December 23, 1992
Appearance of impropriety/Endorsement
You have inquired whether you may endorse a directory which contains both public and private service providers to children and adolescents in your county. The directory is prepared by a county agency and is all inclusive and periodically updated. The endorsement letter would be sent to human services professionals to encourage them to use this resource to aid in their search for appropriate programming in your county for children.
Canon 2B states that a judge should not lend the prestige of judicial office to advance the private interests of others. The question is for what purpose your endorsement letter is sought. One member states an informative letter would not be objectionable.
Two members of the committee see nothing wrong with your proposed endorsement assuming no hidden agenda.
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,
Harvey Goldstein, Chairman
Committee on Standards of Conduct Governing Judges
cc: All Committee Members
Participating members: Judges Tolton, Green, Booth, Dell, Doughtie, Goldstein, Farina, Rushing and Clarke, Esq.
Office of State Court Administrator, Legal Affairs &Education