State of Washington
Ethics Advisory CommitteeOpinion 07-06
May a part-time judicial officer serve as a member of a police accountability panel for a police department located outside of the jurisdiction where the judicial officer sits?
A part-time judge is a judge who serves on a continuing basis but is permitted to devote time to another profession or occupation and is compensated at less than a full-time judge. The judicial officer of the municipal court serves on a part-time basis.
A part-time judge is not required to comply with CJC Canon 5(G), which provides in part that a judicial officer may not accept appointment to a governmental committee, commission or other position that is concerned with issues of fact or policy on matters other than the improvement of the law, the legal system or the administration of justice. Because the judicial officer serves on a part-time basis the judicial officer is not subject to this provision.
The part-time judicial officer may serve on the police accountability panel because the judicial officer is not subject to the limitations of CJC Canon 5(G). Additionally, the judicial officer serves in a court in a jurisdiction where the police who are the subject of the panel do not appear, therefore, the judicial officer’s impartiality is not called into question.
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