Opinion 91-99

September 12, 1991


Digest:         A full-time judge may serve as a co-chair of a Columbus quincentennial celebration, provided the judge's name is not used for fundraising.


Rule:            22 NYCRR 100.5(b)(2)


         A full-time judge inquires whether the judge may serve as a co-chair of a quincentennial celebration of Christopher Columbus’ landing at San Salvador, sponsored by a religious and charitable organization. The judge recognizes that a judge is precluded from participating in any fundraising connected with the endeavor.

         Section 100.5(b)(2) of the Rules of the Chief Administrator provides 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, but:


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, but may be listed as an officer, director or trustee of such organization, provided, however, that no such listing shall be used in connection with any solicitation of funds.

         This provision prohibits judges from involvement in fundraising efforts on behalf of civic or charitable groups, but does not prohibit judges from otherwise participating in those organizations. Accordingly, the judge may serve as co-chair of the quincentennial celebration, provided that the judge's name is not used in connection with any fundraising activities related to the event.