Advisory Opinion No. 99-52

Re: Joseph J. Altieri, Esq.

QUESTION PRESENTED

The petitioner, a former City of Cranston Municipal Court Judge, a municipal appointed position, requests an opinion as to whether he may appear before that Court generally and, specifically, within a year of his leaving his position as Judge in that Court.

RESPONSE

It is the opinion of the Rhode Island Ethics Commission that the petitioner, a former Cranston Municipal Court Judge, a municipal appointed position, may appear before that court immediately upon leaving his position as a Judge of the Court since the Municipal Court is a court of public record.

The Code of Ethics provides that the petitioner may not represent himself or any other person before any state or municipal agency of which he is a member or by which he is employed. R.I. Gen. Laws § 36-14-5(e)(1) and (2). Section 36-14-5(e)(4) extends these prohibitions for a period of one year after the petitioner has officially severed his position with the agency, in this instance the Municipal Court. Section 5(e)(4) specifically provides, however, that this extended prohibition does not pertain to matters of public record in a court of law. As the petitioner is no longer the Cranston Municipal Court Judge and the Municipal Court is a court of public record, he may appear before that court immediately, as the one year “cooling off” restriction does not apply.

Code Citations:

36-14-5(e)(4)

Related Advisory Opinions:

93-57
93-39
93-38
91-49

Keywords:

Revolving Door