March 11, 1999
A part-time judge should not remain a member of the county's Local Release
Commission which recommends whether prisoners should be released early
22 NYCRR 100.4(A)(3); 100.6(B)(4);
Opinion 95-68 (Vol. XIII).
A recently appointed part-time town justice has been serving as a member of the county's Local Release Commission. The Commission recommends whether prisoners should be released from incarceration earlier than would otherwise occur, e.g., one month. Members are compensated at a per diem rate. The judge asks whether it is permissible to hold both offices at the same time.
In the opinion of the Committee, retention of membership on the Commission would be "incompatible with judicial office and . . . conflict or interfere with the proper performance of the judge's duties." 22 NYCRR 100.6(B)(4); also, 22 NYCRR 100.4(A)(3). Continuance in such a position could create a perception of being influenced by recommendations in the performance of judicial duties, and, conversely, utilizing knowledge obtained as a judge in performing work on behalf of the Commission. See e.g., Opinion 95-68 (Vol. XIII). We advise, therefore, that the judge resign from the Commission.