Opinion 05-025-E.

Case Date:March 25, 2005
Mississippi Ethics Opinions 2005. Opinion 05-025-E. OFFICIAL ADVISORY OPINION NO. 05-025-EMarch 25, 2005This Advisory Opinion concerns the following issue as formulated from facts and/or circumstances furnished by a requestor. The Commission approved this opinion onMarch 25, 2005, basing its approval solely on the facts and circumstances stated herein.May the spouse of a constable be employed as deputy justice court clerk?State law restricts the Mississippi Ethics Commission to interpreting and issuing opinions on Sections 25-4-101 through 25-4-119, 1972 Mississippi Code Annotated and Article IV, Section 109, Mississippi Constitution of 1890. Therefore, this opinion does not address the Mississippi laws outside the Commission's jurisdiction nor the governmental entity's internal rules and regulations. The pertinent conflict of interest laws to be considered here are: Code Section 25-4-101 states: The legislature declares that elective and public office and employment is a public trust and any effort to realize personal gain through official conduct, other than as provided by law, or as a natural consequence of the employment or position, is a violation of that trust. Therefore, public servants shall endeavor to pursue a course of conduct which will not raise suspicion among the public that they are likely to be engaged in acts that are in violation of this trust and which will not reflect unfavorably upon the state and local governments. Code Section 25-4-103(g)(i), (h), (l), (p)(i)(ii)(iii) and (q) states: "(g) `Government' means the state and all political entities thereof, both collectively and separately, including but not limited to: (i) Counties. (h) `Governmental entity' means the state, a county, a municipality or any other separate political subdivision authorized by law to exercise a part of the sovereign power of the state. (l) `Pecuniary benefit' means benefit in the form of money, property, commercial interests or anything else the primary significance of which is economic gain. Expenses associated with social occasions afforded public servants shall not be deemed a pecuniary benefit. (p) `Public servant' means: (i) Any elected or appointed official of the government; (ii) Any officer, director, commissioner, supervisor, chief, head, agent or employee of the government or any agency thereof, or of any public entity...

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