No. JM-1188 (1990).

Case Date:July 23, 1990
Texas Attorney General Opinions 1990. No. JM-1188 (1990). July 23, 1990Opinion No. JM-1188Mattox Opinion No. JM-1188Office of the Attorney General State of TexasHonorable Terry M. Brown Criminal District Attorney Polk County P. O. Box 1717 Livingston, Texas 77351Opinion No. JM-1188Re: Whether promotions of the son and daughter of a sheriff violate the nepotism statute, article 5996a, V.T.C.S. (RQ-2018) Dear Mr. Brown: You ask for an interpretation of section 1(c) of the Texas nepotism law, article 5996a, V.T.C.S. You state that the son and daughter of the current Polk County Sheriff were both employed by the sheriff's office at the time their father took office. Both had sufficient prior continuous service to retain their positions. See V.T.C.S. art. 5996a, s 1(b). After their father became sheriff, both the son and daughter received promotions: the son was promoted from deputy sheriff to sergeant (a higher-ranking deputy, we assume), and the daughter was promoted from jailer to deputy sheriff. You ask whether those promotions were in contravention of section 1(c) of article 5996a, which provides: When a person is allowed to continue in an office, position, clerkship, employment or duty because of [sufficient prior continuous service] ... the Judge, Legislator, officer, or member of the governing body who is related to such person in the prohibited degree shall not participate in the deliberation or voting upon the appointment, reappointment, employment, confirmation, reemployment, change in status, compensation, or dismissal of such person, if such action applies only to such person and is not taken with respect to a bona fide class or category of employees. You first ask whether the promotions were lawful because they were made by a deputy sheriff, not the sheriff himself. Section 1(c) of article 5996a states that an officer shall not participate in the deliberation about or voting upon a change in status [fn1] of an employee related to him within a prohibited degree. If the officer in question is a member of a board, the related employee could receive a promotion or pay raise as long as the related board member did not discuss or vote on the promotion or pay raise. We do not think, however, that the sheriff avoided "participation" in the decision to promote his children by delegating the authority to make the...

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