January 8, 2020
This responds to your inquiry (19-156) asking whether you may, as a former village trustee who participated in village policy decisions (presumably including amendments to the village code), preside in cases involving village code violations. You explain that code violation cases are prosecuted by the village prosecutor, and you had no involvement in such matters as a village trustee.
We said a town justice-elect who serves on the board of the town where he/she will preside and who voted on legislation amending and promulgating town laws and ordinances and on the initial appointment and subsequent annual reappointments of the town attorney is not required to disqualify him/herself when the town attorney appears or when such town laws and ordinances are the subject of cases before him/her. The same principles apply here.
Enclosed, for your convenience, is Opinion 10-190 which addresses this issue.
Very truly yours,
George D. Marlow, Assoc Justice
Appellate Div., First Dept. (Ret)
Hon. Margaret T. Walsh
Supreme Court Justice