January 21 , 1992

(OPINION NO: 92-5
(Membership in Chiefs Assn)
( Canon 5 ( B )

RE: Committee on Standards of Conduct Governing Judges- Your inquiry dated December 11, 1991 .

You ask whether you may join the County association of Police Chiefs, a non - profit corporation with membership consisting of chiefs and other high ranking officials from all levels of government. Goals of the group are to promote an efficient police system, assist in facilitating the administration of justice, and to suppress crime. It also advocates reforms of laws for the public safety, protection and welfare.

The Committee members unanimously agreed such membership will reflect adversely upon your impartiality and is prohibited by Canon 5 (B). The impartiality issue will be heightened when the association advocates reforms of various laws and ordinances to further their goals and purposes, and is added reason membership is not appropriate, members concluded.

The committee is expressly charged with rendering advisory opinions interpreting the application of the Code of Judicial Conduct to specific circumstances confronting or affecting a judge or judicial candidate. Its opinions are advisory to the inquiring party, to the Judicial Qualifications Commission and to the judiciary at large. Conduct that is consistent with an advisory opinion issued by the committee may be evidence of good faith on the part of the judge, but the Judicial Qualifications Commission is not bound by the interpretive opinions issued by the committee. Petition of the Committee on Standards of Conduct for Judges 327 So2d 5 (Fla. 1976) .

With regards, I remain,

Yours very truly,

Jere Tolton, Chairman
Committee on Standards of
Conduct Governing Judges

JT/mc

cc: All Committee Members

Participating Members: Judges Tolton , Green , Booth , Dell , Levy , Doughtie, Goldstein, Farina, Rushing, and Clarke, Esq.

All reference to the inquiring judge is deleted from the copies sent to the following individuals.
Mr. Sid White, Clerk of the Supreme Court of Florida
Judson Orrick, Managing Editor, The Florida Bar
Brooke S. Kennerly, Executive Director, Judicial Qualifications Commission.
Hon. Walter K. Stapleton, Chairman, Ethics Advisory panel of the Judicial Conference of the United States .
Cynthia Grey, Director, American Judicature Society
Ms. Jean Underhill, Librarian, Broward County Law Library
Mr. Robert Wallace, Librarian, Dade County Law Library
Ms. Joan D. Cannon, Librarian, Supreme Court of Florida
William D. Wilkinson, Court Administrator, Lee County
Hon. Thomas H. Barkdull, Jr. , Third District Court of Appeal
Lynda Glyman, Esq. Center for Professional Responsibility, American Bar Association
Hon. Charles McClure, Chief Judge, Second Judicial Circuit
Office of State Court Administrator, Legal Affairs & Education