May 8, 1997
A judge may not submit a letter supporting a private business in its bid
to continue to provide services to a municipality.
22 NYCRR 100.2(C)(1).
A judge inquires as to the propriety of submitting a letter supporting a privately-owned for-profit agency's bid to continue to provide services to a municipality. The judge advised that he/she often refers cases to it as part of the conditions of probation and a plea agreement.
Section 100.2(C)(1) of the Rules Governing Judicial Conduct requires that "A judge shall not lend the prestige of judicial office to advance the private interests of the judge or others".
Accordingly, the judge may not provide a letter supporting the private for-profit agency's bid to continue its services to a municipality, for, in providing such a recommendation, the judge would be lending the prestige of judicial office to advance the interest of the business in its attempt to renew its contract with the municipality.