Opinion 19-123


November 15, 2019



Dear :


         This responds to your inquiry (19-123) asking whether you must report a county official to his/her employer. You indicate that you have been advised that this official “is experiencing financial difficulties and has been unable to qualify for a fiduciary bond.” If true, you believe that this official is “incapable of meeting the requirements” of his/her position.


         Pursuant to the Rules Governing Judicial Conduct, a judge is under no obligation to take any disciplinary action with respect to individuals who are neither lawyers nor judges (see 22 NYCRR 100.3[D][1]-[2]). Moreover, the Committee has advised that when a judge has no first-hand knowledge of misconduct, he/she is under no obligation to investigate whether misconduct claims are true or to take any other action. Therefore, you may, but are not required to, report this situation to the official’s employer.


         Enclosed, for your convenience, are Opinions 19-54; 18-140; 18-136 which address this issue.


                                       Very truly yours,




                                       George D. Marlow, Assoc. Justice (Ret.)

                                       Appellate Div., First Dep’t

                                       Committee Co-Chair


                                       Hon. Margaret T. Walsh

                                       Supreme Court Justice

                                       Committee Co-Chair