May 16, 2006
This is in response to your inquiry (06-55) in which you ask whether it is ethically permissible for you to attend a public meeting concerning the rezoning of a parcel of property for commercial use. You advise that you would not participate in any discussions or question and answer periods and merely wish to attend the meeting.
This Committee has previously concluded that a judge may attend and speak at public hearings at which the judge’s personal interests in a parcel of property he or she owns are at stake. Opinions 02-116; 92-21 (Vol. IX). Here, although it appears from your inquiry that you do not have a direct personal interest in the particular property at issue, the Committee believes that your mere attendance at the public meeting, limited as you propose, is ethically appropriate.