January 28, 1993
Digest: A newly-elected full-time judge may not continue to serve on a town's Citizens Advisory Committee, which reviews facts and makes recommendations on existing zoning laws to the Town Board.
Rule: 22 NYCRR 100.5(g).
A newly-elected full-time judge inquires whether a judge may continue to serve as chair of a town's Citizens Advisory Committee on Accessory Apartments. Although the matters considered by the Citizens Advisory Committee are not related to matters that come before the judge, the purpose of that Committee is to review existing zoning laws and make recommendations to the Town Board.
Section100.5(g) of the Rules of the Chief Administrator provides that:
No judge shall accept an appointment to a governmental committee, commission, or other position that is concerned with issues of fact or policy on matters other than the improvement of the law, the legal system, or the administration of justice.
Section 5 of the town’s Local Law No. 1-1991, which enables the Town Board to appoint members to the Citizens’ Advisory Committee, charges that committee with “the duty of evaluating and making recommendations and findings of fact as to the implementation” of the Local Law.
The judge’s statutory duty as a member of the Citizens’ Advisory Committee is not a permissible activity under §100.5(g), and accordingly, the judge may not serve on such Committee.