January 24, 1991
Digest: A part-time judge may have a mortgage with a private mortgage investor who happens to be on the town board and who also hoIds mortgages for other municipal employees.
Rules: 22 NYCRR §100.2(a).
A part-time judge inquires about the propriety of obtaining a mortgage from a town board member, who holds numerous mortgages, and who also has given mortgages to other municipal employees.
Even presuming that the board member sets the salary of the judge, the mere fact that the judge has obtained the mortgage from the board member does not present a question of judicial ethics.
Although not raised in this inquiry, an ethics question would arise if the board member had any interest, financial or otherwise, as attorney or litigant, in a particular case before the judge, as that might involve an appearance of impropriety. [22 NYCRR 100.2(a)].
The inquirer does not indicate that the board member mortgagee is an attorney or a litigant appearing before the judge, and consequently the Committee does not address that question in this opinion. If the mortgagee were an attorney or litigant, the judge should be guided by Opinion 89-102 of the Advisory Committee on Judicial Ethics, Vol. IV.