reimbursing a political leader for campaign costs incurred by the leader, in the absence of a legal obligation to make such reimbursement, or to reimburse the judge for expenditures personally made by the judge for an induction party.
Rules: 22 NYCRR 100.7(a)
A recently elected full-time judge inquires whether the judge’s campaign committee may hold a fundraiser for the judge, after the judge’s election, for the purpose of reimbursing the party leader for costs incurred by the leader on behalf of the judge’s election campaign and to pay for the judges induction party.
Under the circumstances stated by the inquiring judge, the judge nay not hold a fundraiser to repay the political leader, because there appears to be no legal obligation or pre-existing promise to pay. As to the induction party, if the judge pays for the expense out of the judge’s own pocket, the judge cannot obtain reimbursement from a subsequent fundraiser, as the fundraiser would benefit the judge financially and personally.