Opinion: 98-90

September 23, 1998



         This is in response to your inquiry (98-90) asking whether a part-time judge in your county, who is permitted to practice law, should recuse himself/herself in all cases involving your office in view of the fact that, as a private attorney, the judge has brought several federal lawsuits on behalf of individuals challenging actions of the District Attorney and other governmental entities, alleging violations of civil rights. To date, the judge has refused to recuse himself/herself.

         The Committee appreciates the seriousness of your concerns. However, we are not in a position to provide you with an opinion whether disqualification is required under the circumstances stated. The Committee provides opinions to judges who seek the advice of the Committee concerning ethical questions. As a matter of general policy, it does not issue opinions to non-judges who are asking about the ethical propriety of the conduct of a judge. Accordingly, we are unable to answer the question posed.

                                                                     Very truly yours,


                                                                     George D. Marlow

                                                                     Dutchess County Court Judge



                                                                     Thomas P. Flaherty

                                                                     Justice of the Supreme Court