February 18, 2010
This responds to your inquiry (10-20) asking whether a part-time employee of the Town Justice Court, whose primary job is to assist the Court Clerk as a data entry person on a limited part-time basis, may also serve as a part time constable in the same town where he/she is employed as the assistant clerk.
A judge shall uphold the integrity and independence of the judiciary and avoid impropriety and the appearance of impropriety (see 22 NYCRR 100.1 and 100.2). In addition, a judge shall act at all times in a manner that promotes public confidence in the integrity and impartiality of the judiciary (see 100.2[A]).
Given that court personnel have access to court records, such dual employment may cause the Judge's impartiality to reasonably be questioned and may compromise the public's confidence in the integrity and impartiality of the judiciary. Therefore, it is prohibited. Enclosed, for your convenience, is Opinion 96-64 which addresses this issue.
Very truly yours,
George D. Marlow
Justice of the Supreme Court (Ret.)