Opinion 77-20

January 11, 1978

Re: Canon 7

Dear Judge:

This is in response to your inquiry to the Committee on Standards of Conduct Governing Judges wherein you request the opinion of the Committee on attending a testimonial dinner for an incumbent county commissioner. You advise that the testimonial is not for the purpose of announcing the candidacy for any public office,nor to make an announcement of the commissioner's retirement and that the commissioner is not presently a candidate for any public office. You advise that the announced price of each ticket is $40.00, but you have received complimentary tickets.

Five members of the Committee are of the view that there is no prohibition against your attending the testimonial dinner nor against your acceptance of the complimentary tickets upon the assumption that the chief object of the dinner is to pay honor to a distinguished public servant, rather than to raise funds for his re-election.

One member feels he has insufficient information upon which to base an opinion but expresses concern that the price of the ticket would indicate that it is a fund raising affair and could be construed as a "purely political affair".

Three members of the Committee are of the view that such conduct is proscribed by Canon 7.

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

Sincerely yours,

Tyrie A. Boyer, Chairman
Committee on Standards of Conduct Governing Judges


Participating members: Judges Boyer, Carlisle, Hewitt, Marger, Murphee, O'Connell, Sample,
Stephenson and Samuel J. Powers, Attorney