January 24, 1991
Digest: A judge must return unexpended campaign funds to the donor.
Rules: 22 NYCRR §100.7
A judge inquires whether it is permissible to deposit an unexpended campaign donation into an account for the judge’s new judicial campaign, when the donor does not want the donation returned, and wishes that the judge use the funds for another election campaign.
In Opinion 90-06 (Vol. V), this Committee found that unexpended campaign funds must be returned to the donors, and may not be used in a subsequent campaign, whether for the same office or a different office. Here, these funds must be returned to the campaign donor, even though the donor states that he or she does not want the funds. If the donor wishes to make a contribution to the judge’s next campaign, the donor may do so by a new check at the appropriate time.