April 25, 1996
A part-time town judge may serve as a member of a Board of Cooperative
22 NYCRR 100.4(C)(3); 100.6(B)(4);
Opinions 94-74; 93-120; 90-63; 88-142.
A part-time town judge inquires whether he/she may serve as a member of a Board of Cooperative Educational Services ("BOCES"). Members of these boards are not popularly elected, and such boards do not levy taxes. The administrative expenses of such boards are apportioned among each board's component school districts; and these school districts are free to purchase or not to purchase the educational services and curriculum offerings developed by each board. The judge would receive no compensation for services rendered.
Under the particular circumstances presented, the Committee believes that
the part-time town judge may serve as a member of BOCES. Generally, a judge
may serve as a director of educational organizations (22 NYCRR 100.4[C])
and part-time judges may accept public employment with state or local agencies
when "not incompatible with judicial office" (22 NYCRR 100.6[B]). The
opinions advising against a part-time judge's serving as a member of a
board of education (See e.g., Opinion 90-63) focus on the "political
and controversial" issues likely to be confronted by such entities (see
Opinion 88-142). Similar concerns appear not to be present in connection
with membership in BOCES, given the nature of such membership as detailed
in the submission of the inquiring justice (see also, Opinion 93-120)
[Board of Directors of County Youth Bureau]; Opinion 94-74 [teacher who
is part-time judge may participate in collective bargaining]).