By: Daily Record Staff//November 10, 2011
By: Daily Record Staff//November 10, 2011//
NYS Advisory Committee on Judicial Ethics
Background: A part-time judge asks whether he may serve the remaining years of his term as an elected fire commissioner for a local fire district and thereafter run for re-election. The judge state he was recently appointed to a judicial office but has yet to take the bench. His position as a fire commissioner is unpaid and he is not designated a peace officer. The primary function of the fire commissioner is to submit the fire company’s budget for a public hearing.
Opinion: A judge who was previously elected to a board of commissioners for a fire district in a public election may not run for re-election to this non-judicial office and may not serve out the remaining years of his term where the fire commissioners’ primary function is to submit the fire company’s budget for public hearing, modification, and approval. The committee reasoned that such an arrangement can involve the judge in highly visible and potentially controversial issues involving local budgets.