Digest A town justice should not chair and organize a Stop DWI program seminar inasmuch as fines imposed in the judge's court are a partial source of funding for such program.
Rule: 22 NYCRR 100.1; 100.2
A town justice has been asked to organize, chair and prepare an annual seminar sponsored by the local STOP DWI Program which is intended to provide training for court clerks and town and village justices. The inquirer notes that some of the program's funding is from fines imposed in DWI cases, and asks whether such funding poses "a possible conflict of interest and/or appearance of impropriety."
The Committee is of the opinion that the justice may not organize and chair seminars sponsored by the STOP DWI Program inasmuch, as noted by the inquirer, some fines that will be imposed by the justice in DWI cases will go towards the funding of such Program. Accordingly, the judge should avoid acting on behalf of the Program in an administrative capacity. (See also Opinion 93-95, Vol. XI)