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2006 Public Officer Traps by Greg Abbott - Joyce Berube Should Read

2006 Public Officer Traps by Greg Abbott - Joyce Berube Should Read

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Published by: carolanndavis1983 on Jan 07, 2010
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01/16/2013

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P U B L I C O F F I C E R S
:
TRAPS
TRAPS
for theUnwary 
 2006 
 
 A 
 TTORNEY 
G
ENERAL OF
 T
EXAS
G R E G A B B O T T
P
OST
O
FFICE
B
O
12548,A
USTIN
,T
EXAS
78711-2548
TEL
:(512)463-2100
WW
.
OAG
.
STATE
.
 T
.
US
 An Equal Employment Opportunity Employer 
Printed on Recycled Paper 
Dear State and Local Officials:While it is a privilege to serve, public officers often encounter legal and ethical pitfalls, land minesand traps while doing their jobs. These may include everything from conflicts of interest andnepotism to the state Whistleblower Act.One of my goals as your Attorney General is to provide public officials in Texas with the best possible legal advice and support. As part of that, we have prepared
 Public Officers: Traps for theUnwary 2006 
, an updated handbook that incorporates legislative changes, recent case law andAttorney General opinions issued since the handbook was last published in 2004.This handbook is not a substitute for legal advice, but it can provide guidance about various legalconstraints that may affect you in the performance of your official duties. Our goal is to help youavoid common mistakes and “traps for the unwary.”I urge you to become familiar with the contents of the handbook. Well-informed state and localgovernment officials are important to a responsible, ethical and accountable government.Sincerely,Greg AbbottAttorney General of Texas
 
TABLE OF CONTENTS
I. Introduction
.............................................................1
II. Conflict of Interest
.....................................................2A. Overview...........................................................2B. Common-Law Conflict of Interest........................................2C. Legislative Changes to Common-Law Conflict of Interest Rules................41. Local Government Code, Chapter 171...............................52. Depository Statutes..............................................93. Contracts Between Institutions of Higher Education and Corporations.....10D. Statutes Applicable to State Agency Officers and Employees..................111. Government Code, Section 2155.003: Conflict of Interest ..............112. Government Code, Chapter 572, Subchapter C:Standards of Conduct and Conflict of Interest Provisions...............113. Disqualification of Interested Persons from High-Level Positions:Sunset Advisory Commission Across-the-Board Recommendations......13E. Penal Code, Section 39.02(a)(2): Misuse of Government Property.............14F. Conflict of Interest Provisions in the Texas Constitution......................151. Legislators....................................................152. Governor.....................................................163. Judges.......................................................16
III. Nepotism
.............................................................17A. Overview..........................................................17B. Prohibition.........................................................181. Public Official.................................................192. Individuals....................................................223. Related Within a Prohibited Degree ...............................234. Paid Position..................................................25C. Prohibition Applies to All Members of Governing Board.....................25D. Exceptions.........................................................271. Specific Positions ..............................................272. General Exception for Continuous Employment......................28a. Continuous Employment......................................29 b. Insufficient Employment......................................32E. Penalties for Violations...............................................33

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