December 9, 2021
This responds to your inquiry (21-126) asking if you, a part-time village justice, may accept employment as secretary to the town supervisor of a nearby town. You do not preside over matters involving that town, which has its own court and is separately funded. The duties to be performed for the town supervisor are administrative and relate solely to town business and functions.
Part-time judges generally may accept private employment or public employment in a federal, state or municipal department or agency, provided that such employment is not incompatible with judicial office and does not conflict or interfere with the proper performance of the judge’s judicial duties (see 22 NYCRR 100.6[B]). While a judge may not serve as deputy commissioner of public safety in an adjoining town because it involves law enforcement functions, we have said a part-time judge may be employed as a bookkeeper for the town supervisor, subject to recusal in cases involving the town or the supervisor. We have likewise said a part-time judge may serve as a town trail maintenance worker or as clerk to the county legislature, again subject to disqualification in certain instances.
Here, we conclude the proposed employment as secretary to the town supervisor of a neighboring town is ethically permissible.
We enclose Opinions 19-07, 12-30, 05-50, 03-22, 92-76, and 90-37 for your convenience.
Very truly yours,
Margaret T. Walsh
Supreme Court Justice
Acting Supreme Court Justice