April 5, 1990
Digest: A part-time judge may not serve on a school board or stand for election as treasurer of a fire district.
Rules: 22 NYCRR 100.5(h); 100.7.
A part-time judge inquires whether a judge may accept an appointment to serve on a local school board, from which the judge recently has resigned, until the next annual election. The judge also inquires whether a judge may serve as an elected treasurer of a local fire district.
A position on the school board may involve dealing with quasi-political and highly controversial issues and, therefore, is incompatible with holding judicial office pursuant to section 100.5(h) of the Rules of the Chief Administrator. See Opinions 88-142, 89-157 and 90-7. Accordingly, the judge may not serve on the school board, regardless of whether the position is appointive or elective.
In light of the prohibition against judges campaigning for other elective offices under section 100.7 of the Rules of the Chief Administrator, a part-time judge should not seek election to the position of treasurer of the local fire district. However, the judge may continue to serve in that position in the fire district until the end of the current term, because there is no conflict or incompatibility in the duties of the two offices, but the judge cannot run for re-election while retaining judicial office.