September 22, 1994
Digest: A part-time judge may not remain as a member and continue as the Treasurer of a county police association.
Rule : 22 NYCRR 100.5(b)
A part-time judge requests an opinion as to whether he/she can remain as a member and continue as the Treasurer of a county police association, the membership of which consists of active and retired police officers who have either served in or resided within the particular county. The social organization conducts a yearly barbecue for which it sells tickets to the public and uses the proceeds to support an annual dinner dance for members of the association and for sick and sympathy gifts for its members.
A judge may participate in civic and charitable activities that do not reflect adversely upon impartiality or interfere with the performance of judicial duties and "may serve as an officer ... of an educational, religious, charitable, fraternal or civic organization not conducted for the economic or political advantage of its members." (22 NYCRR 100.5[b]).
However, the Committee has previously held in Opinion 92-112, Vol. X, that such membership in a police association is incompatible with judicial office in that it may reflect adversely on the judge's impartiality. The Committee adheres to this position. Accordingly, the judge should not remain a member or serve as Treasurer of the county police association.