Mr. John R. Tabb
Mississippi Attorney General Opinions
February 12, 1980
Mr. John R. Tabb
Mississippi State Highway Department
Post Office Box 1850
Jackson, Mississippi 39205 Dear Mr. Tabb:
Attorney General Allain has received your request for opinion and has referred it to the undersigned for research and reply.
You refer to Section 25-3-97 Mississippi Code of 1972, Annotated & Amended, and request an opinion as to whether such statute includes the three elected Highway Commissioners as officers and employees of the Mississippi State Highway Department with respect to the payment of accrued vacation time of not more than thirty (30) days upon leaving State employment.
You further advise that the Department has kept accurate records of the vacation time and sick leave accumulated and used by the Highway Commissioners, employees and officers of the Department.
Specifically, you request an opinion as to whether the elected Highway Commissioners, pursuant to the cited statute, may accrue vacation time and sick leave and be compensated therefor upon leaving office.
It is essential to keep in mind that the Mississippi State Highway Commissioners are elected officials for fixed terms at a fixed salary.
The State Highway Commissioners, being elected public officials, are responsible to the electorate for the manner in which they discharge their official duties and must exercise their own, individual sound judgment and discretion in determining how and when they shall discharge such duties. Situations could arise related to the duties of their office such as would require the attention and / or presence of the Highway Commissioners at any hour on any day so that such Commissioners are, in this sense, on duty twenty-four hours each...