April 29, 2006
Digest: A part-time judge may serve on an advisory committee of a Board of Fire Commissioners for a local fire district.
Rules: 22 NYCRR 100.4(C)(3); Opinion 90-03 (Vol. V).
A part-time judge inquires whether he/she may serve on an advisory committee of Board of Fire Commissioners regarding the replacement or renovation of the existing fire station to meet increasing needs as a fire station and also as a multi-purpose community building. The committee is advisory only and all decisions will be made by the Board.
The Rules Governing Judicial Conduct permit a judge to serve as an officer, director, trustee or non-legal advisor of a civic organization subject to certain limitations. 22 NYCRR 100.4(C)(3).
In applying that provision this Committee previously determined that a part-time judge may serve as Secretary to a Board of Fire Commissioners. Opinion 90-03 (Vol. V). In light of the fact that there is no prohibition preventing a judge from serving as secretary, the Committee sees no reason why a part-time judge could not serve on an advisory committee charged with addressing the renovation or replacement of a fire station for such an organization. The judge is cautioned, however, to avoid participation in any activity on behalf of the committee that would otherwise be prohibited by the Rules.