August 22, 2001
This is in response to your inquiry (01-46) concerning (1) possible recusal in certain criminal or Family Court matters and (2) use of quotes from your thank you letter to the agency which ran your media campaign during your recent run for judicial office. The agency would like to use the quotes in its own advertising.
As to the question of disqualification, the Committee encloses for your consideration Opinions 96-139 (Vol. XV) [judge may preside over cases that were pending in D.A.’s office during the judge’s prior service as A.D.A., provided the judge was not directly involved in the prosecution of such cases] and 93-116 (Vol.XI) [judge is disqualified unconditionally from presiding over any cases brought by D.A.’s office in which the judge personally participated in any way, but not otherwise].
As to the use of quotes by the media agency, the Committee advises against authorizing the use of a complimentary letter, even if you were identified solely as a judicial “candidate.” We enclose Opinions 87-13 (Vol. I) and 97-16 (Vol. XV), which prohibit the use of the prestige of judicial office to advance the private interests of others. 22NYCRR 100.2(C). Anonymity does not, in this instance, cure the inherent defect in the proposal.