March 14, 2014
This responds to your inquiry (14-08) asking whether it is ethically permissible for you to continue participating in your local public radio stations’s on-air fund drives now that you have become a judge.
The Rules Governing Judicial Conduct prohibit a judge from personally participating in the solicitation of funds or engaging in other fund-raising activities on behalf of governmental, civic or charitable organizations (see 22 NYCRR 100.4[C][b][i]). Thus, even though you state that you would not personally solicit funds or suggest donation amounts, you may not continue to participate in the on-air phone bank now that you are a judge and your name cannot be read on air in connection with the fund-raising drive. However, you may continue to participate in certain behind-the-scenes activities which you have described, such as placing labels on forms and inputting data into the computer. The Rules also allow participation in planning fund-raising activities and in the management and investment of the organization’s funds (id.).
Enclosed, for your convenience, are Opinions 10-157; 10-22; 07-17 and 98-154, which discuss the scope of permissible participation related to fund-raising activities.
Very truly yours,
George D. Marlow, Assoc. Justice
Appellate Division, First Dept. (Ret.)