January 28, 1993
Digest: A judge may not preside or act as master of ceremonies at an annual award breakfast of a local community service organization where fundraising activities are conducted.
Rule: 22 NYCRR 100.5(b)(2)
A newly-elected full-time judge, who is a member of a local community service organization, inquires whether he may act as master of ceremonies at an annual award breakfast where a raffle is held to raise funds for another award breakfast sponsored by the organization.
Section 100.5(b)(2) of the Rules of the Chief Administrator provides that, although a judge may participate in civic and charitable activities that do not reflect adversely on the judge’s impartiality, “no judge shall be a speaker or the guest of honor at an organization’s fundraising events, but he or she may attend such events”
The fact that a raffle is being held at the award breakfast indicates that the breakfast is a fundraising event. Accordingly, the inquiring judge may attend the function, but may not act as master of ceremonies.
In the absence of further facts, this Committee is unable to say whether the raffle would constitute an illegal lottery. If it does, the judge, of course, should not be involved.