Opinion 20-149

October 9, 2020



Dear :

         This responds to your inquiry (20-149) asking whether, as a full-time Court-Attorney Referee,1 you may answer the Governor’s call to be a poll worker, given this year’s shortage of workers as result of the global pandemic. This is a temporary, paid position, which you view as non-partisan, as it is designed to ensure the integrity of the election for all voters.

         However, even if this position is, in fact, non-partisan, a full-time quasi-judicial employee is nevertheless prohibited from being “appoint[ed] to a governmental committee or other governmental position … concerned with issues of fact or policy in matters other than the improvement of the law, the legal system or the administration of justice” (22 NYCRR 100.4[C][2][a]). Moreover, the Rules also prohibit such an employee from being compensated by New York State, its political subdivision, or an office or agency thereof (see 22 NYCRR 100.4[H][1][c][1]).

         Enclosed, for your convenience, is Opinion 20-129 which addresses this issue.


Very truly yours,


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

                                       Appellate Div. First Dep’t

                                       Committee Co-Chair


                                       Margaret T. Walsh                                                                                           Supreme Court Justice

                                       Committee Co-Chair




1 A Court Attorney-Referee is a quasi-judicial position, subject to the Rules Governing Judicial Conduct (see 22 NYCRR 100.6[A]; Opinion 18-83).