Opinion 89-128

December 5, 1989


Digest:         A judge may not coordinate a charity drive to collect food for the homeless.


Rule:            22 NYCRR 100.5(b)(2)


         A judge inquires whether he may act as coordinator in a campaign for the Boy Scouts to collect canned food for the homeless.

         The main function of the coordinator is to contact boy scout troops to request their participation in the food campaign, to have them collect food and leave it at various distribution centers.

         Section 100.5(b) of the rules of the Chief Administrator delineates the extra judicial activities in which a judge can participate. Section 100.5(b)(2) provides that “no judge shall solicit funds for any educational, religious, charitable, fraternal or civic organization, or use or permit the use of the prestige of the office for that purpose ....” Although the judge here is engaged in soliciting food as part of a charitable activity rather than soliciting funds, this solicitation constitutes a fundraising activity. Thus, the judge may not serve as the coordinator of this food solicitation campaign.