January 16, 2020
This responds to your inquiry (19-134) asking if you may accept an appointment to serve on the county’s solid waste board. You advise that the solid waste board oversees the landfill, transfer stations, etc. and the board’s work has not been controversial or resulted in litigation.
We previously advised that a judge may participate in civic and charitable activities that do not reflect adversely upon impartiality or interfere with the performance of judicial duties. However, a judge may serve on such a board only if the board does not handle controversial or political issues (see Opinion 89-155). Since you have advised that the board’s work has not been controversial or resulted in litigation, you may accept such an appointment.
Enclosed, for your convenience, is Opinion 89-155 for your review, which addresses this issue.
Very truly yours,
George D. Marlow, Assoc Justice
Appellate Div., First Dept. (Ret)
Hon. Margaret T. Walsh
Supreme Court Justice