September 22, 1994
Digest: A judge may not be a speaker at a fund-raising benefit sponsored by a local shelter for victims of domestic violence.
Rule: 22 NYCRR 100.5(b)(2)
A Town Justice has been asked to participate in a fund-raising benefit on behalf of a local shelter for victims of family violence. In particular, the judge has been asked to provide a photograph, a statement against violence, and to tape a “public service announcement” or “if more convenient, do a phone-in.”
Such activities in connection with a fund-raising event are not permitted. Section 100.5(b)(2) of the Rules of the Chief Administrator forbids a judge from soliciting “funds for any educational, religious, charitable, fraternal or civic organizations”, and from using or permitting the use of the prestige of the judge's office for such purpose. Nor may a judge be a speaker at such an event.
Although a judge may attend a fund-raising event, the activities contemplated in this instance clearly fall within the scope of the prohibitions.