Opinion 20-169

December 1, 2020

Dear :

         This responds to your inquiry (20-169) asking whether, upon being sworn in as Surrogate, you must resign from your current position as trustee of the local community college.

         In accordance with the New York State Constitution, this Committee has previously advised that a candidate for supreme court, upon taking office, must resign from being a trustee of a local community college that is part of the State University of New York. The same provision of the constitution applies to judges of the surrogate’s court.1 Accordingly, you may not continue to serve on the board of trustees of the local community college upon taking judicial office.

         Enclosed, for your convenience, is Opinion 94-104 which addresses this issue.


                                                 Very truly yours,



                                                 Margaret T. Walsh

                                                 Supreme Court Justice

                                                 Committee Co-Chair


                                                 Lillian Wan

                                                 Acting Supreme Court Justice

                                                 Committee Co-Chair








1 New York Constitution, art VI, § 20(b)(1) provides in relevant part that a “judge of the surrogate’s court, who is elected … may not (1) hold any other public office or trust” subject to certain exceptions not applicable here.