March 11, 1993
Digest: After reconsideration, the Committee adheres to its prior Opinion 92-94, Vol. X, that unexpended campaign funds must be returned to the donors. Further, it is improper for the judge to request the donors to consent to the judge keeping such funds.
Rules: 22 NYCRR 100.7, CJC Canon 7.
A newly-elected full-time judge requests that this Committee reconsider its earlier Opinion 92-94, Vol. X, in light of further explanation, and inquires whether it would be proper at this time to ask the donors of campaign funds to consent to the judge's keeping the funds from prior non-judicial campaigns.
In Opinion 92-94 the Committee, replying to the then- judicial candidate, stated that unexpended campaign funds from prior non-judicial campaigns might not be used for a present campaign for judicial office, for general political party use, nor for the campaigns of candidates sharing the ballot with the judicial candidate, but must be returned to the prior donors on a pro rata basis.
After reconsideration, this Committee adheres to its earlier opinion that the funds in question are unexpended campaign funds, and that the judge should use his or her best efforts to return all unexpended campaign funds to the donors. Further, it would be improper for the judge at this time to request the donors again to consent to the judge's keeping such funds. See Opinion 91-12, Vol. VII.