Opinion 89-156

January 18, 1990


Digest:         A part-time judge may serve as chairman or as a member of the county’s fire advisory board.


Rules:          22 NYCRR 100.5(b) and (h)


         A part-time judge inquires whether it is permissible to serve as chairman or as a member of the county fire advisory board. The fire advisory board is composed of unpaid appointees of the county board of supervisors, and it deals with firefighting procedures, mutual aid, preparation of training guides and other pertinent subjects. The board has no police powers and performs no fund-raising function.

         Judges are permitted to participate in a variety of civic activities, as long as their activities “do not reflect adversely upon impartiality or interfere with the performance of judicial duties.” 22 NYCRR 100.5(b). Section 100.5(h) of the Rules of the Chief Administrator states that part-time judges may accept public or private employment “provided that such employment is not incompatible with judicial office and does not conflict or interfere with the proper performance of the judge’s duties.”

         In Opinion 88-20, this committee approved a part-time judge acting as an attorney for a local fire district. Similarily, as the position here does not conflict with the judge’s judicial duties, he may serve as chairman of the fire advisory board. The judge, however, should disqualify himself in any cases involving the fire department.