June 13, 1996
A part-time town justice may not take a position as a part-time instructor
of a defensive driving course conducted under the auspices of the National
Safety Council, to which organization referrals are made by the Town Court.
22 NYCRR 100.6(B)(4).
A town justice inquires whether it is ethically permissible to accept a position as a part-time instructor of a defensive driving course conducted under the auspices of the National Safety Council.
Section 100.6(B)(4) of the Rules Governing Judicial Conduct provides that
a part-time 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.
Upon inquiry by the Committee, the judge advised that as part of his/her duties as a town justice, he/she is empowered to send defendants to this driving course.
The Committee points out that an appearance of impropriety would be created if a town justice referred defendants to a driving course where the judge is one of the instructors. We conclude that the judge's employment as a driving course instructor under the circumstances presented would be incompatible with holding the office of town justice.