September 22, 1994
Digest: A judge is not prohibited from attending social events sponsored by a police association.
Rules: 22 NYCRR 100.5(a)
A part-time town judge inquires as to the propriety of local judges attending various functions conducted by county police associations. Also, inquiry is made as to the propriety of a judge accepting an award at an annual dinner sponsored by a police association, as “Magistrate of the Year,” given “in recognition of judicial services rendered by that Magistrate.”
The Committee interprets the inquiry as asking whether the inquiring judge may attend social events sponsored by the police association. Assuming that to be the inquiry, the answer is “yes”. Section 100.5(a) of the Rules of the Chief Administrator provides that a judge may engage in various avocational activities, including social activities “if such avocational activities do not detract from the dignity of the office or interfere with the performance of judicial duties.”
As to the acceptance of an award at a police sponsored dinner as “Magistrate of the Year,” it does not appear that the award is being offered to the inquiring judge. Thus, the question is hypothetical, or, alternatively, it refers to some other judge and therefore is not a problem confronting the inquiring judge. Accordingly, in either event, the Committee must decline to respond.