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April 5th, 2022
NY Judges Ignored Income, Gift Reporting Rule For Years
Ethics & Professional Responsibility Litigation Partner Ronald C. Minkoff is quoted in the article, “NY Judges Ignored Income, Gift Reporting Rule For Years” published by Law360. The article discusses how over the past decade, many New York judges did not publicly report outside compensation and gifts over $150 to their clerks, violating an ethics rule that safeguards against financial conflicts of interest and corruption. Ron is quoted saying, "If somebody got me something that was $750, that's significant" and "In some countries, the way it works is that whoever takes the judge out to the fanciest dinner wins. We don't want it to look like the courts are a bazaar or that a judge is available to the highest bidder."
Some judges have earned substantial amounts in rental income. Lawyers for the Office of Court Administration argued there was no need for the court system's judges to report on investment property income because it is "passively earned." Ron disagrees with that idea stating, "To the extent that OCA is interpreting the rule this way, I think that's incorrect.” Ron concludes by saying, "If judges aren't complying with the rules, it's a problem” and "If judicial systems aren't encouraging the judges to comply with the rules, then that's a bigger problem."
Read the full article here.
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