Opinion: 98-100
September 10, 1998
Digest:    A judge should not serve as an honorary director of a law enforcement foundation, the purpose of which is to support law enforcement departments financially and with equipment.

Rule:    22 NYCRR 100.2(A); 100.4(A)(1);
            Opinions 94-85 (Vol. XII); 92-112 (Vol. X).


            A judge asks whether it is permissible "to serve as 'Honorary Director' on the Board of Directors of the New York Law Enforcement Foundation, Inc.," a non-profit foundation. As described in the material submitted, the organization "supports City, State and Federal Law Enforcement Departments and their members by providing equipment to departments and scholarships and financial support to these members and their families. The Foundation also honors members of law enforcement with awards."

            In the opinion of the Committee, the judge may not serve as an honorary director on the Board of Directors of this organization. Given the explicit and exclusive law enforcement orientation of the organization, service as a director, honorary or otherwise, is in our view, clearly "incompatible with judicial office in that it may reflect adversely on the judge's impartiality" (Opinion 94-85 [Vol. XII]), in violation of sections 100.2(A) and 100.4(A)(1) of the Rules Governing Judicial Conduct. See also Opinion 92-112 (Vol. X).