AGO 12-746.

Court:South Carolina
South Carolina Attorney General Opinion 2012. AGO 12-746. 12-746Alan WilsonAttorney GeneralFebruary 23, 2012Mr. Kenneth C. Walker 2810 E. North Avenue Anderson, South Carolina 29625 Dear Mr. Walker, We received your letter requesting an opinion as to whether South Carolina law prohibits you from continuing to serve as Chairperson of the Anderson County Tax Assessment Appeals Board ("Tax Appeals Board") in consideration of your recent appointment to the South Carolina Medical Disciplinary Commission ("Commission"). You explain that is your understanding that you are one of forty-two members of the Commission. The Commission does not have regular meetings, but periodically conducts hearings. Three physician members and one lay member are selected to preside over each hearing. As a result, you indicate you have no way of knowing when or if you might be called upon to serve on a hearing panel for the Commission. In light of the above information, you specifically ask whether the South Carolina Constitution requires that you resign from your position on the Tax Appeals Board and, if so, when must your resignation be effective. Law/Analysis Article XVII, section 1A of the South Carolina Constitution provides that "[n]o person may hold two offices of honor or profit at the same time, but any person holding another office may at the same time be an officer in the militia, member of a lawfully and regularly organized fire department, constable, or a notary public." For a violation of this provision to occur, an individual must concurrently hold two public offices which have duties "involving an exercise of some part of the sovereign power" of the State. Sanders v. Belue. 78 S.C. 171, 174, 58 S.E.2d 762, 763 (1907). A public officer is "[o]ne who is charged by law with duties involving an exercise of some part of the sovereign power, either great or small, in the performance of which the public is concerned, and which are continuing, and not occasional intermittent, is a public officer." Id., 58 S.E.2d at 762-63. Other relevant considerations include: "whether the position was created by the legislature; whether the qualifications for appointment are established; whether the duties, tenure, salary, bond, and oath are prescribed or required; whether the one occupying the position is a representative of the sovereign...

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