Opinion 90-201

January 24, 1991


Digest:         A part-time judge, as education coordinator for a Chemical Abuse Treatment Program, may provide drug counseling and education to prison inmates, but should recuse himself or herself if such an inmate comes before the court. If inmates with whom the judge has worked appear frequently before the judge, requiring numerous disqualifications, the judge should terminate one of these positions.


Rules:          22 NYCRR 100.5(h)


         A part-time judge inquires about the propriety of the judge’s employment with a County Chemical Abuse Treatment Program, educating and counseling prison inmates about alcohol and drug abuse. The judge’s responsibilities include performing initial alcohol or substance abuse intake testing and assessments, both voluntary and mandated.

         Section 100.5(h) of the Rules of the Chief Administrator addresses a part-time judge’s employment:


A part-time judge may accept private employment or public employment in a Federal, State or municipal department or agency, 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.

         Here, the judge may continue employment at the prison, provided that the judge disqualifies himself or herself when an inmate, whom the judge has counseled, appears. If, however, inmates from the program appear frequently before the judge, requiring numerous disqualifications by the judge, then the judge should resign from one or the other of these positions.