December 22, 1987

Opinion No. 87/20
Canons 4 and 5G

This is in response to your inquiry of August 4, 1987.

The county Commission of County has established a Criminal Justice Advisory Board to qualify the county for assistance from the National Institute of Corrections in the study and planning of a new jail facility. NIC recommended that all agencies of the Criminal Justice System, including the judiciary be represented on the advisory board. NIC also suggested that the judicial member be chairman. You are now a member and chairman of that board.

You inquire as to whether you, as a Judge, may serve as a member and chairman of the county advisory board to study and advise the Board of County Commissioners relative to a new jail facility. Your inquiry was initiated because of Opinion 87/5, which concerned itself as to whether a Judge could serve as a member and chairman of the county fine arts council.

Rule 2.050(b)(3) of Florida Rules of Judicial Administration provides that the Chief Judge of each circuit shall develop an administrative plan for the efficient and proper administration of all courts within his circuit. The plan shall include......, and mandatory periodic review of the status of the inmates of the county jail. Rule 2.050(b)(8) further provides that the Chief Judge or his designee shall regularly examine the status of every inmate of the county jail. In addition, the 1987 Florida Legislature created Section 951.26 Florida Statutes providing for county correctional planning committees. The Chief Judge or another circuit judge, as his designee, and the Chief County Judge, or his designee, are to be members of this planning committee with other members as designated by the Act.

The Committee answers your inquiry in the affirmative. You may serve as a member and chairman of your county's correctional planning committee as long as you are the Chief Judge or the Chief Judge's designee.

This inquiry is materially distinguishable from Opinion 87/5 for the reason that the duties of the advisory board relate to new jail facilities, a law related matter, in which you will have valuable input because of your background and expertise.

We appreciate your inquiry and trust that the foregoing information will be of some assistance to you.

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).

Very truly yours,

George W. Tedder, Jr.

cc: All Committee Members

Participating members: Judges Blanchard, Booth, Dell, Frank, Goldstein,
Green, Shutter, Tedder and Attorney F. Shields McManus

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
Linda Yates, Managing Editor, The Florida Bar Journal
Brooke S. Kennerly, Executive Director, Judicial Qualifications Commission.
Hon. Howard T. Markey, Chairman, Ethics Advisory Panel of the Judicial Conference of the United States .
Jeffrey M. Shaman, Esquire, Director, Center for Judicial Conduct Organizations
Ms. Jean Underhill, Librarian, Broward County Law Library
Mr. Robert Wallace, Librarian, Dade County Law Library
Mr. Brian Polley, Librarian, Supreme Court of Florida