January 30, 1992
Digest: A part-time judge may accept employment as a town park manager, but must disqualify himself or herself in all matters involving the town or the park.
Rules: 22 NYCRR §100.5(h).
A part-time judge may accept private employment as manager of a town park, whose duties would include reorganizing the operation of the park, supervising several employees and overseeing management of the park. Although there have been few park cases in the judge's court, the judge would refer all future matters to a different judge.
Section 100.5(h) of the Rules of the Chief Administrator provides in part:
A part-time judge inquires whether the judge may accept private employment or public employment in a Federal, State or municipal department or agency, provided that such employment is not incompatible with judicial office and does not conflict or interfere with the proper performance of the judge's duties. No judge shall accept employment as a peace officer as that term is defined in section 1.20 of the Criminal Procedure Law.
The judge may serve as park manager, provided there is no conflict or interference with the proper performance of his or her judicial duties. If the judge, however, accepts employment as park manager employed by the town, the judge must disqualify himself or herself, not only in all matters involving the park, but also in any matters involving the town, the park manager's employer, because the town would have become the judge's employer, employing the judge in a nonjudicial capacity. If that requirement for recusal involves frequent disqualifications, then the judge must choose between the two positions.