Opinion 09-140

June 3 - 4, 2009


Digest:         A part-time village justice is prohibited by law from serving in both an elective and an appointive village office.


Rules:          New York State Village Law §3-300(3); 22 NYCRR 100.2; 100.2(A); 100.4(A)(1)-(3)


         A part-time village justice asks whether he/she may also serve on the Village Housing Authority, which operates a senior citizens housing facility in the community. The inquiring judge advises that the Village Mayor appoints members of the Housing Authority who are uncompensated.

         A judge must avoid impropriety and the appearance of impropriety in all the judge's activities (see 22 NYCRR 100.2), must respect and comply with the law, and must act at all times in a manner that promotes public confidence in the integrity and impartiality of the judiciary (see 22 NYCRR 100.2[A]). A judge may engage in extra-judicial activities that do not cast reasonable doubt on the judge's capacity to act impartially as a judge; detract from the dignity of judicial office; or interfere with the proper performance of judicial duties and are not incompatible with judicial office (see 22 NYCRR 100.4[A][1]-[3]).

         Pursuant to New York State Village Law §3-300(3), no person shall simultaneously hold both an elective and an appointive village office. Therefore, the inquiring judge may not serve as an elected village justice and an appointed member of the Village Housing Authority (see 22 NYCRR 100.2[A]).