Chapter 1. Public Officers; General Provisions

§ 25-1-1. Length of terms.

The term of office of all officers, not otherwise provided for by law, shall be four (4) years and until their successors shall be duly qualified.

HISTORY: Codes, Hutchinson’s 1848, ch. 33, art 11; 1857, ch. 6, art § 183; 1871, § 307; 1880, § 396; 1892, § 3049; 1906, § 3456; Hemingway’s 1917, § 2794; 1930, § 2881; 1942, § 4026.

Cross References —

Time of general elections, see Miss. Const. Art. 4, § 102.

Term of office of elected officials, see Miss. Const. Art. 12, § 252.

Election of judges and chancellors, see §§23-15-991,23-15-1015.

JUDICIAL DECISIONS

1. Public officers in general.

2. Validity of statutes.

3. Holding over.

4. Particular officers, application to.

1. Public officers in general.

Position is “public office” when created by law with duties cast upon incumbent involving exercise of some portion of sovereign power in performance of which public is concerned and which are continuing in their nature, “continuing” meaning enduring and permanent, whereas “public employment” is position lacking one or more of foregoing elements. State by Mitchell v. McLaurin, 159 Miss. 188, 131 So. 89, 1930 Miss. LEXIS 359 (Miss. 1930).

Length of time required to perform special and transient duties is not test of whether person discharging duties is public officer or employee. State by Mitchell v. McLaurin, 159 Miss. 188, 131 So. 89, 1930 Miss. LEXIS 359 (Miss. 1930).

2. Validity of statutes.

Laws, 1914, ch. 275 is not unconstitutional as failing to fix the terms of office of the seawall district commissioners. Board of Mayor & Aldermen v. Moreau, 109 Miss. 407, 69 So. 214, 1915 Miss. LEXIS 171 (Miss. 1915).

3. Holding over.

Under this section, [§ 4026], and § 136 of the Constitution of 1890, a member of the board of county supervisors, who was reelected during 1940 for such office but failed to provide bond and take the oath of office, had a right to hold over during the year 1940 until his successor should be elected and make the required bond and take the oath of office. O'Neal v. Fairley, 190 Miss. 650, 200 So. 722, 1941 Miss. LEXIS 70 (Miss. 1941).

Equity court lacked jurisdiction to try by injunction right to office of county supervisor of either held-over officer or of newly elected officer who had a certificate of election, regular on its face, and commission therefor, and who had duly qualified. Yates v. Summers, 177 Miss. 252, 170 So. 827, 1936 Miss. LEXIS 259 (Miss. 1936).

Newly elected member of board of supervisors did not waive claim to office, as against incumbent holding over on ground that newly elected member was ineligible, by accepting appointment from Governor after injunctive writ had been served. Yates v. Summers, 177 Miss. 252, 170 So. 827, 1936 Miss. LEXIS 259 (Miss. 1936).

Fact that office incumbent holds over under statutory authority until successor has qualified held did not preclude “vacancy” as basis for selecting successor. Berry v. Berry, 165 Miss. 472, 144 So. 695, 1932 Miss. LEXIS 292 (Miss. 1932).

Where duly elected justice of peace failed to qualify, incumbent was authorized to hold over until election and qualification of successor. Berry v. Berry, 165 Miss. 472, 144 So. 695, 1932 Miss. LEXIS 292 (Miss. 1932).

4. Particular officers, application to.

Under Laws 1914 ch. 163, term of office of factory inspector is four years. State ex rel. Attorney Gen. v. McDowell, 111 Miss. 596, 71 So. 867, 1916 Miss. LEXIS 344 (Miss. 1916).

RESEARCH REFERENCES

Am. Jur.

63A Am. Jur. 2d, Public Officers and Employees §§ 154 et seq.

CJS.

67 C.J.S., Officers §§ 136–142, 209.

§ 25-1-3. Date terms begin for state officers, except the governor.

The term of office of all state officers elected at a general election for that purpose, except the Governor, shall commence on the Thursday next after it shall be ascertained and determined by the House of Representatives who shall have been elected to the respective offices, as provided in Sections 140 and 143 of the Constitution.

HISTORY: Codes, 1880, § 398; 1892, § 3050; 1906, § 3457; Hemingway’s 1917, § 2795; 1930, § 2882; 1942, § 4027; Laws, 1973, ch. 352, § 1; Laws, 1982, ch. 387, eff from and after November 2, 1982 (date of approval by the state electorate of amendment to section 140, Mississippi Constitution of 1890, as proposed by Senate Concurrent Resolution No. 517 [ch. 621, Laws, 1982]).

Cross References —

Commencement of term of chancellors, see §9-5-1.

Commencement of term of circuit court judges and chancery court judges, see §23-15-1011.

RESEARCH REFERENCES

Am. Jur.

63C Am. Jur. 2d, Public Officers and Employees § 159.

CJS.

67 C.J.S., Officers §§ 143, 145.

§ 25-1-5. Date terms begin for district, county, and beat officers.

The term of office of all officers elected at such election for any district office, in a district composed of more than one county, or any county office, or any office of a subdivision of a county shall commence on the first Monday of January next succeeding the election.

HISTORY: Codes, 1880, § 396; 1892, § 3051; 1906, § 3458; Hemingway’s 1917, § 2796; 1930, § 2883; 1942, § 4028.

Cross References —

Appointive officers of code charter municipality, see §21-3-5.

JUDICIAL DECISIONS

1. In general.

The right of a former sheriff and tax collector to file a claim against the county for compensation for alleged services accrued at the time his term of office expired. Smith v. Copiah County, 232 Miss. 838, 100 So. 2d 614, 1958 Miss. LEXIS 337 (Miss. 1958).

The dismissal by a former sheriff and tax collector of his action against the county for compensation for alleged services did not destroy the right of his assignee, who was to obtain a portion of any recovery, and since the assignee’s right was dependent upon the right of his assignor, assignee’s action should have been brought within six years from the date of the expiration of the term of office of the former sheriff and tax collector, and, where it was not, the claim was barred. Smith v. Copiah County, 232 Miss. 838, 100 So. 2d 614, 1958 Miss. LEXIS 337 (Miss. 1958).

OPINIONS OF THE ATTORNEY GENERAL

While the legislature expressly requires that the first Monday in January is the date in which a term of office is to start, and no earlier, an oath of office may be made before the first Monday in January. Sykes, Nov. 6, 1991, A.G. Op. #91-0814.

RESEARCH REFERENCES

Am. Jur.

63C Am. Jur. 2d, Public Officers and Employees § 159.

CJS.

67 C.J.S., Officers §§ 143, 145.

§ 25-1-7. Vacancy in office.

If any person elected or appointed to any state, state district, levee board, county, county district, or municipal office shall fail to qualify as required by law on or before the day of the commencement of his term of office, or for any cause any such officer shall hold over after his regular term of office expires under the authority given him to hold over until his successor is appointed or elected and qualified, a vacancy in such office shall occur thereby and it shall be filled in the manner prescribed by law, as provided by Section 103 of the Constitution for filling vacancies in such offices, unless the failure to qualify arises from there being no officer to approve the bond of such officer-elect, and except the Governor-elect when the Legislature fixes by resolution the time of his installation. This section shall not be applicable to any coroner who fails to qualify as provided in Section 19-21-105.

HISTORY: Codes, 1857, ch. 6, art. 196; 1871, § 319; 1880, § 400; 1892, § 3052; 1906, § 3459; Hemingway’s 1917, § 2797; 1930, § 2884; 1942, § 4029; Laws, 1924, ch. 230; Laws, 1986, ch. 459, § 29, eff from and after July 1, 1986.

Cross References —

Delivery of books and records of office to a successor clerk of court, see §9-1-31.

Quo warranto to test right to hold public office, see §11-39-5.

Who are elected officers of municipality operating under code charter, see §21-3-3.

Qualifications for office of mayor or councilman, see §21-5-5.

Vacancy by reason of removal or default, see §25-1-59.

Removal of public officers, see §25-5-1.

JUDICIAL DECISIONS

1. In general.

2. Failure to qualify.

3. Filling vacancies.

1. In general.

Authority of governor as to approval of bonds of state official is stated. Broom v. Henry, 136 Miss. 132, 100 So. 602, 1924 Miss. LEXIS 110 (Miss. 1924).

In view of the return of the election commissioners that he had been elected to the office of mayor, though wrongful, it was unnecessary for a relator to have taken oath and executed bond, or have offered to do so, on or before the beginning of the term in order to maintain by quo warranto a contest for a municipal office with one usurping the same. State ex rel. Bourgeois v. Laizer, 77 Miss. 146, 25 So. 153, 1899 Miss. LEXIS 44 (Miss. 1899).

2. Failure to qualify.

Where duly elected justice of peace failed to qualify, incumbent was authorized to hold over until election and qualification of successor. Berry v. Berry, 165 Miss. 472, 144 So. 695, 1932 Miss. LEXIS 292 (Miss. 1932).

Failure of commissioner of levee board, on reappointment, to file bond under belief old bond would suffice to disqualify him. State ex rel. Jones v. Lyon, 145 Miss. 163, 110 So. 243, 1926 Miss. LEXIS 6 (Miss. 1926).

Commission of levee district is not authorized to continue in office because of failure of appointee to qualify, when prevented from filing bond for approval. State ex rel. Hairston v. Baggett, 145 Miss. 142, 110 So. 240, 1926 Miss. LEXIS 5 (Miss. 1926).

Marshal failing to qualify for office of tax collector was not entitled to recover fees of one illegally elected to office. Coker v. Wilkinson, 142 Miss. 1, 106 So. 886, 1926 Miss. LEXIS 52 (Miss. 1926).

The execution and approval by the designated officers of the bond required by law of a county officer is a condition precedent to the right to enter upon the office; tender to the proper officers of a bond, although ample and solvent, is not a compliance with such a condition if the bond be rejected. Andrews v. State, 69 Miss. 740, 13 So. 853, 1892 Miss. LEXIS 50 (Miss. 1892).

3. Filling vacancies.

Fact that office incumbent holds over under statutory authority until successor has qualified does not preclude “vacancy” as basis for selecting successor. Berry v. Berry, 165 Miss. 472, 144 So. 695, 1932 Miss. LEXIS 292 (Miss. 1932).

Laws, 1908, ch. 190, providing manner in which vacancies in offices shall be filled did not repeal Code 1906, § 3435. State ex rel. Booze v. Cresswell, 117 Miss. 795, 78 So. 770, 1918 Miss. LEXIS 223 (Miss. 1918).

The mode of filling vacancies in the office of justice of the peace is, by Const. 1890, § 103, committed entirely to the legislature. State ex rel. Booze v. Cresswell, 117 Miss. 795, 78 So. 770, 1918 Miss. LEXIS 223 (Miss. 1918).

When to fill a vacancy an election is held which is irregular, but commission is issued to the successful candidate, who qualifies and enters upon the duties of the office, and litigation afterward arises involving the validity of the election, whereupon, anticipating an adverse decision, he is appointed by the governor as if there had been no election, the fact that this is done pending the controversy does not affect the validity of his appointment. State v. Lovell, 70 Miss. 309, 12 So. 341, 1892 Miss. LEXIS 122 (Miss. 1892).

OPINIONS OF THE ATTORNEY GENERAL

Fire district commission members are authorized to holdover until their successor has been lawfully appointed and has qualified to assume the office. Strickland, Oct. 3, 1991, A.G. Op. #91-0712.

Appointed municipal election commissioners are entitled to serve and perform statutory duties of commissioners until their successors are appointed and qualified. Schissel Oct. 22, 1993, A.G. Op. #93-0752.

Based on Section 25-1-7, individuals who are serving in the positions of city attorney, municipal judge, municipal prosecutor, public defender and dilapidated housing prosecutor from a previous term and, who were not confirmed by the city council prior to serving that term, are holdover employees until either they or their successors are appointed by the mayor and confirmed by the city council. Schissel, March 6, 1996, A.G. Op. #96-0088.

There is no authority for three members of the Mississippi State Board of Medical Licensure whose terms expire on June 30, 2000 to continue to serve after that date if they have not been reappointed at that time by the Governor, and no other individuals have been appointed to fill their seats. Burnett, June 12, 2000, A.G. Op. #2000-0295.

If a town forgoes holding a general election in the event no person qualifies to run in that election, the incumbent officials would hold over after the expiration of their regular terms of office until such time as new officers are elected; further, any action taken by those officers during this hold-over period would be valid and binding as official acts. Craft, Apr. 27, 2001, A.G. Op. #01-0254.

When a city council tables an appointment recommended by the mayor for a position held by a person whose term has expired, the official whose term has expired continues to serve as a holdover. Bowman, Oct. 19, 2001, A.G. Op. #01-0647.

RESEARCH REFERENCES

Am. Jur.

63C Am. Jur. 2d, Public Officers and Employees §§ 133 et seq.

CJS.

67 C.J.S., Officers §§ 161–186.

§ 25-1-9. Oath of office taken.

The oath of office may be taken by all officers before any person authorized by law to administer an oath.

HISTORY: Codes, Hutchinson’s 1848, ch. 33, art 27 (2); 1857, ch. 6, arts 184, 185; 1871, § 308; 1880, § 401; 1892, § 3053; 1906, § 3460; Hemingway’s 1917, § 2798; 1930, § 2885; 1942, § 4030.

Cross References —

Form of oath of office, see Miss. Const. Art. 14, § 268.

“Affirmation” as included in word “oath”, see §1-3-35.

Persons authorized to administer oaths, see §11-1-1.

Oath requirement for subordinate appointed by head of state department, see §25-3-47.

Authority of notaries public to administer oath, see §25-33-9.

OPINIONS OF THE ATTORNEY GENERAL

A newly appointed district attorney must take and file an oath of office in accordance with §§25-1-9 and25-1-11 before he or she is entitled to any compensation. Anderson, Mar. 1, 2002, A.G. Op. #02-0062.

RESEARCH REFERENCES

Am. Jur.

63C Am. Jur. 2d, Public Officers and Employees §§ 131, 132.

CJS.

67 C.J.S., Officers §§ 66–74.

§ 25-1-11. Oath of office filed.

The oath of office of all state officers, and of all officers elected or appointed for any district composed of more than one county, shall be filed in the office of the secretary of state; but the oath of office of the circuit judges, chancellors, and district attorneys may be filed in the office of the clerk of the court where such officer shall first attend to discharge the duties of his office. The oath of office of all officers whose duties are confined within the limits of the county in which they are elected shall be filed in the office of the clerk of the chancery court of the county.

HISTORY: Codes, 1857, ch. 6, arts 184, 185; 1871, § 308; 1880, § 402; 1892, § 3054; 1906, § 3461; Hemingway’s 1917, § 2799; 1930, § 2886; 1942, § 4031.

Cross References —

Assuming duties of office before taking oath, see §97-11-41.

OPINIONS OF THE ATTORNEY GENERAL

A newly appointed district attorney must take and file an oath of office in accordance with §§25-1-9 and25-1-11 before he or she is entitled to any compensation. Anderson, Mar. 1, 2002, A.G. Op. #02-0062.

§ 25-1-13. State officials to make guaranty or surety bonds.

The state officials hereinafter named shall give bond in the penalty specified for each, with surety by one or more guaranty or surety companies authorized to do business in the state. Said bonds shall be approved by the Governor and commissioner of insurance and, when so approved, shall be filed and recorded in the office of the secretary of state.

The bond of the auditor of public accounts shall be for Thirty Thousand Dollars ($30,000.00); the state treasurer, One Hundred Thousand Dollars ($100,000.00); the land commissioner, Fifteen Thousand Dollars ($15,000.00); each of the public service commissioners, Ten Thousand Dollars ($10,000.00); director of the feed and fertilizer division, department of agriculture and commerce, Ten Thousand Dollars ($10,000.00); assistant secretary of state, Five Thousand Dollars ($5,000.00); state forester, Five Thousand Dollars ($5,000.00); sergeant of the guard of penitentiary, One Thousand Dollars ($1,000.00); dispatch sergeant of the state penitentiary, One Thousand Dollars ($1,000.00).

The official bonds of all other state officers shall continue and remain as to amounts thereof as now fixed elsewhere by law, but said bonds shall be subject to the provisions stated herein for sureties, approval, filing, and premium payment unless otherwise specifically provided.

Premiums paid on all bonds under the provisions of this section shall be paid out of the state treasury upon warrant of the auditor, which shall be issued upon the approval of the bonds as herein provided; provided, however, that the said premiums shall be at the lowest rate obtainable. If from any cause such guaranty or surety bond or bonds cannot be obtained in whole or in part because of refusal of said guaranty or surety companies, at a reasonable rate in the judgment of the insurance commissioner or for other cause, to make such bond or bonds, upon certificate of the commissioner of insurance to that effect, the officer or officers having thus been unable to make a bond or bonds may make such bond with personal or individual surety in the required penalty, to be approved by the Governor and filed and recorded as directed herein, together with the certificate of the commissioner of insurance attached to the bond.

HISTORY: Codes, 1906, § 3462; Hemingway’s 1917, § 2800; 1930, § 2887; 1942, § 4032; Laws, 1902, ch. 53; Laws, 1908, ch. 191.

Editor’s Notes —

Section 7-7-2 provides that the words “State Auditor of Public Accounts,” “State Auditor,” and “Auditor” appearing in the laws of this state in connection with the performance of Auditor’s functions shall mean the State Fiscal Officer.

Section 7-11-4 provides that the words “state land commissioner,” “land commissioner,” “state land office,” and “land office” shall mean the Secretary of State.

Section 27-104-6 provides that whenever the term “State Fiscal Officer” appears in any law it shall mean “Executive Director of the Department of Finance and Administration.”

Cross References —

Authority of Legislature to fix conditions of official bonds, see Miss. Const. Art. 4, § 82.

Prison auditor’s bond, see §47-5-35.

Effect of lack of seal, see §75-19-7.

Assuming duties of office before taking oath, see §97-11-41.

RESEARCH REFERENCES

ALR.

Public officer’s bond as subject to forfeiture for malfeasance in office. 4 A.L.R.2d 1348.

What period of limitation governs in an action against a public officer and the surety on his official bond. 18 A.L.R.2d 1176.

Liability of clerk of court, county clerk or prothonotary, or surety on bond, for negligent or wrongful acts of deputies or assistants. 71 A.L.R.2d 1140.

Am. Jur.

3A Am. Jur. Legal Forms 2d, Bonds §§ 43:2 et seq. (statutory bonds).

12 Am. Jur. 2d, Bonds §§ 4 et seq.

63C Am. Jur. 2d, Public Officers and Employees §§ 126, 490, 491.

CJS.

67 C.J.S., Officers and Public Employees §§ 73, 74, 473 et seq.

§ 25-1-15. Conditions of official bonds; new bonds to be secured every four years.

  1. The bonds of all public officers required to give individual bond shall be conditioned in the following form, to wit:

    “Whereas, the above bound A B was duly elected (or appointed) to the office of_______________on the_______________day of_______________ , for the term of_______________years from the_______________day of_______________ ; therefore, if he shall faithfully perform all the duties of said office during his continuance therein, then the above obligation to be void.”

    A new bond in the amount required by law shall be secured at the beginning of each new term of office or every four (4) years, whichever is less.

  2. The bonds of all public employees required to give individual bond shall be conditioned in the following form, to wit:

    “Whereas, the above bound A B was duly employed (or appointed) to the position of_______________on the_______________day of_______________ ; therefore, if he shall faithfully perform all the duties of said position during his continuance therein, then the above obligation to be void.”

    A new bondin an amount not less than that required by law shall be secured uponemployment and coverage shall continue by the securing of a new bondevery four (4) years concurrent with the normal election cycle ofthe Governor or with the normal election cycle of the local governmentapplicable to the employee.

  3. A failure to observe the form herein prescribed shall not vitiate any official bond; and all official bonds shall be valid and binding in whatever form they may be taken, except so far as they may be conditioned for the performance of acts in violation of the laws or policy of the state. Whether in the proper penalty or without any penalty, whether correct or incorrect in its recitals as to the term of office or otherwise, whether properly payable, whether approved by the proper officer or not approved by any, or if irregular in any other respect, such bond, if delivered as the official bond of the officer or employee and serving as such, shall be obligatory on everyone who subscribed it for the purpose of making the official bond of such officer or employee to the full penalty or, if it has no penalty, to the full penalty of the bond which might have been required.
  4. All blanket bonds given on positions of public employment shall be conditioned upon the faithful performance of all the duties of the positions covered and insured by said blanket bond. A new bond in an amount not less than that required by law for public employees shall be secured at the beginning of each new term of office of the public or appointed official by whom they are employed, if applicable, or at least every four (4) years concurrent with the normal election cycle of the Governor.

HISTORY: Codes, Hutchinson’s 1848, ch. 33, art 12 (3); 1857, ch. 6, art 186; 1871, § 309; 1880, § 403; 1892, § 3055; 1906, § 3463; Hemingway’s 1917, § 2801; 1930, § 2888; 1942, § 4033; Laws, 1986, ch. 458, § 1; Laws, 2000, ch. 426, § 1, eff from and after July 1, 2000.

Joint Legislative Committee Note —

Pursuant to Section 1-1-109, the Joint Legislative Committee on Compilation, Revision and Publication of Legislation corrected a typographical error in the third paragraph of (1), as inserted by Laws of 2000, ch. 426, § 1. The words “each new term of office or every four (4) year, whichever is less” were changed to “each new term of office or every four (4) years, whichever is less.” The Joint Committee ratified the correction at its June 29, 2000, meeting.

Pursuant to Section 1-1-109, the Joint Legislative Committee on Compilation, Revision and Publication of Legislation corrected a typographical error in the second paragraph of subsection (2). The words “the above A B was duly employed” were changed to “the above bound A B was duly employed.” The Joint Committee ratified the correction at its April 26, 2001, meeting.

Cross References —

Authority of Legislature to fix conditions of official bonds, see Miss. Const. Art. 4, § 82.

JUDICIAL DECISIONS

1. In general.

2. Official bonds, what are.

3. Validity of bonds.

4. Liability on bonds.

5. Actions on bonds.

1. In general.

This statute is remedial and should be liberally construed. Maryland Casualty Co. v. Terry, 184 Miss. 33, 185 So. 228, 1938 Miss. LEXIS 317 (Miss. 1938).

Section 82, Const 1890, requiring the legislature to fix the penalty of official bonds, has no application to offices created by statute. Town of Gloster v. Harrell, 77 Miss. 793, 23 So. 520, 27 So. 609, 1900 Miss. LEXIS 13 (Miss. 1900).

2. Official bonds, what are.

Bond of the treasurer of a levee board is an “official bond.” Adams v. Williams, 97 Miss. 113, 52 So. 865, 1910 Miss. LEXIS 283 (Miss. 1910).

3. Validity of bonds.

Although a supervisor’s official bond specified a penalty in a sum less than that required by the provisions of Code 1942, § 2872, both the supervisor and his surety were actually bound to the full amount of the statutorily fixed penalty. State v. Moody, 198 So. 2d 586, 1967 Miss. LEXIS 1268 (Miss. 1967).

Bond of officer is binding on every person who subscribes it. State ex rel. Berry v. Hundley, 125 Miss. 355, 87 So. 890, 1921 Miss. LEXIS 131 (Miss. 1921).

Failure of treasurer of levee board to sign his bond as principal where the bond was delivered as his official bond and acted upon as such is immaterial. Adams v. Williams, 97 Miss. 113, 52 So. 865, 1910 Miss. LEXIS 283 (Miss. 1910).

Official bond is not invalidated by addition of condition not required by law. Adams v. Williams, 97 Miss. 113, 52 So. 865, 1910 Miss. LEXIS 283 (Miss. 1910).

Bond given by member of board of supervisors, and duly approved by the proper officers, was valid although the officers made an incorrect calculation of the amount of the penalty. State ex rel. Mitchell v. Smith, 87 Miss. 551, 40 So. 22 (Miss. 1905).

When one signs what purports and is intended to be an official bond, whether as principal obligor or surety, the law writes in all necessary recitals, including the proper penalty. State ex rel. Mitchell v. Smith, 87 Miss. 551, 40 So. 22 (Miss. 1905).

Where the municipal authorities fix the amount of the bond of the town treasurer and approve and accept as his official bond one not signed by him, but signed by certain persons as his sureties who signed without his request, it is valid under this section. Town of Gloster v. Harrell, 77 Miss. 793, 23 So. 520, 27 So. 609, 1900 Miss. LEXIS 13 (Miss. 1900).

The meaning of the section is not that the bond shall be good in the absence of the prescribed form as a common law obligation, but that it shall be valid and binding as a statutory bond. Cox v. Ross, 56 Miss. 481, 1879 Miss. LEXIS 148 (Miss. 1879).

4. Liability on bonds.

A bond executed by a surety company covering one’s duties as night-watchman of a town, did not cover injury sustained by the plaintiff by reason of an assault and battery by one exercising his duties as night marshal notwithstanding it appeared that he had been temporarily appointed by resolutions of the town mayor and board of aldermen to assume the duties of night-watchman until the bond required for night marshal was obtained. Maryland Casualty Co. v. Terry, 184 Miss. 33, 185 So. 228, 1938 Miss. LEXIS 317 (Miss. 1938).

Recovery may be had on county supervisors’ bonds for injury resulting from their refusal to perform or negligence in performing ministerial duties. Walton v. Colmer, 169 Miss. 182, 147 So. 331, 148 So. 635, 1933 Miss. LEXIS 3 (Miss. 1933).

Recovery may be had on county supervisors’ official bonds for county funds in insolvent bank, selected by them as county depository without requiring it to furnish securities. Walton v. Colmer, 169 Miss. 182, 147 So. 331, 148 So. 635, 1933 Miss. LEXIS 3 (Miss. 1933).

Justice of peace liable on bond for damages from his false certificate of acknowledgment. Hodges v. Mills, 139 Miss. 347, 104 So. 165, 1925 Miss. LEXIS 155 (Miss. 1925).

Sheriff was not liable on bond for failure to return execution issued on void judgment. Union Motor Car Co. v. Cartledge, 133 Miss. 318, 97 So. 801, 1923 Miss. LEXIS 153 (Miss. 1923).

County treasurers are liable on their official bonds for the absolute safety of all money coming into their hands, unless it be lost by the act of God or the public enemy. Arnold v. State, 77 Miss. 463, 27 So. 596, 1899 Miss. LEXIS 80 (Miss. 1899).

5. Actions on bonds.

Bill alleging that clerk received and wrongfully kept a deposit for cost earned by sheriff, and that it was clerk’s duty to pay sheriff’s fees out of the amount deposited, stated cause of action on clerk’s bond. United States Fidelity & Guaranty Co. v. Young, 128 Miss. 296, 91 So. 3, 1922 Miss. LEXIS 116 (Miss. 1922).

OPINIONS OF THE ATTORNEY GENERAL

A principal is not a public employee who is required to give an individual bond as provided by 25-1-15(2); therefore, such positions may be covered by a blanket bond so long as the blanket bond comports with the requirements of 25-1-15(4) wherein each position and the requisite amount of coverage for each position is listed. Middleton, April 26, 1996, A.G. Op. #96-0222.

Section 37-39-21 is written in the singular which would indicate that any and all purchase agents must be covered by an individual bond pursuant to Section 25-1-15(2). Middleton, April 26, 1996, A.G. Op. #96-0222.

RESEARCH REFERENCES

Am. Jur.

12 Am. Jur. 2d, Bonds §§ 4 et seq.

63C Am. Jur. 2d, Public Officers and Employees §§ 494- 496.

3A Am. Jur. Legal Forms 2d, Bonds §§ 43:18, 43:20 (general form of public officer’s bond).

15A Am. Jur. Legal Forms 2d, Public Officers §§ 213:29 et seq. (official bond).

CJS.

67 C.J.S., Officers and Public Employees §§ 457, 473 et seq.

§ 25-1-17. Official bonds payable to state.

The bonds of all public officers and public employees required to give bond shall be made payable to the state, and shall be put in suit in the name of the state for the use and benefit of any person injured by the breach thereof. Such bonds shall not be void on the first recovery, but may be put in suit from time to time by any party injured by the breach thereof, until the whole penalty shall be recovered.

HISTORY: Codes, 1857, ch. 6, art 188; 1871, § 311; 1880, § 404; 1892, § 3056; 1906, § 3464; Hemingway’s 1917, § 2802; 1930, § 2889; 1942, § 4034; Laws, 1986, ch. 458, § 2, eff from and after October 1, 1986.

Cross References —

Authority of Legislature to fix conditions of official bonds, see Miss. Const. Art. 4, § 82.

Suit by Attorney General on bond of state officer, see §7-5-47.

Requirement that bonds be payable to state, see §11-1-27.

JUDICIAL DECISIONS

1. Liability in general.

2. Actions on bonds — pleading.

3. —Parties.

1. Liability in general.

Where a notary is required by statute to give a bond with sureties for the performance of his official duties, he and his sureties will be liable in an action for any breach of conditions of the bond, provided such breach is a proximate cause of a loss or injury, although it need not be the sole loss. United States Fidelity & Guaranty Co. v. State, 211 Miss. 864, 53 So. 2d 11, 1951 Miss. LEXIS 419 (Miss. 1951).

Under the statute any person injured by the breach of bond of a notary can recover, and there are no limitations or restrictions in so far as the liability of the officer and his surety are concerned so long as the damage is the result of the breach and the statute does not require that there be reliance by the injured party. United States Fidelity & Guaranty Co. v. State, 211 Miss. 864, 53 So. 2d 11, 1951 Miss. LEXIS 419 (Miss. 1951).

The statutory provision imposing a liability upon a county superintendent of education and his official bond to holders of pay certificates issued by him in excess of the amount of funds available or of the budget estimate for the current year, without referring to his liability under a former statute making a county superintendent and his bondsmen liable to school teachers and carriers for any injury inflicted by him in violating his official duties in employing them, does not affect the remedy therefor, unless a pay certificate is issued to the wrongfully employed teacher or carrier, the face amount of which covers the damage he has sustained, and the liability of the superintendent on the certificate is fixed at a sum certain without reference to the damage sustained by the one to whom the certificate was issued. State use of Rogers v. Newton, 191 Miss. 611, 3 So. 2d 816, 1941 Miss. LEXIS 166 (Miss. 1941).

Surety was not exempt from liability because bond of supervisor was made payable to county instead of to State. State use of Russell v. McRae, 169 Miss. 169, 152 So. 826, 1934 Miss. LEXIS 26 (Miss. 1934).

Recovery may be had on county supervisors’ bonds for injury resulting from their refusal to perform or negligence in performing ministerial duties. Walton v. Colmer, 169 Miss. 182, 147 So. 331, 148 So. 635, 1933 Miss. LEXIS 3 (Miss. 1933).

Recovery may be had on county supervisors’ official bonds for county funds in insolvent bank, selected by them as county depository without requiring it to furnish securities. Walton v. Colmer, 169 Miss. 182, 147 So. 331, 148 So. 635, 1933 Miss. LEXIS 3 (Miss. 1933).

2. Actions on bonds — pleading.

Declaration against member of board of supervisors for alleged tort joining in same count surety on official bond was not demurrable as joining causes of action of tort and contract in one count. State use of Russell v. McRae, 169 Miss. 169, 152 So. 826, 1934 Miss. LEXIS 26 (Miss. 1934).

In a suit on a bond where a defendant pleads a former recovery, it is not a good replication to aver that the breaches which had occured before the former suit are different from those in said suit, and were unknown to plaintiff when that suit was brought, without an averment of a fraudulent concealment thereof by the defendant; and the statute does not affect this. State use of Hinds County v. Morrison, 60 Miss. 74, 1882 Miss. LEXIS 12 (Miss. 1882).

3. —Parties.

In determining the existence of diversity of citizenship essential to Federal jurisdiction, the state in whose name the suit is brought on an official bond for the benefit of individuals claiming to have sustained damages in consequence of a breach of official duty under this section is merely a nominal party not to be considered. Thames v. Mississippi, 117 F.2d 949, 1941 U.S. App. LEXIS 4382 (5th Cir. Miss.), cert. denied, 314 U.S. 630, 62 S. Ct. 63, 86 L. Ed. 506, 1941 U.S. LEXIS 394 (U.S. 1941).

Notwithstanding this section the state, though nominally the obligee, is not a necessary party to a suit in chancery on the bond of the chancery clerk acting as guardian of minors to recover their estate. Patty v. Williams, 71 Miss. 837, 15 So. 43, 1894 Miss. LEXIS 38 (Miss. 1894).

OPINIONS OF THE ATTORNEY GENERAL

Bond which secures the patient funds held by the state must be payable to the state. Hendrix, Jan. 3, 2003, A.G. Op. #02-0753.

RESEARCH REFERENCES

Am. Jur.

12 Am. Jur. 2d, Bonds §§ 4 et seq.

CJS.

67 C.J.S., Officers §§ 48-54, 473 et seq.

§ 25-1-19. Approval of bonds of county and beat officers.

  1. The bond of the chancery clerk and circuit clerk of each county shall be approved by the board of supervisors of the county. The bond of the members of the board of supervisors of the county shall be approved by the chancery clerk of such county. The bonds of all other county officers and employees, or officers and employees for any district, subdivision, board or commission of a county, including public school districts, shall be approved by the board of supervisors of such county. All the bonds shall be filed and recorded in the office of the clerk of the chancery court of the county, except that the original of the chancery clerk’s bond, after it is recorded, shall be deposited and filed in the office of the clerk of the circuit court.
  2. The bond of any municipal officer or employee required to give bond shall be approved by the governing authority of such municipality. All said bonds shall be filed and recorded in the office of the municipal clerk of said municipality.
  3. The bonds of all other officers and employees, unless otherwise provided by law, shall be approved by and filed with the appointing authority of such officer or employee.

HISTORY: Codes, Hutchinson’s 1848, ch. 33, art 22 (2); 1857, ch. 6, art 187; 1871, § 310; 1880, §§ 405, 406; 1892, § 3057; 1906, § 3465; Hemingway’s 1917, § 2803; 1930, § 2890; 1942, § 4035; Laws, 1986, ch. 458, § 3; Laws, 1988, ch. 471; Laws, 1988, ch. 488, § 1, eff from and after passage (approved April 30, 1988).

Cross References —

Authority of Legislature to fix conditions of official bonds, see Miss. Const. Art. 4, § 82.

Approval by mayor of bonds payable to municipality, see §21-3-17.

Fees for approving bond of county officer, see §25-7-43.

JUDICIAL DECISIONS

1. In general.

The Supreme Court was without authority to review judicially the action of the president of a board of supervisors and the clerk of the chancery court in disproving the bond offered by a county supervisor, or to require them to approve the same, even though they failed to interpret Code 1930, § 2892 as being in pari materia with Code 1930, §§ 2891 and 2893, and also to construe it in connection with § 112 of the State Constitution, since such officials, even though acting judicially when passing upon the sufficiency of the bonds of other county officials, did not constitute a court of record or a tribunal required to keep a record of their findings. Fairley v. Ladnier, 190 Miss. 514, 200 So. 724, 1941 Miss. LEXIS 71 (Miss. 1941).

Even if certiorari would lie to the supreme court to a refusal of the president of a board of supervisors and the clerk of the chancery court to approve the tendered bond of another county official, the supreme court would be limited in reviewing the record to a consideration of the bond, affidavits of financial worth and the other security offered, and would be without the right to consider the evidence upon which such officials made their findings or the facts set forth therein. Fairley v. Ladnier, 190 Miss. 514, 200 So. 724, 1941 Miss. LEXIS 71 (Miss. 1941).

The president of the board of supervisors, in approving or disapproving bonds of county officers, acts judicially and, however unjust or arbitrary his acts may be, they are not subject to revision by mandamus. Shotwell v. Covington, 69 Miss. 735, 12 So. 260, 1892 Miss. LEXIS 17 (Miss. 1892).

RESEARCH REFERENCES

Am. Jur.

12 Am. Jur. 2d, Bonds §§ 4 et seq.

CJS.

67 C.J.S., Officers §§ 48-54, 473 et seq.

§ 25-1-21. Affidavit of worth.

Each surety, other than a surety company, on the official bond of any public officer or employee shall make affidavit before some officer competent to administer oaths that he is worth a certain sum, to be specified, in land owned and held by him in his own name and right in fee simple, or for life or a term of not less than twenty (20) years, and situated in the county, over and above all legal exemptions and all his debts and liabilities, including the amount of his liability on any other official bond where the term of office for which the same was given has not expired or where it has expired within a period of five (5) years from the date of such affidavit; and such affidavit shall be endorsed on or annexed to the bond.

Said surety shall set forth in such affidavit a full and clear description of the land, the actual cash value thereof, and the amount of any encumbrance thereon, if any.

HISTORY: Codes, 1857, ch. 6, art 187; 1871, § 310; 1880, §§ 407, 408; 1892, §§ 3058, 3059; 1906, §§ 3466, 3467; Hemingway’s 1917, §§ 2804, 2805; 1930, §§ 2891, 2892; 1942, §§ 4036, 4037; Laws, 1942, ch. 222; Laws, 1986, ch. 458, § 4, eff from and after October 1, 1986.

Cross References —

Authority of Legislature to fix conditions of official bonds, see Miss. Const. Art. 4, § 82.

Right to inspect land described in affidavit, see §25-1-23.

Qualifications of surety companies, see §83-27-1.

OPINIONS OF THE ATTORNEY GENERAL

A review of all the sections in this chapter show that these statutes are intended to apply to elected or appointed officials having a duty to the public in general, and that they do not apply to guardians, executors or administrators of individuals or their estates. Clapp, Nov. 27, 1991, A.G. Op. #91-0876.

RESEARCH REFERENCES

CJS.

67 C.J.S., Officers §§ 476, 486, 487.

§ 25-1-23. Procedure for determining sufficiency of doubtful bond.

The officers by whom official bonds of public officials and employees are to be approved shall have the right to inspect the land described in the affidavit made by a surety on any such bond, and shall have the right to orally examine the surety and others touching the description and value of such land. If the approving officers shall fail or refuse to approve any such official bond within fifteen (15) days after it is presented to them by any duly elected or appointed officer or employee and such officer or employee is debarred of his office or position by reason of such failure or refusal, the officer or employee thus debarred may, within ten (10) days after the expiration of the said fifteen-day period, appeal to the chancery court of the county, upon giving bond with sufficient sureties in a penalty of One Hundred Dollars ($100.00), payable to the state and conditioned that he will perform the decree of the chancery court. The appeal bond, if sufficient, shall be approved by the clerk of the chancery court and forthwith delivered to the officers who have failed or refused to approve the official bond.

When the appeal bond has been approved and delivered to the approving officers, they shall immediately file it, together with the official bond and the affidavits by the sureties that are annexed to it, in the office of the clerk of the chancery court; and the cause shall be immediately entered on the issue docket of the chancery court as a suit in equity in the name of the aggrieved officer or employee, as complainant, and in the names of the approving officers, as defendants, which cause shall then be at issue and shall be a preference case. The controversy shall be tried de novo, either in term or in vacation, at a time to be fixed by an order made by the chancellor, and no other or further notice of the trial shall be necessary. The issue shall be the sufficiency vel non of the official bond, and the burden of proof shall be upon the appealing officer or employee.

If the bond be adjudged to be sufficient and the approving officers are still unwilling to approve it, the appealing officer or employee may deliver to the approving officers certified copies of the bond, the affidavits of the sureties annexed to it, and the decree of the chancery court; and he shall thereupon be entitled to have the oath of office administered to him and to occupy the office to which he was theretofore elected or appointed.

If the bond be adjudged to be insufficient, a decree shall be rendered against the appealing officer or employee and the sureties on the appeal bond, requiring them to pay the costs of the proceeding in the chancery court; but such adjudication shall not preclude the appealing officer or employee from furnishing a sufficient bond, and the approval thereof by the approving officers, at any time before another person has been duly elected or appointed to the office or position.

HISTORY: Codes, 1880, § 409; 1892, § 3060; 1906, § 3468; Hemingway’s 1917, § 2806; 1930, § 2893; 1942, § 4038; Laws, 1942, ch. 222; Laws, 1986, ch. 458, § 5, eff from and after October 1, 1986.

Cross References —

Penalty for approving worthless official bond, see §97-11-9.

RESEARCH REFERENCES

Am. Jur.

12 Am. Jur. 2d, Bonds §§ 4 et seq.

63C Am. Jur. 2d, Public Officers and Employees §§ 494- 496.

CJS.

67 C.J.S., Officers and Public Employees §§ 355-357476, 486, 487.

§ 25-1-25. New bond required in certain cases.

In case the sureties or any of them, of any public officer or employee shall permanently remove out of the state or become insolvent, or if from any cause an official bond shall be found insufficient, the Governor in the case of a state officer or employee, and the appropriate governing authority in the case of a local officer or employee, shall notify such officer or employee to appear at a day and place to be named within ten (10) days thereafter, to give a new bond with other sufficient sureties in a penalty equal to that of the former bond and with the like condition, or to show cause why the same should not be required. If such officer or employee shall fail or neglect so to do within a time to be designated, his office or position shall thereby become vacant and he shall cease to discharge any of the duties thereof. If a state officer or employee, the Governor shall cause the vacancy to be filled as in other cases; and, if a local office or employee, the vacancy shall be filled as in other cases of vacancy in local offices. From proceedings under this section there shall be no appeal; and if the officer or employee to be notified be without the state or abscond, he may be notified by publication as defendants in chancery are so notified.

HISTORY: Codes, Hutchinson’s 1848, ch. 33, art 3 (6); 1857, ch. 6, art 192; 1871, § 315; 1880, § 411; 1892, § 3062; 1906, § 3469; Hemingway’s 1917, § 2807; 1930, § 2894; 1942, § 4039; Laws, 1986, ch. 458, § 6, eff from and after October 1, 1986.

Cross References —

Authority of Legislature to fix conditions of official bonds, see Miss. Const. Art. 4, § 82.

JUDICIAL DECISIONS

1. In general.

2. Notice.

1. In general.

The sureties on a new bond given under this section are not liable for defaults occurring before its execution. Lewenthall v. State, 51 Miss. 645, 1875 Miss. LEXIS 89 (Miss. 1875).

2. Notice.

A writ of mandamus could not be ordered to compel a Board of Supervisors to give notice to the chancery clerk of the county to appear before it and show cause why he should not be required to give a legal, valid, and solvent official bond based on the allegation that the sureties on such clerk’s bond were then insolvent, where there was no showing that the Board had made the essential preliminary finding that the officer’s bond was insufficient. Luter v. Board of Sup'rs, 186 Miss. 24, 189 So. 94, 1939 Miss. LEXIS 215 (Miss. 1939).

Governor must notify officer to appear at a day and place to be named within ten days to give a new bond. Broom v. Henry, 136 Miss. 132, 100 So. 602, 1924 Miss. LEXIS 110 (Miss. 1924).

Until notice is given and expiration of time to file new bond, no vacancy occurs, and the governor cannot appoint another to fill the alleged vacancy. Broom v. Henry, 136 Miss. 132, 100 So. 602, 1924 Miss. LEXIS 110 (Miss. 1924).

OPINIONS OF THE ATTORNEY GENERAL

The county tax assessor’s office must be open for business on all business days from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., except when the board of supervisors authorizes it to be closed at 12:00 noon one business day of each week, or all day Saturday of each week, or at 12:00 noon on Saturday and at 12:00 noon on one additional business day of each week. Richardson, June 28, 2002, A.G. Op. #02-0315.

RESEARCH REFERENCES

Am. Jur.

63C Am. Jur. 2d, Public Officers and Employees § 490, 520.

3 Am. Jur. Legal Forms 2d, Bonds § 43:18 (general form of official bond).

CJS.

67 C.J.S., Officers §§ 73, 74.

§ 25-1-27. Release of surety on bond of local officer or employee.

In case a surety on any bond of any local officer or employee shall conceive himself to be in danger of suffering by being such surety and shall desire to be relieved therefrom, he may petition the board of supervisors or the municipal governing authority, as the case may be, for relief in the premises. The appropriate local governing authority shall thereupon order that the officer or employee give a new bond with sufficient sureties in a penalty not less than the first bond and conditioned according to law, and notice of such order shall forthwith be given to such officer or employee. Said new bond shall be furnished within such reasonable time as the governing authority may direct, not exceeding thirty (30) days from the date of said order; and on the giving of such bond and the approval thereof by the governing authority, the petitioner shall be discharged from further liability on the bond as to the performances of all official duties after the giving of such new bond. If such officer or employee shall fail or refuse to comply with the order to give a new bond, his office or position shall thereby become vacant and the vacancy shall be filled as in other cases of vacancies in local offices or positions.

HISTORY: Codes, Hutchinson’s 1848, ch. 33, art 9 (1); 1857, ch. 6, art 193; 1871, § 316; 1880, § 412; 1892, § 3063; 1906, § 3470; Hemingway’s 1917, § 2808; 1930, § 2895; 1942, § 4040; Laws, 1922, ch. 237; Laws, 1986, ch. 458, § 7, eff from and after October 1, 1986.

Cross References —

Authority of Legislature to fix conditions of official bonds, see Miss. Const. Art. 4, § 82.

Qualification of surety companies, see §83-27-1.

JUDICIAL DECISIONS

1. In general.

2. Release.

1. In general.

The sureties on the new bond are not liable for defaults occurring before its execution. Lewenthall v. State, 51 Miss. 645, 1875 Miss. LEXIS 89 (Miss. 1875).

2. Release.

A petition by a surety company to a board of supervisors couched in the language of this section in order to be relieved from the obligation of surety to a justice of the peace did not give rise to a cause of action against it for libel, both because the surety was thereby exercising a legal right and because the words themselves were not libelous. Morehead v. United States Fidelity & Guaranty Co., 187 Miss. 55, 192 So. 300, 1939 Miss. LEXIS 94 (Miss. 1939).

A failure to give a new bond, when ordered to do so under the section ipso facto vacates the office, and the petitioning sureties are no longer liable. Bennett v. State, 58 Miss. 556, 1880 Miss. LEXIS 158 (Miss. 1880); State v. Morgan, 59 Miss. 349, 1881 Miss. LEXIS 132 (Miss. 1881).

Sureties are not released, nor are additional sureties bound, by erasing the names of the former and substituting those of the latter by direction of the board of supervisors. State v. Matthews, 57 Miss. 1, 1879 Miss. LEXIS 1 (Miss. 1879).

RESEARCH REFERENCES

CJS.

67 C.J.S., Officers §§ 368, 369.

§ 25-1-29. Release of surety on bond of state officer.

In case a surety on any bond of any state officer shall desire to be relieved therefrom, he may petition to the Governor to that purpose and give notice thereof to the officer from whose bond he wishes to be relieved; and the Governor shall also communicate and give notice to such officer. If said officer shall not within such reasonable time as the Governor shall direct, not exceeding thirty (30) days, present a new bond in a penalty not less than the first and conditioned according to law, such office shall be declared vacant by the Governor. On the giving of such new bond and the approval as required by law, the petitioner shall be discharged from further liability on the bond as to the performance of all official duties after the giving of such new bond. In the event such surety shall be relieved, he shall refund to the state the unearned premium on such bond.

HISTORY: Codes, Hutchinson’s 1848, ch. 33, art 9 (1); 1857, ch. 6, art 193; 1871, § 316; 1880, § 412; 1892, § 3063; 1906, §§ 2385, 3471; Hemingway’s 1917, §§ 2809, 4777; 1930, §§ 2896, 4831; 1942, §§ 3989, 4041; Laws, 1896, ch. 51.

Cross References —

Authority of Legislature to fix conditions of official bonds, see Miss. Const. Art. 4, § 82.

Qualification of surety companies, see §83-27-1.

RESEARCH REFERENCES

Am. Jur.

63A Am. Jur. 2d, Public Officers and Employees §§ 516, 534, 535, 538.

CJS.

67 C.J.S., Officers §§ 368, 369.

§ 25-1-31. Personal bonds.

All bonds required by law to be made by all public officers and employees shall be made in a surety company, authorized to do business in this state.

Any such officer or employee may make affidavit, such affidavit to include two (2) letters of refusal of such bond by bonding companies licensed to do business in the State of Mississippi, that he has made diligent effort to obtain the surety bond required by this section and was unable to do so. In such event, such officer or employee may make his official bond with two (2) or more personal sureties, qualified as provided by law.

HISTORY: Codes, 1930, § 2897; 1942, § 4042; Laws, 1924, ch. 233; Laws, 1962, ch. 495; Laws, 1981, ch. 471, § 45; Laws, 1982, ch. 423, § 9; Laws, 1986, ch. 458, § 8, eff from and after October 1, 1986.

Cross References —

Authority of Legislature to fix conditions of official bonds, see Miss. Const. Art. 4, § 82.

Approval of bonds of county and beat officers, see §25-1-19.

OPINIONS OF THE ATTORNEY GENERAL

A review of all the sections in this chapter show that these statutes are intended to apply to elected or appointed officials having a duty to the public in general, and that they do not apply to guardians, executors or administrators of individuals or their estates. Clapp, Nov. 27, 1991, A.G. Op. #91-0876.

If a county officer is unable to be bonded by a surety company he may follow the procedures outlined in the second paragraph of Section 25-1-31. Carson, December 7, 1995, A.G. Op. #95-0779.

RESEARCH REFERENCES

Am. Jur.

63A Am. Jur. 2d, Public Officers and Employees §§ 490, 491.

CJS.

67 C.J.S., Officers §§ 73, 74.

§ 25-1-33. Premiums on official bonds.

  1. The premiums on all bonds given by public officers and employees shall be paid out of any funds available for such expenditure.
  2. Any authority, board, commission or other public entity created by state law is hereby authorized and empowered to expend such portion of its funds as may be found necessary to pay all premiums on surety bonds drawn in favor of the State of Mississippi, which such public entity may require its employees to furnish for the faithful performance of their duties.
  3. This section is to apply only to the payment of such surety bond premiums as are not now otherwise provided for by law.

HISTORY: Codes, 1942, § 4043; Laws, 1940, ch. 148; Laws, 1986, ch. 458, § 9, eff from and after October 1, 1986.

Cross References —

Form and conditions of official bonds, see §25-1-15.

OPINIONS OF THE ATTORNEY GENERAL

No authority requires the county to bond the county medical examiner. However, a county may, within its discretion, provide such a bond. See Section 25-1-33. Brooks, December 20, 1996, A.G. Op. #96-0835.

Counties may not pay the premium on the required bond for official court reporters of the chancery and circuit court, but may pay the premium for the bonds of county court reporters and may pay the dues for the membership of the county court reporter in the court reporter’s association upon making a determination that such dues are reasonable and necessary to the performance of the court reporter’s duties. Ross, February 26, 1999, A.G. Op. #99-0053.

A school district’s responsibility for the payment of the premiums on the surety bonds of its members is for the amount that is necessary to obtain a good and sufficient bond; the district would not be required to bear the expense of that portion of a premium that is over and above the amount determined to be necessary to obtain a good and sufficient bond. Wyly, Jan. 10, 2003, A.G. Op. #02-0761.

Section 25-1-33 applies to bonds given by a school board member pursuant to Section 37-6-15(1). Seal, Apr. 18, 2003, A.G. Op. 03-0170.

Payment of a premium that is over and above what is necessary to acquire a good and sufficient bond as determined by a school board would be a waste of taxpayers’ money. Seal, Apr. 18, 2003, A.G. Op. 03-0170.

RESEARCH REFERENCES

Am. Jur.

63 Am. Jur. 2d, Public Officers and Employees §§ 487, 488.

CJS.

67 C.J.S., Officers §§ 73, 74, 473–475.

§ 25-1-35. Commission not necessary.

All county officers and officers chosen for any portion or district of a county and all municipal officers and officers chosen for any portion or ward of a municipality, shall be authorized to exercise the duties and functions of the office to which they are elected, after they have received certificates of their election, as provided by law, whether they have received their commissions or not; but such officers shall first give bond, if any, required by law or ordinance, and take the oath of office prescribed by the constitution.

HISTORY: Codes, Hutchinson’s 1848, ch. 33, art 12 (3); 1857, ch. 6, art 189; 1871, § 312; 1880, § 414; 1892, § 3064; 1906, § 3472; Hemingway’s 1917, § 2810; 1930, § 2898; 1942, § 4044; Laws, 1972, ch. 342, § 1, eff from and after passage (approved April 19, 1972).

Cross References —

Form of commissions, see Miss. Const. Art. 5, § 127.

Form of oath, see Miss. Const. Art. 14, § 268.

Certification by Secretary of State of official character of state officer, see §7-3-43.

Execution by mayor of commissions and appointments of officers, see §21-3-17.

Penalty for assuming duties of office before taking oath and giving bond, see §97-11-41.

RESEARCH REFERENCES

Am. Jur.

63C Am. Jur. 2d, Public Officers and Employees § 122.

CJS.

67 C.J.S., Officers §§ 10, 11, 457 et seq.

§ 25-1-37. Acts of de facto officer valid.

The official acts of any person in possession of a public office and exercising the functions thereof shall be valid and binding as official acts in regard to all persons interested or affected thereby, whether such person be lawfully entitled to hold the office or not and whether such person be lawfully qualified or not; but such person shall be liable to all the penalties imposed by law for usurping or unlawfully holding office, or for exercising the functions thereof without lawful right or without being qualified according to law.

HISTORY: Codes, 1857, ch. 6, art 194; 1871, § 317; 1880, § 415; 1892, § 3065; 1906, § 3473; Hemingway’s 1917, § 2811; 1930, § 2899; 1942, § 4045.

Cross References —

Penalty for assuming duties of office before taking oath or giving bond, see §97-11-41.

JUDICIAL DECISIONS

1. In general.

2. Nature of de facto office or officer.

3. Particular de facto officers—In general.

4. —Person appointed, deputized, or commissioned.

5. —Failure to take oath of office.

6. Validity of acts of de facto officers—In general.

7. —Superiority of officer having legal right.

8. —Surrender of office by de jure officer.

9. Rights of de facto officers.

1. In general.

The statute is declaratory of the common law. Cooper v. Moore, 44 Miss. 386, 1870 Miss. LEXIS 123 (Miss. 1870).

2. Nature of de facto office or officer.

A person assuming, without authority, to exercise official powers does not become an officer de facto if his authority to exercise such powers is promptly challenged. Day v. McCandless, 167 Miss. 832, 142 So. 486, 1932 Miss. LEXIS 198 (Miss. 1932).

If de jure officer, in possession of office, performing its functions, refuses to yield possession, no one can take office from him by force and become de facto officer. Day v. McCandless, 167 Miss. 832, 142 So. 486, 1932 Miss. LEXIS 198 (Miss. 1932).

“De facto officer” is one who is such in fact but not in law, and whose acts are as effective as the acts of a de jure officer. State v. Boykin, 114 Miss. 527, 75 So. 378, 1917 Miss. LEXIS 60 (Miss. 1917).

A person who is actually in possession of an office under color of title and performing its functions, is a “de facto officer,” whose actions cannot be impeached in any proceeding in which he is not a party. Rosetto v. Bay St. Louis, 97 Miss. 409, 52 So. 785, 1910 Miss. LEXIS 271 (Miss. 1910).

An officer de facto is one who exercises the powers and discharges the functions of an office, being then in the possession of the same under color of authority, but without actual right thereto. Adams v. Mississippi State Bank, 75 Miss. 701, 23 So. 395 (Miss. 1898).

Where there is neither colorable right to the office, nor previous performance of official functions, nor recognition of official character by the public, one who assumes to perform an official act is not a de facto officer. Dabney v. Hudson, 68 Miss. 292, 8 So. 545, 1890 Miss. LEXIS 51 (Miss. 1890).

A mere intruder into an office, acting without color of right and without recognition by the public, is not a de facto officer. Dabney v. Hudson, 68 Miss. 292, 8 So. 545, 1890 Miss. LEXIS 51 (Miss. 1890).

There cannot be a de facto and a de jure officer holding the same office at the same time. Cohn v. Beal, 61 Miss. 398, 1883 Miss. LEXIS 145 (Miss. 1883).

3. Particular de facto officers—In general.

Although the source of a county judge’s authority to sit as a special circuit judge in another county was unclear, he was at least a de facto circuit judge, and his acts were valid against all persons affected thereby under this section. Crocker v. Sears, Roebuck & Co., 346 So. 2d 921, 1977 Miss. LEXIS 2550 (Miss. 1977).

Where, although the city commission records did not show his appointment, the evidence showed that the individual in question had been sworn in as a police justice pro tem, that he had gone through the regular procedure of making out his personnel file, and that he had been regularly paid a salary and had acted in the capacity of a police justice, he was at least a de facto police justice and his acts were not void. Raper v. State, 317 So. 2d 709, 1975 Miss. LEXIS 1775 (Miss. 1975).

A mayor and commissioners who were continued in office under a decree of the chancery court after a new mayor and commissioner had been elected in a municipal election were de facto officers under the terms of this section, and their actions as such were not void. Krebs v. Bradley, 190 So. 2d 886, 1966 Miss. LEXIS 1418 (Miss. 1966).

Under this section a deputy clerk of a municipal board who was in possession of the office and recognized as such by the public, constituted a de facto officer whose acts were valid regardless of whether he was a de jure officer. In re Validation of Municipal Bonds, 188 Miss. 817, 196 So. 258, 1940 Miss. LEXIS 75 (Miss. 1940).

If highway commissioners are not de jure officers because not elected at time required by Constitution, they are de facto officers whose acts are valid so long as not challenged in legal manner. Trahan v. State Highway Com., 169 Miss. 732, 151 So. 178, 1933 Miss. LEXIS 7 (Miss. 1933).

County tax collector and surety on official bond held not liable to State Tax Collector for funds deposited in insolvent bank, which, under surrounding facts and circumstances, constituted de facto depository. Miller v. Batson, 160 Miss. 642, 134 So. 567, 1931 Miss. LEXIS 204 (Miss. 1931).

Mayor and aldermen performing duties of office without having qualified are de facto officers, with power to accept and approve bond of marshal as tax collector. Coker v. Wilkinson, 142 Miss. 1, 106 So. 886, 1926 Miss. LEXIS 52 (Miss. 1926).

Where the son of a circuit clerk, though ineligible to appointment as deputy because of minority, acts as his father’s deputy and is generally recognized by the public as such, he is a de facto officer and a writ of attachment issued by him is not void. Wimberly v. Boland, 72 Miss. 241, 16 So. 905, 1894 Miss. LEXIS 121 (Miss. 1894).

4. —Person appointed, deputized, or commissioned.

Officer was sworn in by a justice court judge to fulfill the duties of a justice court deputy clerk in June 2015, and he was acting as a de facto officer and possessed the requisite authority to administer the oath and swear to the charging affidavit; therefore, any defects that may have existed in the appointment of the officer did not negate that he was acting under the color of appointment at the time he issued defendant’s affidavit. Oliver v. State, — So.3d —, 2019 Miss. App. LEXIS 18 (Miss. Ct. App. Jan. 15, 2019).

At the time of a disciplinary hearing held by the Mississippi Real Estate Appraiser Licensing and Certification Board, all of the board members had been duly appointed by the Governor, thereby making them public officials; thus, pursuant to Miss. Code Ann. §25-1-37, the members of the board, even if serving in violation of Miss. Code Ann. §§73-34-7(b) and (c), still had valid authority to act in official capacity as “de facto” officers. Miss. Real Estate Appraiser Licensing & Certification Bd. v. Schroeder, 980 So. 2d 275, 2007 Miss. App. LEXIS 430 (Miss. Ct. App. 2007).

One acting as mayor and municipal trial judge under appointment by governor because of absence of duly elected mayor in armed forces under indefinite leave of absence granted by board of aldermen, was at least a de facto officer, whose acts in connection with the trial and conviction in misdemeanor case were valid. Upchurch v. Oxford, 196 Miss. 339, 17 So. 2d 204, 1944 Miss. LEXIS 199 (Miss. 1944).

Special judge appointed by governor for particular term after resignation of regular judge was de facto judge whose title could not be raised by litigants in pleading suit; acts of de facto judge are valid. Bird v. State, 154 Miss. 493, 122 So. 539, 1929 Miss. LEXIS 154 (Miss. 1929).

Bond commissioners appointed by mayor and board of aldermen to construct sea wall, the municipal charter providing for their appointment, are at least de facto officers whose acts are valid, and whose right to office can be questioned only by the state. Sick v. Bay St. Louis, 113 Miss. 175, 74 So. 272, 1916 Miss. LEXIS 45 (Miss. 1916).

A special judge commissioned under Code 1930, § 997 by the governor to preside on the trial of a criminal case, the regular judge being disqualified, who assumes the position and discharges the duties thereof, is a de facto officer and his acts are valid, although he fails to take the official oath required by § 155 Const 1890, before assuming the duties of office. Powers v. State, 83 Miss. 691, 36 So. 6, 1903 Miss. LEXIS 90 (Miss. 1903), overruled, Jones v. State, 144 Miss. 52, 109 So. 265, 1926 Miss. LEXIS 341 (Miss. 1926).

Where a private person deputized by a justice of the peace to execute a warrant of arrest issued by him acts under the warrant in making the arrest he is entitled to the protection afforded a de facto officer in serving a warrant. Harris v. State, 72 Miss. 99, 16 So. 360, 1894 Miss. LEXIS 83 (Miss. 1894).

One acting generally as deputy sheriff, under written appointment from the sheriff, although not having qualified according to law, is a de facto officer, and his acts as between third parties must be held valid. Alabama & V. R. Co. v. Bolding, 69 Miss. 255, 13 So. 844, 1891 Miss. LEXIS 170 (Miss. 1891).

5. —Failure to take oath of office.

One elected mayor and discharging the duties and exercising the powers of that office was an officer de jure although he failed to take the oath of office. Town of Sumrall v. Polk, 118 Miss. 687, 79 So. 847, 1918 Miss. LEXIS 120 (Miss. 1918).

6. Validity of acts of de facto officers—In general.

In declaratory judgment action brought by State Ethics Commission regarding conflicts of interest involving public officials, collateral attack upon Commission’s membership, alleging unconstitutional and illegal appointment, could not be allowed. Frazier v. State, 504 So. 2d 675, 1987 Miss. LEXIS 2394 (Miss. 1987).

The Jackson Redevelopment Agency was a legal entity entitled to exercise the power of eminent domain, even though it had failed to file the required annual reports; the fact that two of the seven commissioners of the redevelopment agency were not qualified to serve on the board of directors because they did not meet the statutory residence requirements did not invalidate the agency’s exercise of its eminent domain powers where, under §25-1-37, their right to office could not be impeached in a collateral proceeding; nor could a collateral proceeding be used to raise a claim that two of the commissioners had improperly failed to file statements regarding conflicts of interest and that three other commissioners were not qualified because they held other public office; however, the agency’s action in condemning the property at issue was invalid under §43-35-33 since a quorum of the commissioners was not present when the resolution to exercise the power of eminent domain was adopted. Jackson Redevelopment Authority v. King, Inc., 364 So. 2d 1104, 1978 Miss. LEXIS 2236 (Miss. 1978).

A person never formally appointed in writing as required by law who was employed by a sheriff as a deputy, had signed an oath of office, and had acted for a long time as a deputy in uniform without challenge, had the right to arrest for motor vehicle violations and to demand driver’s licenses. United States v. Williams, 416 F.2d 4, 1969 U.S. App. LEXIS 10746 (5th Cir. Miss. 1969), cert. denied, 397 U.S. 910, 90 S. Ct. 908, 25 L. Ed. 2d 91, 1970 U.S. LEXIS 2991 (U.S. 1970), cert. denied, 397 U.S. 968, 90 S. Ct. 1008, 25 L. Ed. 2d 262, 1970 U.S. LEXIS 2728 (U.S. 1970).

A mayor and commissioners who were continued in office under a decree of the chancery court after a new mayor and commissioner had been elected in a municipal election were de facto officers under the terms of this section, and their actions as such were not void. Krebs v. Bradley, 190 So. 2d 886, 1966 Miss. LEXIS 1418 (Miss. 1966).

Acts in connection with trial and conviction in misdemeanor case of one acting as mayor and municipal judge, under appointment by governor because of absence of duly elected mayor in armed forces, were valid, since he was at least a de facto officer. Upchurch v. Oxford, 196 Miss. 339, 17 So. 2d 204, 1944 Miss. LEXIS 199 (Miss. 1944).

Acts of de facto officer are valid, so far as interest of public and of third person is involved. Miller v. Batson, 160 Miss. 642, 134 So. 567, 1931 Miss. LEXIS 204 (Miss. 1931).

Lawful acts of de facto officers are binding on third persons. Town of Sumrall v. Polk, 118 Miss. 687, 79 So. 847, 1918 Miss. LEXIS 120 (Miss. 1918).

Validity of acts of a justice of the peace, who was also mayor at the time of conviction, cannot be questioned by person convicted. Wilson v. State, 113 Miss. 748, 74 So. 657, 1917 Miss. LEXIS 150 (Miss. 1917).

Attachment issued by mayor of a town, who, after qualifying as deputy sheriff of the county, exercised the duties of mayor and ex officio justice of the peace until his term of office as mayor expired, was valid despite Const. Art 1, § 2. B. Altman & Co. v. Wall, 111 Miss. 198, 71 So. 318, 1916 Miss. LEXIS 268 (Miss. 1916).

Actions of de facto municipal officers are valid. Greene v. Rienzi, 87 Miss. 463, 40 So. 17, 1905 Miss. LEXIS 172 (Miss. 1905).

The law attaches validity to acts of de facto officers. Bell v. State, 38 So. 795 (Miss. 1905).

Election of one as school trustee, though made after the day set by statute, gave him at least color of office, and selection of a teacher by the board of which he was a member was valid. Whitman v. Owen, 76 Miss. 783, 25 So. 669, 1899 Miss. LEXIS 17 (Miss. 1899).

The fact that jurors and witnesses in a criminal case were sworn by one acting as a deputy clerk, but neither regularly appointed nor sworn, is not ground for a new trial; It is within this section. Mobley v. State, 46 Miss. 501, 1872 Miss. LEXIS 18 (Miss. 1872).

7. —Superiority of officer having legal right.

Acts of officer having legal right will be recognized in case of two de facto officers acting simultaneously under claim of right. Board of Mississippi Levee Comm'rs v. Montgomery, 145 Miss. 578, 110 So. 845, 1927 Miss. LEXIS 125 (Miss. 1927).

8. —Surrender of office by de jure officer.

Evidence established that de jure trustees of school district never surrendered office to trustees who attempted to supplant them, as respects validity of latter’s acts. Day v. McCandless, 167 Miss. 832, 142 So. 486, 1932 Miss. LEXIS 198 (Miss. 1932).

9. Rights of de facto officers.

School superintendent was not estopped by entering into agreement with persons unlawfully assuming to act as school trustees during time when de jure trustees were functioning, since such persons suffered no injury thereby because they had no rights which could be invaded by such superintendent. Day v. McCandless, 167 Miss. 832, 142 So. 486, 1932 Miss. LEXIS 198 (Miss. 1932).

A de facto officer cannot sue for and recover from the county the compensation or fees of the office. Matthews v. Board of Supervisors, 53 Miss. 715, 1876 Miss. LEXIS 140 (Miss. 1876).

OPINIONS OF THE ATTORNEY GENERAL

Acts of de facto members of municipal party executive committees are valid pursuant to Miss. Code Section 25-1-37. Jackson, May 12, 1993, A.G. Op. #93-0292.

Although the statute gives the actions taken by “de facto” officers validity, it does not entitle these individuals to receive a salary or per diem for their services. Burnett, June 12, 2000, A.G. Op. #2000-0295.

A newly elected school board member who casts a vote prior to being bonded and taking the oath of office violates Section 97-11-41; however, any vote so taken may be binding, as that of a de facto officer under Section 25-1-37. Mabry, Apr. 27, 2001, A.G. Op. #01-0239.

Officers appointed by the Governor in vacation and not confirmed by the Senate, but who have taken the oath of office, may be “de facto” officers; and actions taken by “de facto” officers are valid. Janus, Oct. 5, 2001, A.G. Op. #01-0612.

RESEARCH REFERENCES

CJS.

67 C.J.S., Officers §§ 10, 11, 457 et seq.

§ 25-1-39. Deputy to discharge duty after death of officer.

If any state or county officer shall die having a deputy, the deputy may continue to discharge the duties of the office in the name of the deceased officer as if he had not died, until the vacancy in the office shall be filled according to law. The official bond of the deceased officer and his estate shall be a security for the faithful performance of the duties of the office by the deputy, who shall be subject to all the provisions of law applicable to his principal in his lifetime; and the personal representative of the decedent shall have like remedy against the deputy as the decedent would have if living. Where there are two judicial districts in a county and there be a deputy in each, the deputy of the first district shall discharge the duties of the office under the provisions of this section.

HISTORY: Codes, 1857, ch. 4, art 26; 1871, § 394; 1880, § 423; 1892, § 3079; 1906, § 3487; Hemingway’s 1917, § 2825; 1930, § 2900; 1942, § 4046.

Cross References —

Appointment of deputy sheriffs, see §§19-25-19,19-25-21.

JUDICIAL DECISIONS

1. In general.

On the death of the land commissioner the employment of his deputy ceases when the successor of the land commissioner has been appointed and qualified. State ex rel. Brown v. Christmas, 126 Miss. 358, 88 So. 881, 1921 Miss. LEXIS 44 (Miss. 1921).

This section does not abridge the governor’s constitutional authority (Const. § 103) to fill by appointment a vacancy occasioned by death of the sheriff. Baker v. Nichols, 111 Miss. 673, 72 So. 1, 1916 Miss. LEXIS 366 (Miss. 1916).

Under this section a deputy sheriff and tax collector may sell lands for taxes after the death of his principal and before the vacancy in the office has been filled. McRee v. Swalm, 81 Miss. 679, 33 So. 503, 1902 Miss. LEXIS 197 (Miss. 1902).

Statute, Code 1892, § 828 providing for performance by the coroner of sheriff’s duties in case of vacancy in the office of sheriff and no deputy to act as authorized by law in case of death of the sheriff, or other causes (see Code 1942, § 3906), must be construed with this section; and such statute does not require performance of official duties by a deputy sheriff whose principal is alive and disqualified. Lipscomb v. State, 76 Miss. 223, 25 So. 158, 1898 Miss. LEXIS 130 (Miss. 1898).

RESEARCH REFERENCES

CJS.

67 C.J.S., Officers, §§ 468 et seq.

§ 25-1-41. Informal bonds valid.

All bonds or recognizances taken by any officer in the discharge of his duty shall be valid and binding on the obligors therein, whether taken in the form prescribed or not, so that the substantial matters required be contained therein; and such bonds shall only be void so far as they may be conditioned for the performance of acts in violation of the law or policy of the state. It shall be lawful to show by parol that any bond or recognizance was taken by an officer in the discharge of his duty, although such fact ought to appear upon the bond or recognizance, or in writing or of record, and do not so appear; and if an officer take a recognizance in a case where he should have taken a bond, it shall bind the parties in the same manner as if it had been authorized.

HISTORY: Codes, 1857, ch. 6, art 201; 1871, § 324; 1880, § 422; 1892, § 3076; 1906, § 3484; Hemingway’s 1917, § 2822; 1930, § 2901; 1942, § 4047.

Cross References —

Requirement that bonds be payable to state, see §11-1-27.

Terms of appearance bond or recognizance of party to criminal proceeding, see §99-5-5.

Sufficiency of bonds and recognizances taken in criminal cases, see §99-5-21.

JUDICIAL DECISIONS

1. In general.

Promise, voluntarily made in bond executed for privilege of selling gasoline, to pay attorney’s fees and other expenses incurred in collecting privilege tax and penalty, was enforceable, although not required by statute. Treas v. Price, 167 Miss. 121, 146 So. 630, 1933 Miss. LEXIS 88 (Miss. 1933).

Failure of treasurer of levee board to sign his bond as principal where the bond was delivered as his official bond and acted upon as such is immaterial. Adams v. Williams, 97 Miss. 113, 52 So. 865, 1910 Miss. LEXIS 283 (Miss. 1910).

Official bond is not invalidated by addition of condition not required by law. Adams v. Williams, 97 Miss. 113, 52 So. 865, 1910 Miss. LEXIS 283 (Miss. 1910).

RESEARCH REFERENCES

Am. Jur.

12 Am. Jur. 2d, Bonds §§ 4 et seq.

CJS.

67 C.J.S., Officers and Public Employees § 474.

§ 25-1-43. Officer not to make contract without authority.

An officer shall not enter into any contract on behalf of the state, or of any county, city, town, or village thereof, without being specially authorized thereto by law or by an order of the board of supervisors or municipal authorities.

HISTORY: Codes, Hutchinson’s 1848, ch. 33, art 23; 1857, ch. 6, art 195; 1871, § 318; 1880, § 416; 1892, § 3066; 1906, § 3474; Hemingway’s 1917, § 2812; 1930, § 2902; 1942, § 4048.

Cross References —

Penalty for unauthorized appropriation by municipal officers, see §21-39-15.

For requirement that municipal appropriations be specific, see §21-39-17.

Requirements for public purchases, see §§31-7-1 et seq.

JUDICIAL DECISIONS

1. In general.

The only authority of the president of the board of supervisors to execute a deed was evidenced by the board’s order on its minutes which directed the conveyance of the land, retaining in the county one-half of the materials and if the deed is to be construed as conveying more, then it was unauthorized and ineffective to vest the full fee simple to the land. Thornhill v. Ford, 213 Miss. 49, 56 So. 2d 23, 1952 Miss. LEXIS 331 (Miss. 1952).

Orders entered on the minutes of the mayor and board of aldermen of a municipality with respect to the purchase of a fire engine, providing for the advertisement for bids and thereafter indicating the acceptance of a bid, were not sufficient to effectuate a valid sale, requisite elements having been omitted from the recitals of the minutes. American-Lafrance, Inc. v. Philadelphia, 183 Miss. 207, 184 So. 620, 1938 Miss. LEXIS 234 (Miss. 1938).

No contract can be entered into by any officer on behalf of a municipality unless “specially authorized thereto by law,” or by an order of the board of municipal authorities. Kidder v. McClanahan, 126 Miss. 179, 88 So. 508, 1921 Miss. LEXIS 18 (Miss. 1921).

§ 25-1-45. Civil liability for failure to perform duty.

If any county, county district, or municipal officer who has executed bond for the faithful performance of duty shall knowingly or wilfully fail, neglect, or refuse to perform any duty required of him by law or shall violate his official obligations in any respect, the president or, in the absence or disability or default of the president, the vice-president of the board of supervisors in case of a county or county district officer, and the mayor in case of a municipal officer, or any person interested in either case shall cause suit to be brought on the bond of such officer for the recovery of the damages that may have been sustained thereby.

HISTORY: Codes, 1857, ch. 64, art 62; 1871, § 2890; 1880, § 2757; 1892, § 3067; 1906, § 3475; Hemingway’s 1917, § 2813; 1930, § 2903; 1942, § 4049; Laws, 1886, p 156; Laws, 1959, Ex Sess ch. 22, § 8.

Cross References —

Proceeding on bond of justice court judge, see §9-11-7.

Bond of member of board of supervisors, see §19-3-5.

Liability of sheriff, coroner, or other officer for failure to return execution, see §19-25-41.

Liability of sheriff or deputy for failure to pay over money collected, see §19-25-45.

Deduction from salary of state officer for absence from state, see §25-3-51.

Deduction from salary of judge for absence from court, see §25-3-57.

Penalty for Attorney General or district attorney advising or defending criminal, see §97-11-3.

Penalty for approval of worthless official bond, see §97-11-9.

Penalty for clerk refusing to give certified copy of papers upon demand, see §97-11-17.

Penalty for failure of peace officer, to return person who has committed offense, see §97-11-35.

Criminal liability of municipal and county officers for offenses respecting required records, see §97-11-37.

JUDICIAL DECISIONS

1. In general.

The surety under a “blanket” public employees performance bond covering the administrator, trustees, librarian, dietitian, superintendent of nurses, and bookkeeper of a county hospital, was not entitled to recover from the administrator any part of a $6,000 shortage which occurred during the administrator’s tenure at the hospital, where the administrator had inherited from his predecessor the mode of operation and continued it without objection by the trustees or by the State Auditing Department, and where the State Auditor’s report as to the shortage made no attempt to fix responsibility for the shortage. Hartford Acci. & Indem. Co. v. Reedy, 233 So. 2d 799, 1970 Miss. LEXIS 1679 (Miss. 1970).

Neither county superintendent of education, nor sureties on his official bond, are liable for erroneously, but in good faith, issuing certificates against school funds under Code 1942, § 6349, for the purchase of fire extinguishers for use in school busses and payment of premiums on bonds executed by school-bus drivers. Barnett v. Lollar, 197 Miss. 574, 19 So. 2d 748, 1944 Miss. LEXIS 323 (Miss. 1944).

Theory of liability under Code 1942, § 2944, respecting appropriation of money to “any object, not authorized by law,” is inapplicable with respect to liability of county superintendent of education for wrongfully issuing certificates against school funds. Barnett v. Lollar, 197 Miss. 574, 19 So. 2d 748, 1944 Miss. LEXIS 323 (Miss. 1944).

Matters of defense, such as honest mistake and good faith, in action against county superintendent of education and sureties on his official bond for wrongly issuing certificates under Code 1942, § 6349, must be pleaded and proved by the defendants, and need not be negatived in the complaint. Barnett v. Lollar, 197 Miss. 574, 19 So. 2d 748, 1944 Miss. LEXIS 323 (Miss. 1944).

Expenditure of public funds by a county officer, even though within the general field of his jurisdiction, may be so clearly and distinctly unlawful as to preclude the defense that he so acted in good faith and honest error. Barnett v. Lollar, 197 Miss. 574, 19 So. 2d 748, 1944 Miss. LEXIS 323 (Miss. 1944).

Common-law rule, that a public officer is not liable for errors or mistakes made by him in good faith when acting judicially or quasi judicially within the scope and subject matter over which he has been given jurisdiction, applies in respect to liability under this section. Barnett v. Lollar, 197 Miss. 574, 19 So. 2d 748, 1944 Miss. LEXIS 323 (Miss. 1944).

Public officers are insurers of the safety of public money coming into their hands by virtue of their office and are liable in all cases for its loss, unless caused by the act of God or the public enemy. Adams v. Lee, 72 Miss. 281, 16 So. 243, 1894 Miss. LEXIS 71 (Miss. 1894).

OPINIONS OF THE ATTORNEY GENERAL

If an officer or employee of the state or subdivision fails or refuses to make any report as set forth in Section 7-7-218, and that failure or refusal constitutes a breach of his or her faithful performance of duty, then recovery may be sought from the applicable bond. Bryant, May 5, 2000, A.G. Op. #2000-0185.

RESEARCH REFERENCES

ALR.

Liability of clerk of court, county clerk or prothonotary, or surety on bond, for negligent or wrongful acts of deputies or assistants. 71 A.L.R.2d 1140.

Civil liability of judicial officer for malicious prosecution or abuse of process. 64 A.L.R.3d 1251.

Immunity of public officer from liability for injuries caused by negligently released individual. 5 A.L.R.4th 773.

Governmental tort liability for failure to provide police protection to specifically threatened crime victim. 46 A.L.R.4th 948.

Am. Jur.

63C Am. Jur. 2d, Public Officers and Employees §§ 362–364 et seq.

47 Am. Jur. Trials 411, Handling Fidelity Bond Claims.

CJS.

67 C.J.S., Officers §§ 247-258.

§ 25-1-47. Defense of public employees and satisfaction of judgment.

  1. Any municipality of the State of Mississippi is hereby authorized and empowered, within the discretion of its governing authorities, to investigate and provide legal counsel for the defense of any claim, demand, or action, whether civil or criminal, made or brought against any state, county, school district, or municipal officer, agent, servant, employee, or appointee as a result of his actions while acting in the capacity of such officer, agent, servant, employee, or appointee; and such municipality is hereby authorized to pay for all costs and expenses incident to such investigation and defense.
  2. Any municipality of this state is hereby authorized and empowered, within the discretion of its governing authorities, to pay and satisfy any negotiated settlement of a claim or any judgment, fine, or penalty which may be made, assessed, or levied by any court against any municipal agent, officer, servant, employee, or appointee as a result of any actions of such municipal agent, officer, servant, employee, or appointee while acting as such.

HISTORY: Codes, 1942, § 4049.5; Laws, 1962, 1st Ex Sess ch. 5, §§ 1-3; Laws, 1971, ch. 447, § 1, eff from and after passage (approved March 25, 1971).

Cross References —

Purchase by municipalities of errors and omissions insurance for municipal officials, see §21-15-6.

Penalty for member of State Tax Commission failing to account for and pay over collections, see §27-3-45.

JUDICIAL DECISIONS

1. In general.

2. Illustrative cases.

1. In general.

Members of a county board of supervisors are empowered to employ counsel and defend themselves when sued in causes arising out of their official position where they have a colorable defense and present the defense in good faith; however, where there is no reasonable basis for a defense and/or where the board members proceed in bad faith, they act ultra vires and have no power to expend public funds for defense, and, in such cases, the court should order that any such defense be at their own expense and that any public funds expended be reimbursed. Richardson v. Canton Farm Equipment, Inc., 608 So. 2d 1240, 1992 Miss. LEXIS 596 (Miss. 1992).

2. Illustrative cases.

In an election contest filed by a mayor’s opponent, the fact that no city officials were named as defendants did not bar the city council from hiring counsel because city officials’ violations of election laws were alleged. McAdams v. Perkins, 204 So.3d 1257, 2016 Miss. LEXIS 506 (Miss. 2016).

Sheriff was not entitled to reimbursement for legal fees incurred by him as a party in a federal lawsuit by employees seeking overtime pay because the statutes allowing the payment of fees were discretionary and did not require that counsel be provided to all employees with a colorable defense who acted in good faith. Madison County v. Hopkins, 857 So. 2d 43, 2003 Miss. LEXIS 577 (Miss. 2003).

Chancellor erred in ordering a county to pay part of the attorney’s fees a sheriff incurred in federal court litigation, on grounds that a conflict of interest entitled the sheriff to separate representation, as (1) the federal district court had ruled that there was no conflict of interest in the same attorney representing the sheriff in his official capacity and suing him in his individual capacity; and (2) Miss. Code Ann. §25-1-47 and Miss. Code Ann. §19-3-47 permitted, but did not require, the county to provide the sheriff legal counsel in the federal action. Madison County v. Hopkins, 857 So. 2d 43, 2003 Miss. LEXIS 299 (Miss. 2003).

OPINIONS OF THE ATTORNEY GENERAL

Although statute uses word “municipality,” term has consistently been construed to include counties; statute does authorize county board of supervisors discretion to settle claims for construction of new well. Whitten, Feb. 14, 1990, A.G. Op. #90-0080.

Statute would authorize school district, in its discretion, to pay and satisfy claim of parents whose minor child received injuries while playing on swing set on school playground. Lowrey, August 29, 1990, A.G. Op. #90-0638.

County may settle claim against county employee for actions taken in his or her capacity as employee. Stone, Sept. 6, 1990, A.G. Op. #90-0664.

If board of supervisors finds that legal action concerns actions taken by zoning commission’s attorney, while acting in official capacity as attorney for commission, then board has discretion to pay for attorney’s legal defense. Gex, April 25, 1991, A.G. Op. #91-0171.

A municipal authority may not provide legal counsel for an alderman when the lawsuit brought against the alderman was an election contest and not a lawsuit making a claim as a result of the alderman’s official actions. Causey, Nov. 14, 1991, A.G. Op. #91-0831.

County has discretionary authority to settle claims for calves which escaped through fence damaged by county road crew. Bishop, Sept. 2, 1992, A.G. Op. #92-0683.

Verdict for punitive damages against mayor may be paid by board of aldermen. Woods, Sept. 2, 1992, A.G. Op. #92-0697.

County board of supervisors may employ legal counsel for defense of any civil or criminal claim or action brought against any member or members of board as result of their actions while acting in official capacity. Walters, Dec. 9, 1992, A.G. Op. #92-0968.

Attorney for state mental healthcare facility can provide legal representation for employee in tort and criminal actions if Board grants official advance approval of such representation. Jackson, Dec. 30, 1992, A.G. Op. #92-0944.

If governing authorities of city find, consistent with fact and subject to judicial review, that where civil action arose out of actions of mayor, chief of police and director of public works, while acting in capacity of their offices or positions, then municipal governing authorities may, under Miss. Code Section 25-1-47(1), in their discretion, hire additional attorneys to defend mayor, chief of police and director of public works; fact that city participates in municipal association liability plan does not prohibit city from hiring additional counsel pursuant to above statute to defend mayor, chief of police and director of public works. Shepard, Feb. 3, 1993, A.G. Op. #93-0046.

Miss. Code Section 25-1-47 authorizes and empowers county within discretion of board of supervisors to provide legal counsel for defense of any claim or action, and to settle any claim or pay any judgment against any officer or employee of county sued for actions done during course of employment; this is discretionary and not mandatory. Welch, June 9, 1993, A.G. Op. #93-0295.

Word “municipality” in Section 25-1-47 includes public entities of every kind in State, and includes county board of supervisors. Barry, Feb. 24, 1994, A.G. Op. #93-0969.

Board of Supervisors must exercise sound discretion in deciding whether settlement of claim and expenditure of public funds for civil penalty for EPA violations is in best interest of public and must determine that settlement is based upon lawful claim against county. Barry, Feb. 24, 1994, A.G. Op. #93-0969.

While municipality is prohibited from providing free water service to an individual, municipal governing authorities, upon a proper finding of fact that citizen was overcharged for his water service, would be authorized to allow appropriate credit toward the payment of future water bills as settlement of claim pursuant to Section 25-1-47(2). Baker, March 17, 1994, A.G. Op. #94-0111.

Section 25-1-47 does not authorize use of public funds for defense of public officers or employees in actions brought against them by the state to collect public funds misappropriated or otherwise illegally applied or withheld by said officers or employees. McDowell, March 24, 1995, A.G. Op. #95-0151.

If a service provider presents a claim to the Board of Education, the board may resort to Section 25-1-47 and settle the claim upon a finding in the minutes that the service was needed, the service was rendered and the cost for same is just, reasonable and equitable. Wallace, April 14, 1995, A.G. Op. #95-0234.

Federal Wage and Hours Laws will take precedent over any conflicting state laws or local ordinances, or orders entered by the board of supervisors. The county may settle such a claim. See Section 19-3-40. Barry, June 14, 1996, A.G. Op. #96-0228.

When a board of supervisors is of the opinion that an elected official’s refusal to respond to requests made under the Public Records Act is in violation of the Act, as well as the stated policy of the Board with regard to providing such records, the board may but is not required under Section 25-1-47, to provide legal counsel to this elected official to defend litigation filed to secure such records. Meadows, November 1, 1996, A.G. Op. #96-0663.

Pursuant to Section 25-1-47(2) if a church presents to the board a legitimate, pending claim against officers, agents or employees of the school board, then at the discretion of the school board, the board may negotiate a settlement which includes a conveyance of title to the property authorized by resolution entered on the minutes. Such resolution should recite all the findings of the board, including the bona fide claim made, all the factors considered by the board, that the property is of no value and no use to the district, and that settlement is advantageous to the school district and necessary to avoid the expenses of litigation and any possibility of liability. Young, November 8, 1996, A.G. Op. #96-0729.

If the county does not choose to provide a bond for the medical examiner, and the medical examiner is sued in her official capacity, the county would be obligated to provide legal counsel. See Sections 25-1-47 and 11-46-1, et seq. Brooks, December 20, 1996, A.G. Op. #96-0835.

Although this section authorizes a county to provide legal counsel for the defense of any claim against an officer or employee of the county while acting in his official capacity, the governing authorities of the county must first grant advance approval of such representation. Trapp, Nov. 7, 1997, A.G. Op. #97-0671.

Overtime compensation claims ordered by the federal Department of Labor are claims against municipalities that can be deducted by the George County Board of Supervisors from the allocated budget of the office of Tax Assessor and Collector whose employees did not accept the county’s compensatory time policy. Dickerson, March 20, 1998, A.G. Op. #98-0161.

If an inmate sues the county board of supervisors and the sheriff, and the trial occurs two years later out of county where overnight stay becomes a necessity, the county may reimburse the sheriff and supervisors for out of pocket expenses for the hotel, meals, and mileage, even if some of these elected officials are no longer holding public office at the time of the trial. Mullins, November 13, 1998, A.G. Op. #98-0679.

An agency should authorize reimbursement of funds for defense of a criminal complaint only at such time that the criminal charges are successfully rebuffed by the employee. Warren, December 11, 1998, A.G. Op. #98-0670.

If a county board of supervisors finds, consistent with fact and spread upon the minutes, that, in driving without the proper license, a county employee was acting in his official capacity and within the scope of his employment, then the board of supervisors may reimburse the employees for assessed fines. Clements, April 23, 1999, A.G. Op. #99-0181.

Where an “insurance” pool paid an amount to the claimant, and the claimant accepted that payment, and executed a release or waiver in favor of the city, once such a settlement was accepted, the claimant was barred from making any additional claim for damages. To preserve the right to pursue the full amount claimed, the claimant should have refused the settlement tendered by the pool. Thus, as there remains no further legal obligation, the city cannot now supplement the amount accepted by the claimant from the insurance pool in settlement of the claim. McLaurin, July 16, 2004, A.G. Op. 04-0251.

Subject to the appropriate findings, the county board of supervisors had the authority to provide defense counsel for individual public defender attorneys in an action arising from complaints against the public defender system used by the county. Ross, Aug. 27, 2004, A.G. Op. 04-0386.

Upon a finding of a school board that the actions complained of in a lawsuit filed against the superintendent arise out of and in the course of her performance of the duties of superintendent of a school district, this section permits the school board to incur expenses related to the defense of those claims. Wyly, Dec. 20, 2004, A.G. Op. 04-0631.

A county may enter private land and remove tree stumps and debris as part of a settlement with the landowner. Clanton, Feb. 10, 2006, A.G. Op. #06-0023.

Section 25-1-47 does not authorize the use of public funds for the defense of public officers or employees in cases brought against them by the state to collect public funds misappropriated or otherwise illegally applied or withheld by said officers or employees. McDonald, May 12, 2006, A.G. Op. 06-0174.

RESEARCH REFERENCES

ALR.

Liability of governmental officer or entity for failure to warn or notify of release of potentially dangerous individual from custody. 12 A.L.R.4th 722.

Am. Jur.

63C Am. Jur. 2d, Public Officers and Employees §§ 370- 373.

CJS.

67 C.J.S., Officers §§ 355–359, 437 et seq.

§ 25-1-49. Seller may recover claim unlawfully brought by an officer.

If any county officer or his deputy shall unlawfully purchase or become interested in any certificate or claim of any kind payable out of the county treasury or in any witness certificate issued in a civil case, the person selling any such claim or certificate may recover the face value thereof of such officer on his official bond; and he shall not be required to account for what he received when he sold.

HISTORY: Codes, 1880, §§ 1825, 2759; 1892, § 3068; 1906, § 3476; Hemingway’s 1917, § 2814; 1930, § 2904; 1942, § 4050.

Cross References —

Penalty for member of State Tax Commission failing to account for and pay over collections, see §27-3-45.

§ 25-1-51. Confiscated property: prohibited acquisition; disposition by sheriff; subsequent recovery.

  1. No law enforcement officer, conservation officer, or other person charged with the duty and responsibility of enforcing the statutory laws of this state or any municipality herein, whether employed full time or part time in such capacity, or any member of his or her household can knowingly own, acquire, bid upon, or otherwise participate as a purchaser or prospective purchaser, either directly or indirectly, at a sale concerning any real, personal, or mixed property which has been confiscated and is being sold, or has been sold, or is subject to being sold pursuant to the laws and statutes of this state. All officers seizing any property shall turn the same over to the sheriff of the county in which said property was seized. All real, personal, or mixed properties confiscated under authority of law and subject to sale as contraband properties shall be sold by the sheriff of the county in which said property was confiscated or is stored, after the sheriff shall first have given public notice by publication for not less than one (1) week in a newspaper published in said county or, if no newspaper is published in said county, said notice shall be published not less than one (1) time in a newspaper having general circulation in said county. The published notice shall contain a description of the property and other pertinent data which the sheriff may deem necessary and proper in compliance with this section. The cost of public notice shall be charged against and added to the cost of the property advertised and sold by virtue of said notice. The net proceeds of all such property sold shall be deposited in the county general fund within the manner provided by law. The sheriff shall keep a public record of all property seized, the disposition thereof, and the proceeds from the sale thereof.
  2. The failure of the sheriff to sell any property seized by him or turned over to him within ninety (90) days and any violation of the above paragraph by such prohibited person, or any other person acting for or in behalf of such prohibited person, shall be deemed to be a misdemeanor and shall be punishable by a fine of not less than One Hundred Dollars ($100.00) nor more than Five Hundred Dollars ($500.00), which fine shall be subject to collection from such prohibited person’s bondsmen if such prohibited person be under bond and fails to pay said assessed fine when it shall have become final and collectible.

    In addition thereto, upon a showing in an action begun not later than one (1) year from the date of the legal sale of the confiscated property that such prohibited person has knowingly acquired title to such confiscated property in violation of paragraph (1) hereof, the owner of such property at the time it was confiscated, or his or her heirs, legatees, administrator, or executor shall be immediately entitled to the return of such property; and the sum paid therefor by such prohibited person, or in his or her behalf, shall be forfeited. The sum so forfeited shall be applied in the same manner as it would be applied had the confiscated property been sold to or acquired by other than such prohibited person.

HISTORY: Codes, 1942, § 4050.5; Laws, 1962, ch. 614, §§ 1, 2; Laws, 2000, ch. 516, § 2, eff from and after passage (approved Apr. 30, 2000.).

Cross References —

Penalty for constable or other officer failing to execute process or return execution, see §19-19-9.

Penalty for constable or other officer failing to pay money received on execution, see §19-19-11.

Liability of sheriff, coroner, or other officer for failure to pay over money collected, see §19-25-45.

Duties generally of marshals and chiefs of police, see §21-21-1.

Disposition of confiscated property used in illegal hunting or fishing, see §49-7-103.

Bidding for forfeited beverages and property under alcoholic beverages control law, see §67-1-97.

Imposition of standard state assessment in addition to all court imposed fines or other penalties for any misdemeanor violation, see §99-19-73.

RESEARCH REFERENCES

Am. Jur.

16A Am. Jur. Legal Forms 2d, Sheriffs, Police and Constables, § 232:7, (transfer of custody of goods, process, and prisoners by former sheriff to successor).

CJS.

80 C.J.S., Sheriffs and Constables §§ 459, 460.

§ 25-1-53. Nepotism prohibited.

It shall be unlawful for any person elected, appointed or selected in any manner whatsoever to any state, county, district or municipal office, or for any board of trustees of any state institution, to appoint or employ, as an officer, clerk, stenographer, deputy or assistant who is to be paid out of the public funds, any person related by blood or marriage within the third degree, computed by the rule of the civil law, to the person or any member of the board of trustees having the authority to make such appointment or contract such employment as employer. This section shall not apply to any employee who shall have been in said department or institution prior to the time his or her kinsman, within the third degree, became the head of said department or institution or member of said board of trustees; and this section shall not apply to any person seeking appointment as an election worker who has served as an election worker in the election immediately preceding the commencement of a term of office as an election commissioner by his kinsman within the third degree. The provision herein contained shall not apply in the instance of the employment of physicians, nurses or medical technicians by governing boards of charity hospitals or other public hospitals.

HISTORY: Codes, 1930, § 2905; 1942, § 4051; Laws, 1926, ch. 170; Laws, 1975, ch. 333; Laws, 1994, ch. 627, § 1, eff from and after passage (approved April 8, 1994).

Cross References —

Prohibition against nepotism in appointment of banking examiners, see §81-1-65.

JUDICIAL DECISIONS

1. In general.

2. Standing.

1. In general.

The statute which governs nepotism, §25-1-53, did not pre-empt the application of §25-4-105 to a situation in which the president of a community college employed his wife as a teacher since the former statute does apply to the employment of teachers. Hinds Community College Dist. v. Muse, 725 So. 2d 207, 1998 Miss. LEXIS 610 (Miss. 1998).

A position in a town maintenance department was not within the ambit of the statute. Shelton v. Town of Hickory Flat, 724 So. 2d 1075, 1998 Miss. App. LEXIS 1007 (Miss. Ct. App. 1998).

Insurance commissioner’s appointment of disqualified person as deputy fire marshal would constitute “misfeasance” hence, Attorney General, not Auditor, was proper party to sue commissioner to recover payments to disqualified person. White v. Lowry, 162 Miss. 751, 139 So. 874, 1932 Miss. LEXIS 164 (Miss. 1932).

2. Standing.

A terminated town employee did not have standing to sue the board of aldermen for a violation of the section as he was not a member of the class of prospective employees for the appointive position in the town maintenance department. Shelton v. Town of Hickory Flat, 724 So. 2d 1075, 1998 Miss. App. LEXIS 1007 (Miss. Ct. App. 1998).

OPINIONS OF THE ATTORNEY GENERAL

Facts showed that husband was not appointing authority at time his wife was hired and simultaneous employment of husband and wife by city did not constitute nepotism; except for purposes of inquiring or receiving information or advice, council deals with municipal departments and personnel solely through mayor. Norman, Jan. 25, 1990, A.G. Op. #90-0051.

Position of road hand/machine operator/heavy equipment operator/road maintenance individual does not fall within class of employment enumerated or contemplated by statute (officer, clerk, stenographer, deputy or assistant); accordingly, employment of brother of member of board of supervisors would not constitute violation of nepotism statute. Lamar, Feb. 22, 1990, A.G. Op. #90-0094.

Where Board of Trustees of State Institutions of Higher Learning and institutional executive officer is hiring authority for positions at institution, violation of nepotism statute did not occur since employees in question were related within third degree to individuals other than members of Board of Trustees or executive officer. Hefner, Feb. 23, 1990, A.G. Op. #90-0111.

Kinship by marriage ends upon dissolution of marriage by divorce or death; former sister-in-law of board member, if otherwise qualified, may be lawfully appointed to serve as municipal clerk. Berryhill, June 13, 1990, A.G. Op. #90-0405.

Since hospital administrator/husband is not “appointing authority”, arrangement to hire wife of hospital administrator as employee of hospital will not violate nepotism statute. Hurt, June 18, 1990, A.G. Op. #90-0415.

Appointed municipal clerk is subject to same employment provisions as are regular municipal employees and therefore, insofar as nepotism statute is concerned would be in same situation as “employee” and is eligible to remain in office subsequent to time her kinsman was elected to board of aldermen. Fortner, August 22, 1990, A.G. Op. #90-0627.

Hiring of sister of member of board of supervisors by tax assessor and collector to be deputy assessor would not violate nepotism statute; Since tax assessor and collector is hiring authority, not board of supervisors, employee would not be related to hiring authority within third degree according to civil law. McGregor, August 29, 1990, A.G. Op. #90-0651.

Where sole authority for employment and discharge of employees expressly rests with commission, not executive director, commission may not hire as clerk, stenographer, officer, deputy or assistant, son or daughter of one of members of Board of Commissioners of Mississippi Coast Transportation Authority. Ward, Oct. 25, 1990, A.G. Op. #90-0784.

Three-part analysis should be employed to determine whether employment relationship violates nepotism statute: (1) Are parties related within third degree? (2) Is relative who is public official “appointing authority”? (3) Is job included in list of prohibited positions? Harrington, May 30, 1991, A.G. Op. #91-0404.

Whether employee is hired for summer only or permanently is irrelevant to question of whether employment violates nepotism statute. Harrington, May 30, 1991, A.G. Op. #91-0404.

The mayor and board of aldermen may hire the son of an aldermen as a ground man, meter reader or for any position in the utility department which is not an officer, clerk, stenographer, deputy or assistant. Brown, Nov. 4, 1991, A.G. Op. #91-0817.

A Board of Aldermen is not prohibited from hiring the son-in-law of an Alderman as the attorney for the Board. Spicer, Dec. 18, 1991, A.G. Op. #91-0955.

Coroner/county medical examiner investigator cannot appoint his son as deputy county medical examiner investigator. Beech, Feb. 26, 1992, A.G. Op. #91-0077.

Pursuant to the nepotism statute, a board of supervisors is prohibited from compensating the son of a county medical examiner investigator for his services as deputy county medical examiner investigator. Sims, June 17, 1992, A.G. Op. #92-0423.

As a deputy who is to be paid out of the public funds, a deputy medical examiner or medical examiner investigator is subject to the nepotism statute, regardless of whether he actually receives the compensation to which he is entitled. Sims, June 17, 1992, A.G. Op. #92-0423.

Because the sheriff, not the board of supervisors, is responsible for the actual employment of deputies, the employment by a sheriff of a deputy who is the son of a supervisor does not present a violation of the nepotism statute. Hatcher, June 17, 1992, A.G. Op. #92-0433.

Nepotism statute prohibits city council from appointing to Municipal Elections Commission uncle by marriage of one of council members. Hicks, Sept. 16, 1992, A.G. Op. #92-0677.

Nepotism statute prohibits city board of aldermen from appointing sister-in-law of alderman to city’s Election Commission. Navarro, Sept. 16, 1992, A.G. Op. #92-0684.

There is no apparent prohibition against deputy circuit clerk’s daughter-in-law serving as county election commissioner. Snow, Sept. 30, 1992, A.G. Op. #92-0659.

Miss. Code Section 25-1-53, Mississippi’s nepotism statute, prohibits hiring of person who is related by blood or marriage within third degree to hiring authority; this statute does not apply to person who is already in position before relative became hiring authority. Breland, Jan. 6, 1993, A.G. Op. #92-0983.

Attorney General’s office has consistently construed Miss. Code Section 25-1-53 strictly. Hathorn, Apr. 28, 1993, A.G. Op. #93-0271.

Consistent with strict interpretation of Miss. Code Section25-1-53, dispatcher is not “officer, clerk, stenographer, deputy, or assistant” such as is contemplated by nepotism statute; accordingly, Miss. Code §25-1-53 does not prohibit board of supervisors from employing sister-in-law of one of board’s members as dispatcher. Hathorn, Apr. 28, 1993, A.G. Op. #93-0271.

Mississippi’s nepotism statute, Miss. Code Section 25-1-53, does not apply to employment of physicians, nurses or medical technicians by governing boards of community hospitals; however, statute does apply to employment of officers, clerks, stenographers, deputies or assistants; statute does not apply to employee who was in department or institution before kinsman became hiring authority. Hollimon, May 12, 1993, A.G. Op. #93-0274.

Police officer who is not chief of police does not fall under nepotism statute and therefore board of aldermen could hire father and brother-in-law of one of members of board of aldermen as police officers. Brooks, June 16, 1993, A.G. Op. #93-0420.

Board of supervisors is ultimately appointing authority of assistant purchasing clerk in all counties, regardless of whether they operate under beat system or unit system and therefore county administrator was prohibited from appointing nephew of county supervisor as assistant purchasing clerk. Trapp, July 14, 1993, A.G. Op. #93-0482.

Administrator who implements federal law such as Americans with Disabilities Act is not one of five listed positions in statute and therefore board of supervisors or county administrator could appoint nephew of board member as administrator in county charged with responsibility of implementing Americans with Disabilities Act. Trapp, July 14, 1993, A.G. Op. #93-0482.

Because mayor is appointing authority and city council has no confirmation authority, there would be no violation of nepotism statute for husband of council member to serve as public defender. Perkins, July 14, 1993, A.G. Op. #93-0494.

Nepotism only applies to specific jobs mentioned in statute, namely “officer, clerk, stenographer, deputy or assistant”; therefore, it would not appear that employment by mayor and aldermen of mayor’s nephew as “staffing specialist” comes within prohibition of statute. Ellis Aug. 18, 1993, A.G. Op. #93-0583.

In determining whether nepotism statute applies, it is necessary to apply three-part analysis: (1) are parties related within third degree; (2) is relative who is public official appointing authority; (3) is position one of five enunciated positions in statute. Gilfoy Aug. 26, 1993, A.G. Op. #93-0613.

There does not appear to be prohibition against board of aldermen employing son of alderman as laborer, as that is not one of five specified positions in nepotism statute; however, as niece is within third degree of kinship prohibited by statute, and clerk is one of enunciated positions set out in nepotism statute, it would be in violation of Section 25-1-53 for niece of alderman to be employed in that capacity unless she was serving as city clerk at time her uncle or aunt became alderman. Gilfoy Aug. 26, 1993, A.G. Op. #93-0613.

Board of aldermen of municipality may retain attorney who is brother to one of members of board. Childre Sept. 1, 1993, A.G. Op. #93-0545.

Nepotism statute does not apply to position of municipal judge; therefore, Board of Aldermen may appoint municipal judge who is brother of alderman. Childre Sept. 1, 1993, A.G. Op. #93-0545.

Nepotism statute does not apply to position of department head of municipality; therefore, Board of Aldermen may appoint as department head person who is brother-in-law of alderman, i.e., person whose wife’s sister is married to alderman. Childre Sept. 1, 1993, A.G. Op. #93-0545.

Nepotism statute does not prohibit sheriff from appointing sister-in-law as dispatcher and/or jailer if she will not be deputy sheriff but it does prohibit her appointment as deputy sheriff. McMillan Sept. 23, 1993, A.G. Op. #93-0554.

Nepotism statute does not prohibit Mayor and Board of Aldermen from hiring brother-in-law of alderman as Director of Parks and Recreation. Dennis Oct. 28, 1993, A.G. Op. #93-0725.

Person may be employed as Director of Transition Program at Chemical Dependency Unit of which her husband is Director since position of “director” is not one of prohibited classes of employment listed in statute. Littlejohn Dec. 15, 1993, A.G. Op. #93-0944.

There was no prohibition against municipal governing authorities employing stepson of alderman as certified operator over Clean and Wastewater Department since this was not a position covered by nepotism statute. Pittman, March 17, 1994, A.G. Op. #94-0106.

The employment of the son-in-law of the mayor of a “code charter” municipality as a law enforcement officer does not violate the provisions Section 25-1-53 (the nepotism statute). Austin, April 19, 1995, A.G. Op. #95-0180.

Section 25-1-53 makes it unlawful to appoint a relative as an assistant who is to be paid out of the public funds. However, the appointment of an unpaid volunteer does not violate this section. Harper, June 28, 1995, A.G. Op. #95-0360.

Section 25-1-53 would not prohibit employment of persons not related by blood or marriage within the third degree. Griffith, July 19, 1995, A.G. Op. #95-0288.

Under Section 25-1-53, an ex-wife is not related by blood or marriage to a judge. Therefore, the nepotism statute does not prohibit a judge from hiring an ex-wife for the position of Secretary III. Landrum, August 23, 1995, A.G. Op. #95-0583.

Section 25-1-53 only applies to those positions specifically listed in the statute, therefore a supervisor may hire his brother-in-law as a road hand. Johnston, December 21, 1995, A.G. Op. #95-0841.

If a person was recently elected to serve as County Supervisor and the Supervisor’s son has been an employee of the district for six years prior to the election, it would appear to be acceptable for the son to continue to work in his present position under Section 25-1-53. Fortier, February 9, 1996, A.G. Op. #96-0027.

The County Board of Supervisors may employ the brother-in-law of one of its members as a full time mechanic to service and/or repair all county vehicles and equipment since, Section 25-1-53 only prohibits an official from employing or appointing a relative within the third degree to the following positions: “officer, clerk, stenographer, deputy, or assistant”. Griffin, March 22, 1996, A.G. Op. #96-0126.

Pursuant to Section 25-1-53 the brother-in-law of the alderman may not be employed as an officer, clerk, stenographer, deputy or assistant since he is related by marriage within the third degree to the alderman. A city is not prohibited from hiring the alderman’s brother-in-law in some other capacity or position. Tyner, September 6, 1996, A.G. Op. #96-0476.

Pursuant to Section 25-1-53, a stepfather or stepniece would be related by marriage within the third degree. Therefore, such person could not serve as an officer, clerk, stenographer, deputy or assistant. Greathree, September 20, 1996, A.G. Op. #96-0619.

The hiring as a police officer of the first cousin of a police chief, considered to be related in the fourth degree, would not violate the nepotism statute. Pickens, July 3, 1997, A.G. Op. #97-0365.

The nepotism statute is violated if the son of a county medical examiner is appointed as a deputy county medical examiner even if the deputy agrees to serve without compensation. McWilliams, July 18, 1997, A.G. Op. #97-0414.

An appointment of the brother of an alderman as the police chief of a municipality would violate the nepotism statute. Boland, Aug. 1, 1997, A.G. Op. #97-0439.

Miss. Code Section 25-1-53 would not restrict the employment of a public relations assistant, notwithstanding the fact that the assistant is related within the third degree to a member of the appointing authority, because a public relations assistant is not one of the five positions to which Section 25-1-53 applies. Pogue, Aug. 1, 1997, A.G. Op. #97-0440.

The nepotism statute is violated if a person is appointed to a public job by a public officer related to them within the third degree and they receive insurance benefits, the premiums for which are paid out of public funds. Bryant, Aug. 29, 1997, A.G. Op. #97-0488.

Nepotism statute prohibiting a board of alderman from appointing a person who is related by blood or marriage within the third degree to a board member to one of five specific positions, that is, officer, clerk, stenographer, deputy or assistant, applies by its own terms to five positions only and, therefore, does not preclude the mayor and aldermen from appointing the mayor’s brother as an operator/laborer in the water department. Thomas, January 9, 1998, A.G. Op. #97-0833.

A mayor who appoints his brother to a school board, which is an office of the executive government, will violate the Nepotism Statute unless the brother forgoes all compensation and payment. Cochran, March 6, 1998, A.G. Op. #98-0106.

The nepotism statute does not prohibit the sheriff from hiring a cousin of his wife as chief deputy. Entrekin, May 14, 1998, A.G. Op. #98-0255.

The nepotism statute does not prohibit a board of supervisors from hiring a nephew of a member of the board as a laborer or light equipment operator. Entrekin, May 22, 1998, A.G. Op. #98-0272.

The nepotism statute does not prohibit the president of a community college from hiring the daughter-in-law of a member of the board of trustees as a recruiter. Summers, June 5, 1998, A.G. Op. #98-0305.

The nepotism statute does not prohibit a municipality from hiring the son of an alderman as a full time policeman who is not the chief. Tyner, August 14, 1998, A.G. Op. #98-0419.

The board of aldermen may hire the brother of an alderman as fire chief. Collins, August 21, 1998, A.G. Op. #98-0514.

It would be a violation of the statute for a member of a governing authority empowered to vote for the appointment of a commissioner to be related to such appointee within the third degree. Wolfe, October 9, 1998, A.G. Op. #98-0614.

There is no violation of the statute where the relative appointed to a position is to receive no payment or compensation to be paid from public funds. Wolfe, October 9, 1998, A.G. Op. #98-0614.

The appointment of the son of a member of the Board of Commissioners of the City of Clarksdale to the Clarksdale Public Utilities Commission would violate the provisions of the nepotism statute, unless he were to agree to waive all compensation. Twiford, December 23, 1998, A.G. Op. #98-0751.

A stepdaughter is related by marriage within the third degree, and a city council may not appoint a stepdaughter of a council member as the city clerk. Lowe, December 23, 1998, A.G. Op. #98-0774.

The statute does not prohibit a board of aldermen from hiring the son of the mayor as a laborer who works with the gas system and the water and sewer systems. Gifford, February 26, 1999, A.G. Op. #99-0093.

The board of aldermen of a code charter municipality may appoint the nephew of the wife of the mayor to the position of Maintenance Manger and Utility Supervisor. Hedgepeth, June 11, 1999, A.G. Op. #99-0285.

The mayor and aldermen of a city may appoint the son of the fire chief as a firefighter in the municipal fire department. Mitchell, August 27, 1999, A.G. Op. #99-0456.

The statute prohibits a sheriff from hiring his sister-in-law to one of the five specifically listed positions; however, the statute does not prohibit a sheriff from hiring his sister-in-law to a position that is not specifically listed. Callahan, Jan. 7, 2000, A.G. Op. #99-0704.

The appointment of the stepdaughter of an alderman to the position of secretary would be in violation of the statute. Mitchell, Feb. 25, 2000, A.G. Op. #2000-0079.

A board of supervisors may terminate an employee for any reason, including violation of the nepotism statute, that is consistent with constitutional law; the action of the board should be simply to terminate a person whose employment violates the nepotism statute (unless, of course, the employee comes within the grandfather provisions of Section 25-1-53). Holmes, April 7, 2000, A.G. Op. #2000-0152.

The statute does not prohibit the board of supervisors from hiring the son of a supervisor as an E-911 Coordinator, Emergency Management Coordinator, and Fire Coordinator of the county. Hallman, May 5, 2000, A.G. Op. #2000-0233.

It would not constitute a violation of the statute for the superintendent to recommend his spouse for a position as a secretary with the same school district. Wyly, May 12, 2000, A.G. Op. #2000-0216.

An applicant for a position in the accounting department is not prohibited from being employed by the county board of supervisors as long as the employee is not a purchasing clerk, receiving clerk, or inventory clerk. Smith, Oct. 20, 2000, A.G. Op. #2000-0606.

A town may hire the brother-in-law and son-in-law of an alderman as regular police officers. LeSure, Oct. 27, 2000, A.G. Op. #2000-0631.

The statute does not prohibit the hiring of a mayor’s cousin to serve in the position of town clerk. Youngman, Feb. 23, 2001, A.G. Op. #2001-0014.

The statute does not apply to computer support personnel and, therefore, did not prohibit a county board of supervisors from hiring two individuals as computer support personnel, one of whom was married to a county supervisor. Griffith, Mar. 16, 2001, A.G. Op. #01-0127.

The sheriff, rather than the board of supervisors, is responsible for the actual employment of deputies and, therefore, the employment by a sheriff of a deputy who is the son of the predecessor sheriff and the son-in-law of a member of the board of supervisors does not present a violation of the statute. Shaw, Jan. 25, 2002, A.G. Op. #02-0016.

Employment by the sheriff of an auxiliary deputy sheriff who is the son of a member of the board of supervisors does not violate the statute. Shaw, Jan. 24, 2002, A.G. Op. #02-0017.

The governing authorities of a town are not prohibited from hiring the son of an alderman as a police officer who is not the chief. Hatcher, Mar. 22, 2002, A.G. Op. #02-0126.

One sister of a county tax collector could retain her job in the tax collector’s office after the county tax collector retired, even if another sister of the county tax collector was elected to that position; however, she could not be subsequently transferred or promoted to another prohibited position if the other sister became the tax collector. Andrzejewski, May 3, 2002, A.G. Op. #02-0229.

A district attorney may hire his nephew to work in his office as a domestic violence investigator. Bowen, July 15, 2002, A.G. Op. #02-0333.

A person in an employing or appointing authority may not hire his or her niece as an officer, clerk, stenographer, deputy or assistant if the niece is to be paid out of public funds. Sigalas, Dec. 20, 2002, A.G. Op. #02-0739.

Employment of the brother of a member of the board of trustees of a regional medical center as a security guard does not violate the nepotism statute. Williamson, Sept. 27, 2002, A.G. Op. #02-0545.

In a situation in which an employee and appointing authority are not related when the employment relationship begins, but become related through marriage afterwards, the statute prohibiting nepotism is not applicable. Keating, Oct. 11, 2002, A.G. Op. #02-0580.

The nepotism statute prohibits the governing authorities of a city from reappointing the brother-in-law of the newly elected mayor to a new term as a commissioner of the housing authority. Rushing, Jan. 3, 2003, A.G. Op. #02-0759.

Section 25-1-53 would not bar the father from continued employment by the board of supervisors if his son is subsequently elected to the position of supervisor. Torrey, Feb. 14, 2003, A.G. Op. #03-0023.

Hiring of the spouse of the Chief Engineer of the Mississippi Department of Transportation as an engineer in the Office of State Aid Road construction does not create a violation of the nepotism statute. James, Feb. 7, 2003, A.G. Op. #03-0052.

The board of aldermen of a town may hire the grandson-in-law of the mayor as the municipal attorney. Fielding, Jan. 24, 2003, A.G. Op. #03-0019.

There would be no violation of the nepotism statute if the brother-in-law of the mayor appointed as a commissioner of the Housing Authority waives all salary, compensation and expenses. Rushing, Apr. 7, 2003, A.G. Op. #03-0040.

An individual appointed to serve on the board of a municipal separate school district pursuant to Section 37-7-203 is considered an officer of the municipality, and the nepotism statute prohibits the hiring of an individual related within the third degree to a member of the appointing authority to one of five specific positions including “officer.” Ponthieux, Apr. 11, 2003, A.G. Op. 03-0167.

It is the act of appointment of a disqualified person that is the violation of the nepotism statute. Ponthieux, Apr. 11, 2003, A.G. Op. 03-0167.

Section 25-1-55 renders the appointing authority liable for all amounts paid to a person appointed in violation of the nepotism statute. Ponthieux, Apr. 11, 2003, A.G. Op. 03-0167.

Since it is the board of supervisors that hires the deputy justice court clerks and not the justice court judges, there is no prohibition to a county hiring the daughter-in-law of a justice court judge to be a deputy justice court clerk. Fortier and Babb, May 16, 2003, A.G. Op. 03-0216.

It would violate the nepotism statute for an individual to be appointed to a county development commission by a county board of supervisors whose membership includes the individual’s step-uncle. Allen, July 18, 2003, A.G. Op. 03-0340.

County tax collector’s employment of her husband as a part time mobile home inspector would violate the nepotism statute. Creekmore, July 25, 2003, A.G. Op. 03-0379.

The nepotism statute applies to a recreation authority created by an interlocal cooperation agreement between a city and county. Turnage, July 25, 2003, A.G. Op. 03-0382.

A board of aldermen is prohibited by the nepotism statute from appointing a sister of a board member as the city clerk of a code charter municipality. Crosthwait, Aug. 8, 2003, A.G. Op. 03-0416.

A board of aldermen is not prohibited by the nepotism statute from appointing the niece of the city marshall as the city clerk of a code charter municipality. Crosthwait, Aug. 8, 2003, A.G. Op. 03-0416.

A violation of the nepotism statute would occur if the individual currently serving as deputy clerk were promoted to the position of city clerk while her sister is a member of the board of aldermen, and this would be so regardless of whether the sister recuses herself from any votes on the question. Moore, Aug. 29, 2003, A.G. Op. 03-0469.

The appointment of the nephew of a member of the City Council to the position of airport director does not violate the nepotism statute. Alexander, Feb. 2, 2004, A.G. Op. 04-0021.

The appointment of the husband of an Alderman’s niece to the position of school board trustee would violate the nepotism statute. Should the school board member agree to serve without compensation, the violation would be avoided. Ainsworth, Feb 2, 2004, A.G. Op. 04-0022.

The appointment of an individual whose spouse is a nurse at a county nursing home would not result in a violation of this section. Bowman, Feb. 27, 2004, A.G. Op. 04-0071.

There is no conflict between this section and §25-4-105. The prohibitions contained therein are cumulative and individuals must comply with both statutes. Bowman, Feb. 27, 2004, A.G. Op. 04-0071.

For purposes of the nepotism statute, the circuit clerk is the is the appointing authority of a deputy who is being paid by the board of supervisors. Dulaney, Aug. 27, 2004, A.G. Op. 04-0413.

County hospital’s hiring as a receptionist an individual whose husband is the grandson of a hospital trustee would not violate the nepotism statute. Stark, July 29, 2005, A.G. Op. 05-0364.

In order to avoid a violation of the nepotism statute, a school board member must not only waive the per diem, but must also waive reimbursement for expenses and travel which is otherwise available to members for travel to board meetings and any training sessions or regional or national education meetings. Donovan, Oct. 14, 2005, A.G. Op. 05-0427.

A school board member who has waived compensation in order to avoid a violation of the nepotism statute is in no position to designate the distribution of those funds or to donate those funds to any organization. Donovan, Oct. 14, 2005, A.G. Op. 05-0427.

The hiring of a sister of a member of the board of supervisors by the sheriff would not violate Section 25-1-53. Shepard, Dec. 27, 2005, A.G. Op. 05-0614.

A judge may not lawfully appoint his or her brother to the position of court administrator. Lewis, Mar. 30, 2006, A.G. Op. 06-0064.

There is no violation of the nepotism statute if the board of aldermen employs the mayor’s son as the town’s water operator or wastewater operator. Todd, July 25, 2006, A.G. Op. 06-0294.

A coroner may not appoint his brother as a deputy coroner. Hampton, Aug. 7, 2006, A.G. Op. 06-0345.

A full-time firefighter, like all other municipal officers and employees, is prohibited from being a commissioner of the municipal housing authority under Miss. Code Ann. §43-33-7. The appointment of a spouse of a member of the board of aldermen as a commissioner of the municipal housing authority violates the Nepotism Statute, Miss. Code Ann. §25-1-53, except that a person serving as commissioner prior to election of their spouse to the board of aldermen may be reappointed. Tucker, March 15, 2007, A.G. Op. #07-00130, 2007 Miss. AG LEXIS 103.

Subject to the Mississippi Nepotism Statute, Miss. Code Ann. §25-1-53, an individual may not be subsequently transferred or promoted to another prohibited position after a relative within the third degree becomes the hiring authority. Hathorn, March 9, 2007, A.G. Op. #07-00129, 2007 Miss. AG LEXIS 96.

RESEARCH REFERENCES

ALR.

Validity, construction, and effect of state constitutional or statutory provision regarding nepotism in the public service. 11 A.L.R.4th 826.

Am. Jur.

63C Am. Jur. 2d, Public Officers and Employees § 99.

CJS.

67 C.J.S., Officers § 31, 32.

§ 25-1-55. Penalty for nepotism.

Any person violating the provisions of Section 25-1-53 shall forfeit to the State of Mississippi, and shall be liable on his official bond for, an amount equal to the sum of all moneys paid to any person appointed or employed in violation of the provisions aforesaid.

HISTORY: Codes, 1930, § 2906; 1942, § 4052; Laws, 1926, ch. 170.

JUDICIAL DECISIONS

1. In general.

Insurance commissioner’s appointment of disqualified person as deputy fire marshal would constitute “misfeasance;” hence, Attorney-General, not Auditor, was proper party to sue commissioner to recover payments to disqualified person. White v. Lowry, 162 Miss. 751, 139 So. 874, 1932 Miss. LEXIS 164 (Miss. 1932).

§ 25-1-57. Undated or postdated resignations.

Whenever any appointment or employment of an officer or employee of the State of Mississippi or any agency, department, or institution thereof, shall by law require confirmation by the Mississippi State Senate, no officer or employee of the state, or any other person, shall take, require, accept, or otherwise obtain as a condition of appointment or employment an undated or postdated resignation from a person to be appointed as an officer or employee of the state or any agency, department, or institution thereof. Any such resignation accepted, taken, or obtained contrary to the provisions hereof shall be null and void and of no effect, unless the Mississippi State Senate shall have been advised of the existence and content of any undated or postdated resignation and consented thereto at the time of its confirmation of the appointment or employment.

HISTORY: Codes, 1942, § 4052.5; Laws, 1960, ch. 385.

Cross References —

Quo warranto to test right to office, see §11-39-5.

Removal of public officers from office, generally, see §25-5-1.

Resignation of officer in order to evade obedience to lawful order of superior, see §97-11-39.

§ 25-1-59. Vacancy by removal or default.

If any state, district, county, county district, or municipal officer during the term of his office shall remove out of the state, district, county, or municipality for which he was elected or appointed, such office shall thereby become vacant and the vacancy be supplied as by law directed. If any person who has been or shall be a collector or holder of public money is elected to either branch of the Legislature or to any office of profit or trust, and shall not have accounted for and paid into the treasury all sums for which he may be accountable on or before the day of the meeting of the Legislature to which he shall be chosen or the time for the commencement of his term of office, the seat of such person in the Legislature or the office to which he was elected shall be forthwith vacated thereby.

HISTORY: Codes, 1857, ch. 4, art. 25; 1871, § 393; 1880, § 153; 1892, § 3070; 1906, § 3478; Hemingway’s 1917, § 2816; 1930, § 2908; 1942, § 4054.

Cross References —

Power of Governor to suspend defaulting officials, see Miss. Const. Art. 5, § 125.

Authority of Legislature to empower Governor to remove and appoint officers in counties or municipal corporations, see Miss. Const. Art. 5, § 139.

Powers of Governor to make appointments and fill vacancies, see §7-1-5.

Procedure by which appointments are made by governor, see §7-1-35.

Appointment of pro tempore court officers, see §9-1-27.

Vacancy by removal of alderman or mayor, see §21-3-11.

Suspension of tax collector for failure to report, see §27-29-25.

JUDICIAL DECISIONS

1. In general.

Neither the circuit court nor the Supreme Court had the authority to consider a county supervisor’s attempted appeal from an order of the board of supervisors finding that he had removed himself from his district and declaring his office vacant under the authority of §25-1-59, where the supervisor filed a notice of appeal to the circuit court but failed to file a bill of exceptions as required by §11-51-75. Moore v. Sanders, 569 So. 2d 1148, 1990 Miss. LEXIS 445 (Miss. 1990).

Successful candidate for county school superintendent having, subsequent to election, married a man who was not a resident of the State and having removed therefrom was not an “inhabitant” of State and was, therefore, disqualified to hold office. Weisinger v. McGehee, 160 Miss. 424, 134 So. 148, 1931 Miss. LEXIS 186 (Miss. 1931).

OPINIONS OF THE ATTORNEY GENERAL

By virtue of statute, alderman who removes himself from district (ward) from which he was elected by moving to new home in another ward, vacates his office. Belk, March 15, 1990, A.G. Op. #90-0178.

If, as matter of fact, official in question has removed himself to another state, his office became vacant and he relinquished all rights to compensation as of date of said removal. Walman, Sept. 19, 1990, A.G. Op. #90-0707.

The Municipal Election Commission has the responsibility of making the factual determination as to whether a qualified elector has abandoned the municipality as his place of residence or whether he is only temporarily away from his residence. Thomas, Feb. 4, 1992, A.G. Op. #92-0015.

A candidate for appellate judge must be resident of district for office being sought. Harvey Aug. 25, 1993, A.G. Op. #93-0572.

Member of municipal civil service commission who moves outside corporate limits of municipality he was appointed to serve vacates his office. Schissel Nov. 24, 1993, A.G. Op. #93-0848.

Justice court judges and candidates for the office of justice court judge must be lawful residents of the district they serve or seek to serve. Bates, February 8, 1995, A.G. Op. #95-0060.

If a board of supervisors makes the determination that a justice court judge has, as a matter of fact, established his residence outside the district he was elected to serve, the vacancy would be filled in accordance with Section 25-1-59. If the vacancy occurs in the last year of a term, a person appointed to fill a vacancy in accordance with the above cited statute would serve the remainder of the term or until the first Monday in January, of the next year. Bates, February 8, 1995, A.G. Op. #95-0060.

Upon a determination by the board of aldermen that one of its members has moved outside the corporate limits of the municipality he or she was elected to serve as opposed to temporarily living outside the municipality, the office becomes vacant by operation of law and the vacancy must be filled in accordance with the provisions of §23-15-857. Morgan, Oct. 4, 2002, A.G. Op. #02-0576.

The question of whether an official has “removed” out of the jurisdiction for which he was elected or appointed is one of fact. The municipal governing board has the responsibility to make the factual determination as to whether an officer has abandoned the municipality as his place of residence or whether he is only temporarily away from his residence. Tanner, Aug. 20, 2003, A.G. Op. 03-0441.

Whether a municipal officer has “removed” out of the jurisdiction he was elected to serve is a question of fact to be determined by the municipal governing authorities, subject to judicial review. Carouthers, Jan. 6, 2005, A.G. Op. 05-0633.

If a board of aldermen determines, consistent with the facts, that a member is no longer a resident of the ward he was elected to serve and is not merely temporarily residing outside his ward but has abandoned same, a vacancy would have to be declared and a special election set in accordance with Section 23-15-857. Skellie, Aug. 18, 2006, A.G. Op. 06-0377.

RESEARCH REFERENCES

ALR.

Assertion of immunity as ground for removing or discharging public officer or employee. 44 A.L.R.2d 789.

Am. Jur.

63C Am. Jur. 2d, Public Officers and Employees §§ 136 et seq.

CJS.

67 C.J.S., Officers §§ 154–186, 224 et seq.

§ 25-1-61. Legal residence of state officers.

All public officers of this state who are required to, or who for official reasons, remove from the county of their actual household and residence to another county of this state for the purpose of performing the duties of their office shall be deemed in law in all respects to be householders and residents of the county from which they so remove, unless such officer elects to become an actual householder and resident of the county to which he removed for official causes.

HISTORY: Codes, 1930, § 2909; 1942, § 4055; Laws, 1926, ch. 175.

Cross References —

County residency requirement for member of house of representatives, see Miss. Const. Art. 4, § 41.

Residency requirements for judges, see §9-1-23.

County in which action against public officer may be brought, see §11-11-3.

Qualifications for offices of mayor and alderman, see §21-3-9.

JUDICIAL DECISIONS

1. In general.

Claim by a candidate for county supervisor that as an employee of the State of Mississippi he was entitled to claim residency in the county was not supported by Miss. Code Ann. §25-1-61 because the candidate was merely employed by the state and was not a state officer or official. Young v. Stevens, 968 So. 2d 1260, 2007 Miss. LEXIS 347 (Miss. 2007).

RESEARCH REFERENCES

Am. Jur.

25 Am. Jur. 2d, Domicil § 38.

63A Am. Jur. 2d, Public Officers and Employees §§ 60-62.

CJS.

67 C.J.S., Officers § 35.

§ 25-1-63. Defaulting officers published.

If any state, state district, county, county district, or other public officer who is required by law to make any report to or settlement with another officer, or in any manner to account with such officer, shall fail to make the report or settlement or to account within ten (10) days after the date on which such report, settlement, or accounting should be made or had or within such reasonable extended time, not exceeding thirty (30) days, as such other officer in a proper case may allow, the fact of such default shall be published by the officer to or with whom the report, settlement, or accounting should be made or had in a newspaper published in the county of the defaulter’s residence, if there be one so published willing to make the publication, and, if not, then in one published at the capital. If any officer to or with whom any such defaulter should report, settle, or account shall fail to make such publication within fifty (50) days after the date of the original default, any citizen who is not a surety of the defaulter may bring an action against the officer so failing to publish the defaulter, personally or on his bond, and shall recover all damages to such citizen and a penalty of Five Hundred Dollars ($500.00); and, to recover the penalty, it shall not be necessary to show any damages, provided that only one (1) penalty shall be recovered. Two Hundred and Fifty Dollars ($250.00) of the penalty, in the case of a state or state district officer, shall be paid into the state treasury, and in case of a county or county district officer, into the county treasury, and the other half to the person suing. It shall be the duty of the district attorney to bring all such suits.

HISTORY: Codes, 1892, § 3071; 1906, § 3479; Hemingway’s 1917, § 2817; 1930, § 2910; 1942, § 4056; Laws, 1916, ch. 226.

Cross References —

Suspension of State Treasurers and tax collectors in default, see §7-1-57.

Reports of State Treasurer to Governor respecting public finances, see §7-9-49.

Hearing in circuit court on motions against court officers for money collected and not paid over, see §9-7-89.

Suspension of tax collector for default, see §27-29-25.

JUDICIAL DECISIONS

1. In general.

Attorney general was not liable to contractor for work in repairing old Capitol for instituting suit at the request of two members of the capitol commission to enjoin the contractors from doing the work, whether or not the attorney general acted wilfully or maliciously. Semmes v. Collins, 120 Miss. 265, 82 So. 145, 1919 Miss. LEXIS 85 (Miss. 1919).

RESEARCH REFERENCES

ALR.

Application of requirement that newspaper be locally published for official notice publication. 85 A.L.R.4th 581.

§ 25-1-65. Expense of publication.

The expense of publishing such defaulters shall be paid out of the county treasury on the allowance of the board of supervisors in the case of a county or county district officer, and in the case of a state or state district officer, out of the state treasury, as other contingent expenses are paid.

HISTORY: Codes, 1892, § 3072; 1906, § 3480; Hemingway’s 1917, § 2818; 1930, § 2911; 1942, § 4057.

§ 25-1-67. Public moneys to be promptly paid by legal representatives.

It is the duty of the legal representative of every tax collector or other officer who shall die having public money in his hands to promptly pay the same over to the proper authorities. Nothing herein contained shall in any manner vary or affect the liability of such officer or his bondsmen.

HISTORY: Codes, 1892, § 3078; 1906, § 3486; Hemingway’s 1917, § 2824; 1930, § 2912; 1942, § 4058.

Cross References —

Procedure when officer holding property under execution dies before sale is made, see §13-3-177.

Seizure of property upon refusal of representative of deceased officer to deliver, see §13-3-179.

Duty of executor or administrator to pay debts of estate generally, see §91-7-155.

Penalty for conversion of public funds held in trust by public officer or personal representative, see §97-11-25.

JUDICIAL DECISIONS

1. In general.

Interest on moneys deposited by the treasurer of a board of levee commissioners comes into his hands by virtue of his office and he and the sureties on his bond are liable therefor. Adams v. Williams, 97 Miss. 113, 52 So. 865, 1910 Miss. LEXIS 283 (Miss. 1910).

RESEARCH REFERENCES

Am. Jur.

63C Am. Jur. 2d, Public Officers and Employees §§ 341, 402, 420.

CJS.

67 C.J.S., Officers §§ 259-269.

§ 25-1-69. Officer not to carry or deposit public funds outside state.

It shall be unlawful for any officer of this state, or for any officer of any county or any levee board in this state, to deposit, carry, send, or to permit to be deposited, carried, or sent to any point beyond the confines of this state any part of any fund, money, bonds, or securities of any kind whatever belonging to the State of Mississippi, or to any county or subdivision of any county within this state, which may have come into his possession or custody by virtue of his office, unless paid out by due and legal authority. Any state or county officer violating the provisions of this section shall, upon conviction, be fined not less than Two Hundred Dollars ($200.00) and not more than One Thousand Dollars ($1,000.00), or be imprisoned in the state penitentiary for a term not exceeding five (5) years, or both, at the discretion of the court.

HISTORY: Codes, 1906, § 3488; Hemingway’s 1917, § 2826; 1930, § 2913; 1942, § 4059; Laws, 1904, ch. 107.

Cross References —

Remedy against officer failing to account for fines, penalties or forfeitures collected by him, see §§11-7-219,99-19-67.

Penalty for loan or removal of state funds by public officer, see §27-105-27.

JUDICIAL DECISIONS

1. In general.

Funds deposited by the sheriff of the county in his official account are public funds. Coahoma County v. Mississippi Fire Ins. Co., 68 F.2d 489, 1934 U.S. App. LEXIS 4886 (5th Cir. Miss. 1934).

OPINIONS OF THE ATTORNEY GENERAL

Electronic transfers to out-of-state banks for investment purposes are not prohibited by Section 25-1-69 so long as such funds are credited as being on deposit with a qualified county depository and are secured as provided by law. James, August 16, 1996, A.G. Op. #96-0503.

§ 25-1-71. Public moneys are trust funds.

All money deposited in a bank or with any depository by or for a tax collector or other officer having the custody of public funds, state, county, municipal, levee board, road districts, drainage districts, or school districts, whether the same be deposited in the name of the officer as an individual or as an officer or in the name of any other person, is prima facie public money and a trust fund, and is not liable to be taken by the general creditors of the officer or by the creditors of the depository. Whenever any corporation doing a banking business of whose property and banking business the banking examiner has taken possession as provided by law, it shall be the duty of such banking examiner, or his agent in charge, out of the first money coming into his hands to immediately pay to the tax collector or other officer having the custody of such funds the full amount thereof, as far as possible. On failure so to do, the chancery court of the county where said corporation was doing business, or the chancellor thereof in vacation, shall on ten (10) days’ notice require the payment of all, or such part thereof as is on hand, until the full amount due is paid. Nothing herein contained shall in any manner vary or affect the liability of such officer or his bondsmen.

HISTORY: Codes, 1892, § 3077; 1906, § 3485; Hemingway’s 1917, § 2823; 1930, § 2914; 1942, § 4060; Laws, 1922, ch. 177.

Cross References —

Prohibition against payment or receipt of money by state treasurer, except upon warrant or certificate, see §7-9-13.

State depositories, see §§27-105-1 et seq.

Depositories for local governments, see §§27-105-301 et seq.

JUDICIAL DECISIONS

1. In general.

2. Public funds, what are.

3. Funds protected—generally.

4. —Effect of giving bond or security.

5. Funds not protected.

6. Bank guaranty fund.

7. Liability—generally.

8. —For interest on deposited funds.

9. Priority.

1. In general.

This statute does not in effect prohibit and make unlawful deposits of sheriffs and tax collectors in current accounts in banks, so as to render the trust fund doctrine inapplicable upon the bank’s insolvency, but merely undertakes to, and does, as to state banks, effect a preference for this kind of public deposits in liquidation proceedings by charging all the assets of the bank with a general preferential lien. Webster v. United States Fidelity & Guaranty Co., 71 F.2d 475, 1934 U.S. App. LEXIS 3120 (5th Cir. Miss. 1934).

This statute cannot be applied to create a preference in the liquidation of a national bank. Webster v. United States Fidelity & Guaranty Co., 71 F.2d 475, 1934 U.S. App. LEXIS 3120 (5th Cir. Miss. 1934).

So far as this statute is construed to establish a general preference against the assets of a failed bank irrespective of the tracing of funds which never belonged to the bank, it is in conflict with a Federal statute and cannot be applied to a failed national bank. Gulley v. Wisdom, 69 F.2d 495, 1934 U.S. App. LEXIS 3585 (5th Cir. Miss. 1934).

The depository law (Act of 1908 ch 96, as amended by Laws 1910 ch 224), when put into operation supersedes and annuls Code 1906, § 3485, and to that extent supersedes such section. Bank of Commerce v. Clark, 114 Miss. 850, 75 So. 595, 1917 Miss. LEXIS 91 (Miss. 1917).

This section is in derogation of common right and is to be strictly construed. Potter v. Fidelity & Deposit Co., 101 Miss. 823, 58 So. 713, 1911 Miss. LEXIS 180 (Miss. 1911); United States Fidelity & Guaranty Co. v. First State Bank, 103 Miss. 91, 60 So. 47, 1912 Miss. LEXIS 141 (Miss. 1912).

2. Public funds, what are.

So called revolving funds of the county on deposit with county depository were not private funds and were within the protective purview of this section. United States Fidelity & Guaranty Co. v. Sunflower County, 194 Miss. 680, 12 So. 2d 142, 1943 Miss. LEXIS 61 (Miss. 1943).

While drainage district funds on deposit with county depository bank were not “county funds,” they nevertheless were public funds within the purview of this section. United States Fidelity & Guaranty Co. v. Sunflower County, 194 Miss. 680, 12 So. 2d 142, 1943 Miss. LEXIS 61 (Miss. 1943).

The funds of a bank in liquidation deposited or loaned by the superintendent of banks in charge of such bank in liquidation to another bank in liquidation were not public funds within the purview of this section, giving preference to public funds, because the funds involved were not funds of the government, but funds held by a state officer in administering the liquidation of a bank for the benefit of depositors and creditors. United States Fidelity & Guaranty Co. v. State, 186 Miss. 1, 188 So. 911, 1939 Miss. LEXIS 214 (Miss. 1939).

Funds deposited by the sheriff of the county in his official account are public funds. Coahoma County v. Mississippi Fire Ins. Co., 68 F.2d 489, 1934 U.S. App. LEXIS 4886 (5th Cir. Miss. 1934).

3. Funds protected—generally.

Under Laws 1910, ch. 138 §§ 1 and 2 and ch. 137, although an order was duly adopted by the municipal authorities making it depository, where in lieu of the bond of the surety company the bank furnished a personal bond signed by individual sureties, it did not become a legal depository, and the city, the bank being in process of liquidation, had the right to proceed under this section (Code 1906, § 3485). Bank of Commerce v. Gulfport, 117 Miss. 591, 78 So. 519, 1918 Miss. LEXIS 201 (Miss. 1918).

Funds deposited by a tax collector in a bank are trust funds and must be so dealt with in case of an assignment for the benefit of creditors as to pay the tax collector in full in preference to other creditors. Fogg v. Hebdon, 80 Miss. 750, 32 So. 285 (Miss. 1902).

4. —Effect of giving bond or security.

Where depository had given county a number of drainage bonds, which it owned, as security for additional funds of the county, and at time depository closed its doors, there was money on deposit in excess of that secured by surety bonds, county was entitled to credit proceeds of drainage bonds against deposited funds, and where such application did not fully reimburse the county, the surety companies could not recover from county on an agreement under which they were to receive the balance of such proceeds after payment to the county of the difference between the face amount of the surety bonds and the public funds covered thereby. United States Fidelity & Guaranty Co. v. Sunflower County, 194 Miss. 680, 12 So. 2d 142, 1943 Miss. LEXIS 61 (Miss. 1943).

The fact that a tax collector accepted a private bond to secure a deposit made by him of the public funds in a bank would not affect the status of the deposit as fixed and defined by this section (Code 1906, § 3485). Bank of Commerce v. Clark, 114 Miss. 850, 75 So. 595, 1917 Miss. LEXIS 91 (Miss. 1917).

Where a board of supervisors elected a depository of county funds there being then on deposit less than 90% of the amount of the security, and afterwards the board permitted the depository to have a greater amount of public funds than the security, Code 1906, § 3485, applied to such excess, though not to the funds secured. Powell v. Board of Sup'rs, 107 Miss. 410, 65 So. 499, 1914 Miss. LEXIS 98 (Miss. 1914).

5. Funds not protected.

Funds of board of drainage commissioners deposited in a bank are not within the protection of this section, such board not being within the meaning of the word “municipal.” United States Fidelity & Guaranty Co. v. First State Bank, 103 Miss. 91, 60 So. 47, 1912 Miss. LEXIS 141 (Miss. 1912).

Moneys placed by the state in a bank as a depository under laws of 1908, ch. 96 are not trust funds within the meaning of this section. Potter v. Fidelity & Deposit Co., 101 Miss. 823, 58 So. 713, 1911 Miss. LEXIS 180 (Miss. 1911).

6. Bank guaranty fund.

State funds deposited in bank which has not qualified as depository protected by guaranty fund. Love v. Murry, 135 Miss. 749, 100 So. 277, 1924 Miss. LEXIS 88 (Miss. 1924).

State Banking Department making payments to city after failure of municipal depository held subrogated to rights of city against depository bond and sureties. Perkins v. State, 130 Miss. 512, 94 So. 460, 1922 Miss. LEXIS 229 (Miss. 1922).

7. Liability—generally.

All assets of bank are liable for prior payment thereof, and it is unnecessary that the trust funds, either in original or transmuted form, be pointed out; it being necessary only to show that the funds went into bank. Pearl River County v. Merchants Bank & Trust Co., 168 Miss. 612, 151 So. 756, 1934 Miss. LEXIS 355 (Miss. 1934).

8. —For interest on deposited funds.

Bank not qualifying as public depository, accepting county funds, was trustee and accountable for interest. Sunflower County v. Bank of Drew, 139 Miss. 408, 104 So. 355, 1925 Miss. LEXIS 173 (Miss. 1925).

Even though the treasurer of a board of commissioners of the Levee District is an insurer of public moneys received by him, he is not entitled to retain interest thereon. Adams v. Williams, 97 Miss. 113, 52 So. 865, 1910 Miss. LEXIS 283 (Miss. 1910).

9. Priority.

Where county depository, receiving for collection school warrants belonging to county, forwarded warrants to State depository for collection, and State depository, on day before it closed for unrestricted business, received State’s check for the warrants, charged amount to State’s unsecured deposit, credited county depository therewith, and mailed notice of collection and credit to county depository too late for latter to obtain cash, county held entitled to preference out of State depository’s assets. Pearl River County v. Merchants Bank & Trust Co., 168 Miss. 612, 151 So. 756, 1934 Miss. LEXIS 355 (Miss. 1934).

Where State depository had no security pledged as to certain State deposit, such deposit was trust fund for which State would be entitled to preference out of assets of bank upon its liquidation. Pearl River County v. Merchants Bank & Trust Co., 168 Miss. 612, 151 So. 756, 1934 Miss. LEXIS 355 (Miss. 1934).

Municipality is entitled to priority of payment of its claim out of the assets of the bank. Wardlaw v. Planters' Bank of Clarksdale, 131 Miss. 93, 95 So. 135, 1922 Miss. LEXIS 295 (Miss. 1922).

Bank redepositing county funds not entitled to priority of payment by insolvent bank in which funds deposited. Wardlaw v. Planters' Bank of Clarksdale, 131 Miss. 93, 95 So. 135, 1922 Miss. LEXIS 295 (Miss. 1922).

County’s claim for deposits in bank at time of bank’s failure is superior to that of a depositor to whom bank had issued bills of exchange on bank in another city. Jourdan v. Bennett, 119 Miss. 576, 81 So. 239, 1919 Miss. LEXIS 34 (Miss. 1919).

A levee board upon the failure of a bank which had complied with the statutes was entitled to priority of payment from its receiver. Board of Levee Comm'rs v. Powell, 109 Miss. 415, 69 So. 215, 1915 Miss. LEXIS 172 (Miss. 1915).

This section is in derogation of the common law in giving priority to the state over general creditors, and must be strictly construed. Potter v. Fidelity & Deposit Co., 101 Miss. 823, 58 So. 713, 1911 Miss. LEXIS 180 (Miss. 1911).

The statute was intended to provide for the security of public funds; as against general creditors it makes all the assets of the bank liable for the prior payment of such trust funds. Commercial Bank of Brookhaven v. Hardy, 97 Miss. 755, 53 So. 395, 1910 Miss. LEXIS 296 (Miss. 1910).

Under this section, public moneys deposited by a sheriff have priority of payment on an assignment for the benefit of creditors. Metcalfe v. Merchants' & Planters' Bank, 89 Miss. 649, 41 So. 377, 1906 Miss. LEXIS 40 (Miss. 1906).

RESEARCH REFERENCES

ALR.

Liability of public officer for interest or other earnings received on public money in his possession. 5 A.L.R.2d 257.

Liability of clerk of court, county clerk or prothonotary, or surety on bond, for negligent or wrongful acts of deputies or assistants. 71 A.L.R.2d 1140.

Am. Jur.

63C Am. Jur. 2d, Public Officers and Employees §§ 341, 402, 420.

CJS.

67 C.J.S., Officers §§ 259-269.

§ 25-1-72. Duty to deposit funds into county depository.

All county officers who receive funds payable into the county treasury shall deposit such funds into the county depository on the day when they are collected or on the next business day thereafter.

HISTORY: Laws, 1985, ch. 514, § 13; Laws, 1986, ch. 305, § 2, eff from and after passage (approved February 27, 1986).

§ 25-1-73. Officers liable for costs of collection of public funds improperly withheld.

Any officer, state, county, municipal, or district, or any other custodian of public funds or property who shall improperly withhold same from the state or county treasury or other authority whose duty it is to receive same, or who shall fail to turn property over to the proper custodian, or who shall in anywise be in default as to any money or property held by him as a public official in this state or in any other capacity as custodian of such funds or property which may come into his hands by virtue of his official position, whether in the proper performance of his official duties or otherwise, shall be liable on his bond for all costs of collection or recovery of money or property, including in such costs the commissions, if any, of the state tax commission or the attorney general, and all other costs connected therewith, including interest on funds improperly withheld for such time as such funds have been withheld, and reasonable rental and damages where property belonging to the public is so withheld. Any such public official who shall unlawfully pay any public funds to himself, or who shall knowingly and designedly pay such funds to any other person not entitled thereto without allowance regularly made by the proper authority, shall be liable on his official bond for all costs of recovery of such funds, including the commissions, if any, which may be due to the officer making the collection.

It is the purpose of this section to preserve in its entirety the public funds and property in this state; and it shall be so construed that the commissions, if any, and fees of the attorney general and the state tax commission, and all other costs of collection must be borne by such derelict official or custodian.

HISTORY: Codes, 1930, § 2915; 1942, § 4061; Laws, 1924, ch. 328; Laws, 1928, Ex ch. 90; Laws, 1962, ch. 588, § 18, eff from and after Jan. 1, 1964.

Editor’s Notes —

Section 27-3-4 provides that the terms “‘Mississippi State Tax Commission,’ ‘State Tax Commission,’ ‘Tax Commission’ and ‘commission’ appearing in the laws of this state in connection with the performance of the duties and functions by the Mississippi State Tax Commission, the State Tax Commission or Tax Commission shall mean the Department of Revenue.”

Cross References —

Remedy against clerk of the justice court for money, fines, or penalties withheld, see §9-11-23.

Duties of circuit court clerks respecting collection of fines, penalties, and forfeitures assessed by court, see §§11-7-217,99-19-65.

Liability of State Tax Commission for costs in suits for use of state, county, or municipality, see §27-3-33.

JUDICIAL DECISIONS

1. In general.

2. Duty to turn over funds or property.

3. Liability.

1. In general.

This section is penal in nature and cannot be extended by construction. Gully v. White, 167 Miss. 691, 146 So. 852, 1933 Miss. LEXIS 90 (Miss. 1933).

2. Duty to turn over funds or property.

It is the duty of the state tax collector, on expiration of his term of office, to pay into the state treasury the balance remaining of all commissions collected by him during the term, after deducting therefrom his office expenses, including his own salary, whether the commissions were collected in the proper performance of his duties or otherwise, and when so paid into the treasury this money becomes part of the state’s general fund. City of Biloxi v. Gully, 182 Miss. 723, 180 So. 821, 1938 Miss. LEXIS 160 (Miss. 1938).

State Tax Collector could not pay commissions into treasury conditionally, and attempts to do so were not of legal efficacy so that such commissions became part of State’s general fund. City of Biloxi v. Gully, 182 Miss. 723, 180 So. 821, 1938 Miss. LEXIS 160 (Miss. 1938).

3. Liability.

Under this section, with respect to an action against county board of supervisors by the state to collect a municipality’s alleged proportionate share of ad valorem road taxes because it worked its own streets, the members of the board of supervisors, for the expense of collecting, would be limited to faults flowing from ministerial or non-discretionary duties, and not in matters where the board has a legal discretion, or judicial or quasi-judicial powers. State use of Aberdeen v. Board of Supervisors, 188 Miss. 636, 196 So. 253, 1940 Miss. LEXIS 73 (Miss. 1940).

In an action against a sheriff and the surety on his official bond to recover moneys received by the sheriff from the county treasury for various services rendered by such sheriff to the county as sheriff in excess of what the governing statutes permitted, the surety was not liable on the bond for such moneys where they did not come into the sheriff’s hands by virtue of his office, properly or otherwise. United States Fidelity & Guaranty Co. v. Rice, 184 Miss. 443, 185 So. 563, 186 So. 620, 1939 Miss. LEXIS 25 (Miss. 1939).

State Tax Collector and bondsman held not liable for commissions paid to treasury at expiration of term, although commissions were unlawfully paid Collector and demand made on him for repayment while still under his control. City of Biloxi v. Gully, 182 Miss. 723, 180 So. 821, 1938 Miss. LEXIS 160 (Miss. 1938).

City held not entitled to recover from State Tax Collector amount paid by city for audit of its books in order to obtain data upon which to institute suit against Collector for commissions unlawfully paid to him. Gully v. Biloxi, 177 Miss. 782, 171 So. 698, 1937 Miss. LEXIS 148 (Miss. 1937).

State Tax Collector held not personally liable to city for commissions paid to collector by virtue of his office and paid by collector to State Treasurer, even though the commissions were unlawfully paid to collector. Gully v. Biloxi, 177 Miss. 782, 171 So. 698, 1937 Miss. LEXIS 148 (Miss. 1937).

State auditor withholding from the treasury tax money paid under protest and subsequently refunding it, was not liable for tax collector’s commission, since the money did not rightfully belong to the state; nor was the deputy collector entitled to commission on such money, since he had no vested right to a commission on the mere fact that he discovered that money had been collected and should be paid into the proper treasury. Gully v. White, 167 Miss. 691, 146 So. 852, 1933 Miss. LEXIS 90 (Miss. 1933).

This section, being a general statute dealing with all public officers, is inapplicable in determining whether county could recover from insolvent county depository fees for attorney employed to collect deposits due county, since county depositories are the subject of special legislation. Winston County v. Louisville Home Bank, 164 Miss. 64, 143 So. 884, 1932 Miss. LEXIS 229 (Miss. 1932).

Bank having on deposit tax collections cannot escape penalty for failure to account for interest by commingling funds so that tax collections cannot be determined. Bank of Indianola v. Miller, 147 Miss. 695, 112 So. 877, 1927 Miss. LEXIS 321 (Miss. 1927), writ of error dismissed, 276 U.S. 605, 48 S. Ct. 337, 72 L. Ed. 727, 1928 U.S. LEXIS 140 (U.S. 1928).

OPINIONS OF THE ATTORNEY GENERAL

Planning and Development Districts are either public entities or instrumentalities of political subdivisions of the state and, as such, are subject to audit by the State Auditor. McLeod, Nov. 26, 2003, A.G. Op. 03-0573.

RESEARCH REFERENCES

ALR.

Liability of clerk of court, county clerk or prothonotary, or surety on bond, for negligent or wrongful acts of deputies or assistants. 71 A.L.R.2d 1140.

Am. Jur.

63C Am. Jur. 2d, Public Officers and Employees §§ 341, 402, 420.

CJS.

67 C.J.S., Officers §§ 259-269.

§ 25-1-75. Duplicate receipt books upon transfer of funds.

All state boards, commissions, agencies, bureaus, and other departments of the State of Mississippi, and the governing authorities of all counties, municipalities, and other political subdivisions shall maintain duplicate receipt books, showing the date and the amount of money received by said department or political subdivision from any other state department or political subdivision. Upon the distribution of any funds to any state department, agency, or political subdivision of the state, the distributing department or agency shall demand a receipt for said funds. The recipient of said funds shall execute said receipt and give to the disbursing agency or political subdivision the original thereof, and shall retain in a receipt book kept for that purpose a duplicate of said receipt, showing the amount received by said agency or political subdivision.

The receipt books provided in this section shall be of permanent type, shall be approved by the state auditor, and shall be a public record available for inspection during office hours by any citizen.

Any official, authorized to disburse or receive funds as contemplated hereby, who does not demand a receipt or keep a duplicate receipt as so contemplated shall be guilty of a misdemeanor.

HISTORY: Codes, 1942, § 4061-21; Laws, 1954, ch 386, §§ 1-3 [¶¶ 1-3]

Editor’s Notes —

Section 7-7-2 provides that the words “State Auditor of Public Accounts,” “State Auditor,” and “Auditor” appearing in the laws of this state in connection with the performance of Auditor’s functions shall mean the State Fiscal Officer.

Section 27-104-6 provides that whenever the term “State Fiscal Officer” appears in any law it shall mean “Executive Director of the Department of Finance and Administration.”

Cross References —

Imposition of standard state assessment in addition to all court imposed fines or other penalties for any misdemeanor violation, see §99-19-73.

§ 25-1-77. Bureau of Fleet Management created; purpose; duties; purchase, rent, lease or acquisition of motor vehicle for state use; certain documentation required; bureau may seize and dispose of certain state agency vehicles; reports; retention of vehicles seized under forfeiture laws; exemption of state institution of higher learning.

  1. There is created the Bureau of Fleet Management within the Office of Purchasing, Travel and Fleet Management, Department of Finance and Administration, for the purposes of coordinating and promoting efficiency and economy in the purchase, lease, rental, acquisition, use, maintenance and disposal of vehicles by state agencies. The Executive Director of the Department of Finance and Administration may employ a Fleet Management Officer to manage the bureau and carry out its purposes. The bureau may employ other suitable and competent personnel as necessary. The bureau shall encourage the use of fuel efficient or hybrid vehicles appropriate for the state agency’s intended purpose and, when feasible, the use of alternative fuels or energy sources, including, but not limited to, ethanol, biodiesel, natural gas or electric power. The bureau shall prepare a fiscal analysis of the cost-effectiveness of using alternative fuel or energy source vehicles by state agencies, and submit a report of that fiscal analysis to the Legislature by December 15, 2009. Not later than July 1, 2014, at least seventy-five percent (75%) of all vehicles to which the bureau holds title in the name of the state must have a fuel economy estimate by the United States Environmental Protection Agency of forty (40) miles per gallon or higher for highway driving.
  2. The Bureau of Fleet Management shall perform the following duties:
    1. To hold title in the name of the State of Mississippi to all vehicles currently in possession of state agencies as defined in Section 25-9-107(d) and to assign vehicles to such agencies for use; however, the bureau shall exempt any agency or agency vehicles from the provisions of this paragraph (a) if it determines that state or federal law requires that title be vested only in the agency;
    2. To establish rules and regulations for state agency use of vehicles;
    3. To gather information and specify proper fleet management practices for state agencies;
    4. To acquire fleet management software and require agencies to provide necessary information for the bureau to properly monitor the size, use, maintenance and disposal of the state’s fleet of vehicles; the bureau shall communicate regularly with the fleet managers of each state agency to determine strengths and weaknesses of the various fleet operations; the bureau shall disseminate information to the agencies so that each can take advantage of any beneficial practices being incorporated at other entities; the bureau shall promulgate rules and regulations concerning the mileage reimbursement practices of each state agency;
    5. To carry out responsibilities relative to budget recommendations as provided in Section 27-103-129;
    6. To reassign vehicles in the possession of any state agency if the bureau believes that another state agency can make more efficient use of a vehicle; however, except as otherwise provided in Section 51–11–101, the state agency receiving the reassigned vehicle shall pay to the previous agency’s special fund, or if no special fund exists to the State General Fund, the National Automobile Dealers Association (NADA) wholesale value for the vehicle or the estimated amount for which the vehicle would have sold at auction, as shall be determined by the bureau, whichever is less;
    7. To investigate at any time the vehicle usage practices of any state agency; and
    8. To require each agency to submit to the bureau a vehicle acquisition/use/disposal plan on an annual basis. From the plans received, the bureau shall evaluate the proposed plans and shall submit a recommendation to the Legislature prior to January 1 of each year.
  3. No state department, institution or agency shall purchase, rent, lease or acquire any motor vehicle, regardless of the source of funds from which the motor vehicle is to be purchased, except under authority granted by the Department of Finance and Administration. The Bureau of Fleet Management, Department of Finance and Administration, shall promulgate rules and regulations governing the purchase, rental, lease or acquisition of any motor vehicle by a state department, institution or agency with regard to the appropriateness of the vehicle to its intended use. The Bureau of Fleet Management, Department of Finance and Administration, shall only grant authority to purchase, rent, lease or acquire a motor vehicle which is the lowest cost vehicle to carry out its intended use. Before the disposal or sale of any vehicle, the Bureau of Fleet Management shall make a determination that the lifetime use and mileage of the vehicle has been maximized and that it would not be feasible for another state agency to use the vehicle.
  4. The department, institution or agency shall maintain proper documentation which provides the intended use of the vehicle and the basis for choosing the vehicle. Such documentation shall show that the department, institution or agency made diligent efforts to purchase, rent, lease or acquire a vehicle that is the lowest cost vehicle for its intended use. Such documentation shall be updated as needed when the intended use of the vehicle or any other facts concerning the vehicle are changed. All such documentation shall be approved by the State Fleet Officer prior to purchase, rental, lease or acquisition or change in use of any vehicle and shall be maintained and made available for review by the State Auditor, any other reviewing agency and the Legislature. The Bureau of Fleet Management shall immediately notify the department head of any agency that has a vehicle found to be in violation of the bureau’s rules and regulations. At the same time, the bureau shall notify the Speaker of the House of Representatives and the Lieutenant Governor of its findings regarding any such vehicle. If the violation is not rectified within five (5) days of the notice, then the bureau may seize the vehicle and dispose of it as the bureau deems to be in the best interest of the State of Mississippi.
  5. On or before September 1 of each year, the Bureau of Fleet Management shall prepare and deliver to the Senate and House Appropriations Committees and the Joint Legislative Budget Committee a report containing any irregularities that it finds concerning purchases of state-owned vehicles.
  6. The Department of Public Safety and the Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks may retain any vehicle seized pursuant to the forfeiture laws of this state, and the total number of vehicles assigned to each such agency shall not be reduced by the number of seized vehicles which the agency retains.
  7. The Bureau of Fleet Management, upon request, shall grant an exemption from the provisions of this section for only any vehicle assigned to a sworn officer of the Department of Public Safety and used in undercover operations when the bureau determines that compliance could jeopardize the life, health or safety of the sworn officer.
  8. The provisions of this section shall not apply to any state institution of higher learning.
  9. When making requests for authority to purchase, rent, lease or acquire vehicles as provided in subsection (3) of this section, agencies shall submit the lowest cost vehicle possible to carry out its intended use. Any such request shall be in writing from the agency head, certifying the vehicle requested is the lowest cost option available and acknowledging that any request contrary to this provision shall subject the agency head to penalties as provided in Sections 25-1-91, 31-7-55 and 31-7-57, where applicable. The Bureau of Fleet Management shall only approve the lowest cost vehicle, which in its estimation, will carry out the intended use. No agency may purchase any vehicle that the Bureau of Fleet Management has disapproved as being a higher cost option.
  10. No requests authorized under subsections (3) and (9) of this section shall be approved by the Bureau of Fleet Management if the requesting agency has not properly maintained in the fleet/asset reporting system all information required by the Bureau of Fleet Management. Agencies shall correct any inadequacies or discrepancies in the system noted by the Bureau of Fleet Management before the bureau may approve any requests.

HISTORY: Codes, 1942, § 4061-02; Laws, 1950, ch. 448, § 2; Laws, 1952, ch. 347; Laws, 1962, ch. 497, § 12; Laws, 1984, ch. 488, § 166; Laws, 2001, ch. 561, § 1; Laws, 2003, ch. 317, § 1; Laws, 2006, ch. 537, § 1; Laws, 2009, ch. 458, § 1; Laws, 2009, ch. 546, § 5; Laws, 2017, ch. 409, § 3, eff from and after July 1, 2017; Laws, 2018, ch. 356, § 6, eff from and after passage (March 15, 2018).

Joint Legislative Committee Note —

Section 1 of ch. 458, Laws of 2009, effective from and after July 1, 2009 (approved on March 30, 2009), amended this section. Section 5 of ch. 546, Laws of 2009, effective from and after passage (approved April 15, 2009) also amended this section. As set out above, this section reflects the language of both amendments pursuant to Section 1-1-109 which gives the Joint Legislative Committee on Compilation, Revision, and Publication authority to integrate amendments so that all versions of the same code section enacted within the same legislative session may become effective. The Joint Committee on Compilation, Revision, and Publication ratified the integration of these amendments as consistent with the legislative intent at the July 13, 2009, meeting of the Committee.

Amendment Notes —

The 2006 amendment rewrote the section to provide for the creation of the Bureau of Fleet Management, and prescribe its powers and duties.

The first 2009 amendment (ch. 458), in (1), inserted “or energy sources” following “alternative fuels” preceding “including, but not limited to, ethanol, biodiesel” and added “natural gas or electric power” thereafter in the third sentence, and added the last two sentences; added the last three sentences in (4); and made minor stylistic changes throughout.

The second 2009 amendment (ch. 546), in (5), deleted the former first sentence, which read: “The State Auditor shall make on-site visits and conduct audits necessary to ensure compliance with the provisions of this section and all rules and regulations adopted hereunder,” substituted “Bureau of Fleet Management” for “State Auditor,” and substituted “that it finds” for “that he finds”; and made minor stylistic changes.

The 2017 amendment added (9) and (10).

The 2018 amendment, effective March 15, 2018, added the exception in (2)(f).

Cross References —

State Fiscal Management Board (now the Department of Finance and Administration), generally, see §§27-104-1 et seq.

Purchases for state, generally, see §§31-7-1 et seq.

Purchase of aircraft by state, see §§61-13-1,61-13-5.

JUDICIAL DECISIONS

1. In general.

Duties and responsibilities, including allowing authority for Educational Television to contract (§37-63-11), giving concurrence for the use of funds to travel outside the continental United States (§25-3-41), advertising for and accepting bids on equipment for the State Crime Laboratory (§63-11-47), granting authority for the purchase of motor vehicles by state departments, institutions, or agencies (§25-1-77), and approving dispersement of funds by the Mississippi Air and Water Pollution Commission (§49-17-13), are administrative functions within the prerogative of the executive department, and statutes vesting those powers and functions in members of the legislature violate Miss. Const. Art. 1, § 2 and are unconstitutional. Alexander v. State, 441 So. 2d 1329, 1983 Miss. LEXIS 3007 (Miss. 1983).

§ 25-1-78. Moratorium on acquisition of motor vehicles by state agencies; reduction in total number of motor vehicles by certain agencies; exemptions.

  1. For purposes of this section, the term “state agency” means any agency that is subject to oversight by the Bureau of Fleet Management of the Department of Finance and Administration under Section 25-1-77.
  2. Except as otherwise provided in this section, beginning on July 1, 2017, through June 30, 2018, the Bureau of Fleet Management, Department of Finance and Administration, shall not approve the purchase, lease or acquisition of any motor vehicle by a state agency, regardless of the source of funds used. However, any agency that has a fleet of not more than fifty (50) vehicles may replace a vehicle that has been wrecked and deemed a total loss or any vehicle whose repair cost exceeds the cash value of the vehicle as determined by the Bureau of Fleet Management. Documentation of such loss or repair costs must be submitted to the Bureau of Fleet Management prior to replacement of the vehicle.
  3. Beginning July 1, 2012, any state agency with a fleet of more than fifty (50) motor vehicles shall reduce the total number of its motor vehicles by two percent (2%) each fiscal year until June 30, 2016. The Bureau of Fleet Management and the State Auditor shall work together to enforce the provisions of this subsection.
  4. The provisions of subsections (2) and (3) of this section, with regard to the purchase, lease or acquisition of vehicles and to the mandatory reduction of the agency’s fleet of vehicles, shall not apply to:
    1. A state agency’s law enforcement or emergency vehicles, upon demonstrating to the Bureau of Fleet Management a justifiable need to be excluded from the provisions of subsections (2) and (3) of this section.
    2. A state agency’s vehicles that are acquired by the use of grant monies that are specified to be used for that purpose and for which no state matching funds from the State General Fund are required, expended or used.
    3. Vehicles of the Department of Child Protection Services.

HISTORY: Laws, 2012, ch. 559, § 1; Laws, 2014, ch. 534, § 1; Laws, 2017, ch. 409, § 1, eff from and after July 1, 2017.

Editor’s Notes —

Laws of 2014, ch. 534, § 10 provides:

“SECTION 10. This act shall take effect and be in force from and after July 1, 2014; however, Sections 4 through 8 of this act shall take effect and be in force from and after the passage of this act.”

Amendment Notes —

The 2014 amendment substituted “2014” for “2012” and “2015” for “2013” and added the last two sentences.

The 2017 amendment substituted “July 1, 2017, through June 30, 2018” for “July 1, 2014, through June 30, 2015” in (2); added “and for which no state…expended or used” at the end of (4)(b); and added (4)(c).

§ 25-1-79. Use of state-owned automobiles.

It shall be unlawful for any officer, employee or other person whatsoever to use or permit or authorize the use of any automobile or any other motor vehicle owned by the State of Mississippi or any department, agency or institution thereof for any purpose other than upon the official business of the State of Mississippi or any agency, department or institution thereof. Further, it shall be unlawful for any such officer or employee to be paid or to receive any sums whatsoever for travel expense until the expenses for which payment is made, and each item thereof, have been actually incurred by such officer or employee, and then only upon the presentation of an itemized expense account which shall be approved in writing by the head of the department, agency or institution on whose behalf such travel is performed. However, it is expressly provided that any such officer or employee traveling on business for and in behalf of the State of Mississippi may, strictly in the discretion of an agency, institution or department head, receive in advance from state funds for the purpose of such travel expense a sum to be specified by such aforementioned superior. Further, strict account of any sum so advanced must be kept in accord with Section 25-1-81.

HISTORY: Codes, 1942, § 4061-03; Laws, 1950, ch. 448, § 3; Laws, 2006, ch. 537, § 2, eff from and after July 1, 2006.

Amendment Notes —

The 2006 amendment deleted “beyond the confines of the state” following “employee traveling” in the next-to-last sentence.

Cross References —

Exemption of state-owned automobiles from motor vehicle safety and responsibility provisions, see §63-15-5.

RESEARCH REFERENCES

ALR.

What is “motor vehicle” or the like within statute waiving governmental immunity as to operation of such vehicles. 77 A.L.R.2d 945.

§ 25-1-81. Expense accounts and reports as to state-owned automobiles.

The Department of Finance and Administration shall refuse to issue warrants upon requisitions drawn in violation of the provisions hereof, and where any expense account is allowed and paid in violation of the provisions of Sections 25-1-77 through 25-1-93, it shall be the duty of the Department of Finance and Administration to withhold the payment of any further expense accounts for the department, agency or institution involved until the amount of the account or accounts illegally paid shall be refunded and repaid to the State of Mississippi by the person receiving or approving same. It is further provided that the Department of Finance and Administration shall prescribe and deliver to each agency, department or institution a uniform system of expense accounts herein allowed, including a uniform system of depreciation allowance. All expense accounts for lodging shall be supported by receipted bills showing the payment thereof by such officer or employee. It is incumbent upon each agency, department or institution to abide by and utilize the method of uniform system of expense accounts so prescribed and delivered by the Department of Finance and Administration. Each agency, department or institution, in rendering its annual report to the Bureau of Fleet Management and the Legislature, shall show the number of state-owned automobiles purchased and operated during the year, the number purchased and operated out of funds appropriated by the Legislature, the number purchased and operated out of any other public funds, the miles traveled per automobile, the total miles traveled, the average cost per mile, and depreciation estimate on each automobile. The report shall also show the cost per mile and total number of miles traveled in privately-owned automobiles for which reimbursement is made out of state funds and any other information requested by the Bureau of Fleet Management.

HISTORY: Codes, 1942, § 4061-04; Laws, 1950, ch. 448, § 4; Laws, 1970, ch. 519, § 1; Laws, 2006, ch. 537, § 5, eff from and after July 1, 2006.

Amendment Notes —

The 2006 amendment substituted “Department of Finance and Administration” for “auditor of public accounts” throughout the section; in the next-to-last sentence, inserted “Bureau of Fleet Management and” following “rendering its annual report to the”; added “and any other information requested by the Bureau of Fleet Management” at the end of the last sentence; and made a minor stylistic change.

Cross References —

Exemption of state-owned automobiles from motor vehicle safety-responsibility provisions, see §63-15-5.

§ 25-1-83. Attending conventions, associations, or meetings.

It is further provided that no funds appropriated by the Legislature or received by any agency, department, or institution from any source whatever shall be used in defraying the expenses of any state employee, other than an officer or department head, in attending a convention, association, or meeting, unless such employee be duly authorized by prior approval in writing of the departmental head or officer in charge of such department, agency, or institution in strict accord with Sections 25-1-79 and 25-1-81. Each department, agency, or institution in its annual report to the Legislature shall separately show each association, convention, or meeting attended by any of its employees, the purposes thereof, the names of the employees attending, and the total cost to the state of such convention, association, or meeting.

HISTORY: Codes, 1942, § 4061-06; Laws, 1950, ch. 448, § 6; Laws, 1970, ch. 470, § 1, eff from and after July 1, 1970.

OPINIONS OF THE ATTORNEY GENERAL

The Executive Director of the Mississippi Department of Transportation lacks authority to delegate approval of out of state travel requests. Brown, May 10, 2002, A.G. Op. #02-0242.

§ 25-1-85. Repealed.

Repealed by Laws, 2001, ch. 561, § 2, eff from and after passage (approved April 7, 2001).

[Codes, 1942, § 4061-07; Laws, 1950, ch. 448, § 7; Laws, 1952, ch. 358; Laws, 1956, ch. 370; Laws, 1958, ch. 467; Laws, 1962, chs. 497, 498, § 10; Laws, 1964, ch. 567, § 1; Laws, 1966, ch. 649, § 17, 1968, ch. 500, § 1; Laws, 1970, ch. 479, § 1; Laws, 1972, ch. 438, § 1; Laws, 1973, ch. 480, § 1; Laws, 1974, ch. 559 § 1; Laws, 1976, ch. 472; Laws, 1979, ch. 448; Laws, 1980, ch. 436; Laws, 1981, ch. 327, § 1; Laws, 1981, ch. 366, § 7; Laws, 1983, ch. 392, § 1; Laws, 1984, ch. 354, § 3; Laws, 1984, ch. 475; Laws, 1984, ch. 488, § 167; Laws, 1985, ch. 485, § 1; Laws, 1987, ch. 496; Laws, 1988, ch. 378; Laws, 1989, ch. 512, § 1; Laws, 1990, ch. 515, § 1; Laws, 1991, ch. 530, § 7; Laws, 1991, ch. 595, § 1; Laws, 1992, ch. 496, § 24; Laws, 1993, ch. 555, § 1; Laws, 1994, ch. 651, § 1; Laws, 1995, ch. 543, § 1; Laws, 1996, ch. 531, § 1; Laws, 1997, ch. 592, § 1; Laws, 1998, ch. 302, § 1; Laws, 1998, ch. 547, § 1; Laws, 2000, ch. 599, § 1, eff from and after passage (approved May 20, 2000).]

Editor’s Notes —

Former §25-1-85 provided for the number of passenger vehicles that could be purchased, owned, and operated by state departments, agencies, or institutions.

§ 25-1-87. Marking publicly owned or leased vehicle; exceptions; effect of noncompliance.

All motor vehicles owned or leased by the State of Mississippi or any agency, department or political subdivision thereof, which shall include counties and municipalities, when such agency or department or political subdivision, which shall include counties and municipalities, is supported wholly or in part by public taxes or by appropriations from public funds, shall have painted on both sides in letters at least three (3) inches in height, and on the rear in letters not less than one and one-half (11/2) inches in height, the name of the state agency or department, or political subdivision, which shall include counties and municipalities, in a color which is in contrast with the color of the vehicle; provided, however, that a permanent decal may be used in lieu of paint, and provided further, that any municipality may affix a permanent decal or design at least twelve (12) inches in height and twelve (12) inches in width on both sides of the vehicle with the name of the municipality within or across the permanent decal or design, and the permanent design or decal shall be in a color or colors which are in contrast with the color of the vehicle. No privilege license tag shall be issued for such vehicle until the name has been painted thereon or a permanent design or decal affixed thereto as required by this section. A permanent decal may be used in lieu of paint. The provisions of this paragraph shall not apply to vehicles used by the Chief Executive of the State of Mississippi, to vehicles owned or leased by the Department of Economic and Community Development, to vehicles owned or leased by the Office of the Attorney General, to not more than one (1) vehicle owned or leased by the Department of Finance and Administration for use by the Capitol Police, to vehicles owned or leased by the Mississippi State Board of Medical Licensure and used only by the Investigative Division of the board, to one (1) vehicle owned or leased by the Executive Director of the Department of Mental Health, to not more than one (1) vehicle owned or leased by the Mississippi Division of Medicaid, to one (1) vehicle owned or leased by the State Department of Rehabilitation Services, to one (1) vehicle owned or leased by the Mississippi Department of Transportation, to one (1) vehicle owned or leased by the Commissioner of the Mississippi Department of Corrections, to not more than three (3) vehicles owned or leased by the Department of Corrections and used only by Community Services Division officers, to not more than one (1) vehicle owned or leased by the Mississippi Department of Transportation and used only by an investigator employed by the Mississippi Department of Transportation, to not more than two (2) vehicles owned or leased by the Mississippi Department of Marine Resources, or to not more than one (1) vehicle owned or leased by the Mississippi State Tax Commission; and upon receipt of a written request from the State Adjutant General, the Commissioner of Public Safety, the Director of the Alcoholic Beverage Control Division of the Mississippi State Tax Commission, the Executive Director of the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks, the Director of the Bureau of Narcotics, the Executive Officer of the Board of Pharmacy, the Executive Director of the Mississippi Gaming Commission, the State Auditor or a president or chancellor of a state institution of higher learning, the Governor may authorize the use of specified unmarked vehicles only in instances where such identifying marks will hinder official investigations, and the governing authorities of any municipality may authorize the use of specified, unmarked police vehicles when identifying marks would hinder official criminal investigations by the police. The written request or the order or resolution authorizing such shall contain the manufacturer’s serial number, the state inventory number, where applicable, and shall set forth why the vehicle should be exempt from the provisions of this paragraph. In the event the request is granted, the Governor shall furnish the State Department of Audit with a copy of his written authority for the use of the unmarked vehicles, or the governing authority, as the case may be, shall enter its order or resolution on the minutes and shall furnish the State Department of Audit with a certified copy of its order or resolution for the use of the unmarked police vehicle. The state property auditors of the State Department of Audit shall personally examine vehicles owned or leased by the State of Mississippi or any agency, department or commission thereof and report violations of the provisions of this paragraph to the State Auditor and the Chairman of the Joint Legislative Committee on Performance Evaluation and Expenditure Review. Any vehicle found to be in violation of this paragraph shall be reported immediately to the department head charged with such vehicle, and five (5) days shall be given for compliance; and if not complied with, such vehicles shall be impounded by the State Auditor until properly marked or exempted.

Upon notification to the State Tax Commission by the State Auditor that any municipality or political subdivision is not in compliance with this section, the State Tax Commission shall withhold any sales tax due for distribution to any such municipality and any excise tax on gasoline, diesel fuel, kerosene and oil due any such county and for any months thereafter, and shall continue to withhold such funds until compliance with this section is certified to the State Tax Commission by the State Department of Audit.

County-owned motor vehicles operated by the sheriff’s department shall not be subject to the provisions of this section, but shall be subject to the provisions of Section 19-25-15. County-owned motor vehicles operated by a family court established pursuant to Section 43-23-1 et seq., shall not be subject to the provisions of this section.

State-owned or leased motor vehicles operated by the Department of Mental Health or by facilities operated by the Department of Mental Health and used for transporting patients living in group homes or alternative living arrangements shall not be subject to the provisions of this section.

Up to four (4) passenger automobiles owned or leased by economic development districts or economic development authorities shall not be subject to the provisions of this section.

State-owned or leased motor vehicles operated by the Agricultural and Livestock Theft Bureau of the Department of Agriculture and Commerce and used to investigate livestock theft shall not be subject to the provisions of this section.

Up to three (3) motor vehicles owned or leased by the Pascagoula Municipal Separate School District for use by district security officers shall not be subject to the provisions of this section.

Up to three (3) motor vehicles owned or leased by the Department of Human Services for use only by the Program Integrity Division and the executive director shall not be subject to the provisions of this section.

Up to three (3) motor vehicles owned or leased by the Department of Insurance for use by the State Fire Marshal’s Office shall not be subject to the provisions of this section.

The motor vehicles of a public airport shall not be subject to the provisions of this section upon a finding by the governing authority of such airport that marking a motor vehicle as required in this section will compromise security at such airport.

HISTORY: Codes, 1942, § 4061-07; Laws, 1950, ch. 448, § 7; Laws, 1952, ch. 358; Laws, 1956, ch. 370; Laws, 1958, ch. 467; Laws, 1962, chs. 497, 498, § 10; Laws, 1964, ch. 567, § 1; Laws, 1966, ch. 649, § 17; Laws, 1968, ch. 500, § 1; Laws, 1970, ch. 479, § 1; Laws, 1972, ch. 438, § 1; Laws, 1973, ch. 480, § 1; Laws, 1974, ch. 559, § 2; Laws, 1975, ch. 489, § 2; Laws, 1983, ch. 392, § 2; Laws, 1985, ch. 519, § 8; Laws, 1988, ch. 321; Laws, 1989, ch. 411, § 1; Laws, 1989, ch. 524, § 14; Laws, 1994, ch. 470, § 1; Laws, 1994, ch. 608, § 1; Laws, 1995, ch. 543, § 2; Laws, 1996, ch. 404, § 1; Laws, 1996, ch. 501, § 1; Laws, 1997, ch. 592, § 2; Laws, 1998, ch. 547, § 2; Laws, 1999, ch. 398, § 1; Laws, 2000, ch. 516, § 3; Laws, 2000, ch. 588, § 1; Laws, 2003, ch. 471, § 1, eff from and after July 1, 2003.

Joint Legislative Committee Note —

Section 3 of ch. 516, Laws of 2000, effective from and after its passage (approved April 30, 2000), amended this section. Section 1 of ch. 588, Laws of 2000, effective from and after July 1, 2000, also amended this section. As set out above, this section reflects the language of Section 1 of ch. 588, Laws of 2000, pursuant to Section 1-3-79 which provides that whenever the same section of law is amended by different bills during the same legislative session, the amendment with the latest effective date shall supersede all other amendments to the same section taking effect earlier.

Editor’s Notes —

Section 7-7-2 provides that the words “State Auditor of Public Accounts,” “State Auditor” and “Auditor” appearing in the laws of this state in connection with the performance of Auditor’s functions shall mean the State Fiscal Officer whenever they appear.

Section 27-3-4 provides that the terms “‘Mississippi State Tax Commission,’ ‘State Tax Commission,’ ‘Tax Commission’ and ‘commission’ appearing in the laws of this state in connection with the performance of the duties and functions by the Mississippi State Tax Commission, the State Tax Commission or Tax Commission shall mean the Department of Revenue.”

Section 27-104-6 provides that wherever the term “State Fiscal Officer” appears in any law it shall mean “Executive Director of the Department of Finance and Administration”.

Section 43-23-1 referred to in this section was repealed by Laws, 1999, ch. 432, § 2, eff from and after May 28, 1999, the date the United States Attorney General interposed no objection under Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act of 1965.

Section 49-1-4 provides that the term “Department of Wildlife Conservation” shall mean the Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks.

Section 57-1-54 provides that the term “Mississippi Department of Economic Development” appears in any law the same shall mean the Department of Economic and Community Development.

Laws of 1989, ch. 524, § 36, provides as follows:

“SECTION 36. The repeal or amendment of this act shall not reduce the terms of any tax reduction, special tax incentive or financial assistance agreed upon pursuant to official action by the Department of Economic Development, the State Tax Commission or other appropriate agency of the state or political subdivision thereof prior to the effective date of such repeal or amendment.”

Laws of 1999, ch. 432, § 1, provides that:

“SECTION 1. From and after the date Laws, 1999, ch. 432, is effectuated under Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act of 1965, all family courts are abolished. All matters pending in any family court abolished shall be transferred to the county court of the county wherein the family court was located without the necessity for any motion or order of court for such transfer.”

Cross References —

Joint legislative committee on performance evaluation and expenditure review, see §§5-3-51 through5-3-69.

Reports concerning state-owned automobiles, see §25-1-81.

Regulations governing the purchase of unmarked vehicles to be used by the Bureau of Narcotics and Department of Public Safety, see §31-7-9.

Police vehicles to be marked with blue lights, except as provided in this section, see §63-7-19.

Exemption of state-owned automobiles from motor vehicle safety-responsibility provisions, see §63-15-5.

OPINIONS OF THE ATTORNEY GENERAL

Municipalities may mark vehicles which are leased with permanent decal or design in lieu of paint; however, decal must be permanent and may not be decal which may be easily removed on temporary basis. Denton Oct. 6, 1993, A.G. Op. #93-0590.

Under Section 25-1-87, if the governing authorities of a municipality find and spread on the minutes that identifying marks on a particular police vehicle would hinder official criminal investigations by the police, then they may authorize that vehicle to be unmarked, subject to review by the State Auditor. However, this statute does not contemplate an unmarked vehicle being used for other than police purposes. Jones, June 28, 1995, A.G. Op. #95-0351.

An economic development district, not being an economic development authority, is subject to the purchase laws of the State of Mississippi; trustees of a development district control funds collected for support of the district and may upon a majority vote approve properly submitted bills for payment; funds must be placed in the county depository at which the development district may have its own separate account; and there is no authority for a development district to provide meals for its appointed trustees at their meetings. Munn, January 9, 1998, A.G. Op. #97-0816.

Governmental vehicles are required to have rear markings, whether by paint or decal, regardless of side markings. Bryant, March 6, 1998, A.G. Op. #98-0074.

A municipal mayor may not use an unmarked police vehicle to travel outside the municipality and around the state on municipal business. Griffin, Nov. 5, 1999, A.G. Op. #99-0584.

Municipal governing authorities do not have authority to assign an unmarked police car to a mayor for use in performing duties for the municipality, as this section makes apparent that unmarked police cars must be used for police purposes. Gregory, Oct. 18, 2002, A.G. Op. #02-0575.

Unless a specific police vehicle is designated as unmarked by the governing authority of a municipality, it must be marked in accordance with Miss. Code Ann. §25-1-87. Sullivan, March 16, 2007, A.G. Op. #07-00115, 2007 Miss. AG LEXIS 111.

§ 25-1-89. Donated automobiles.

Any institution of higher learning may own and operate a passenger automobile donated to it for use in the work of such institution by an individual or individuals.

HISTORY: Codes, 1942, § 4061-09; Laws, 1950, ch. 448, § 9; Laws, 1962, ch. 497, § 11, eff from and after July 1, 1962.

Cross References —

Reports concerning state-owned automobiles, see §25-1-81.

Exemption of state-owned automobiles from motor vehicle safety responsibility provisions, see §63-15-5.

§ 25-1-91. Penalties regarding state-owned automobiles.

If any person shall knowingly and wilfully violate any of the provisions of Sections 25-1-77 through 25-1-93, such person shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction, shall be punished by a fine of not more than two hundred fifty dollars and, in addition, shall be removed from the office or position which he holds.

HISTORY: Codes, 1942, § 4061-10; Laws, 1950, ch. 448, § 10.

Cross References —

Reports concerning state-owned automobiles, see §25-1-81.

Violation of provisions pertaining to use and markings of Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks vehicles, punishable as provided in this section, see §49-4-35.

Exemption of state-owned automobiles from motor vehicle safety responsibility provisions, see §63-15-5.

Imposition of standard state assessment in addition to all court imposed fines or other penalties for any misdemeanor violation, see §99-19-73.

§ 25-1-93. Provisions inapplicable to Governor.

It is herein expressly provided that no section, portion, or part of Sections 25-1-77 through 25-1-91 shall in any way be construed to apply to the Governor or to the governor’s office of the State of Mississippi.

HISTORY: Codes, 1942, § 4061-11; Laws, 1950, ch. 448, § 11.

Cross References —

Reports concerning state-owned automobiles, see §25-1-81.

Exemption of state-owned automobiles from motor vehicle safety responsibility provisions, see §63-15-5.

§ 25-1-95. Signature machines.

The Governor, Secretary of State, State Auditor, and Treasurer, who, in performing their respective official duties, sign their official names as such officers to various and divers documents and instruments, are hereby authorized to use in signing said instruments and documents a standard signature machine that will reproduce a facsimile signature of each such officer which, under modern methods, gives more protection than using pen and ink. The signature machine to be used by the aforesaid officers under the provisions of this section shall be selected by the Governor, Attorney General and Secretary of State.

The instrument signed by the aforesaid officers of the State of Mississippi, who shall sign official instruments and documents with a signature machine under and by virtue of the provisions herein contained, shall be taken and accepted in all courts and otherwise with the same force, effect, and validity as though the said officer who signed same with said signature machine had signed such instrument or document with his own hand.

Each officer authorized by this section to use a signature machine shall safely keep his facsimile signature in such a way as to prevent the use thereof by persons not authorized so to do.

The Governor is hereby authorized to permit any other official of the state to use a signature machine of the kind selected by the Governor, Attorney General and Secretary of State, if the necessity therefor should arise. It shall be the duty of each of the officials authorized to use said signature machine to keep his facsimile signature secure, and such officer shall be liable personally and on his official bond for any loss caused by his negligence in failing to keep secure his said facsimile signature.

Any person unlawfully using any signature machine provided for in this section, without the consent or direction of the officer whose facsimile signature is being so used, shall be guilty of forgery and punishable upon conviction thereof as provided by law in such cases.

HISTORY: Codes, 1942, § 4065; Laws, 1938, ch. 160.

Editor’s Notes —

Section 7-7-2 provides that the words “State Auditor of Public Accounts,” “State Auditor,” and “Auditor” appearing in the laws of this state in connection with the performance of Auditor’s functions shall mean the State Fiscal Officer.

Section 27-104-6 provides that whenever the term “State Fiscal Officer” appears in any law it shall mean “Executive Director of the Department of Finance and Administration.”

Cross References —

Requirements for proper signatures generally, see §1-3-61.

Imposition of standard state assessment in addition to all court imposed fine or other penalties for any misdemeanor or felony violation, see §99-19-73.

§ 25-1-97. State office hours.

The capitol commission of the state is hereby authorized and empowered to fix the hours for the opening and closing of public offices of the state commensurate with the seasons of the year. The business hours of all of the state public offices, departments, boards, commissions, and agencies shall be uniform, and said offices shall be open for business eight (8) hours per day Monday through Friday of each week except state holidays, with the capitol commission to set the opening and closing hours by its order from time to time. Nothing contained in this section shall be construed to prohibit any office, department, board, commission, or agency to conduct essential business outside of the regular business day hours where the executive head or governing body deems it necessary. For any state holiday fixed under Section 3-3-7, Mississippi Code of 1972, falling on a Saturday or Sunday, the following Monday may, in the discretion of the executive head or governing body of a state agency, be utilized in lieu of the legal holiday.

HISTORY: Codes, 1942, § 8952.5; Laws, 1964, ch. 542, § 9, eff from and after 10 days after passage (approved June 11, 1964).

Cross References —

Office hours of Secretary of State, see §7-3-3.

For statutory provisions fixing the normal business hours of all state offices, see §25-1-98.

County office hours, generally, see §25-1-99.

OPINIONS OF THE ATTORNEY GENERAL

A governing authority may adopt leave policies which allow extra leave to an employee whose regular day off falls on a holiday. Williams, Feb. 28, 2003, A.G. Op. #03-0735.

RESEARCH REFERENCES

CJS.

67 C.J.S., Officers, §§ 334–340.

§ 25-1-98. Opening and staffing of state offices; legal holidays, construction of “workday.”

In addition to any other times required by statute, all state offices shall be open and staffed for the normal conduct of business from 8:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday, except on legal holidays as set forth in Section 3-3-7. The Governor may designate certain state offices and institutions as providers of essential services and require that they be open and staffed on legal holidays. The Board of Directors of the Mississippi Industries for the Blind may, in its discretion, require that its offices and operations be open and staffed on legal holidays. Employees required to work on legal holidays shall earn compensatory leave under the provisions of Section 25-3-92. No employee shall receive additional vacation or sick leave benefits for working on a legal holiday, nor shall this section be construed to authorize any additional compensation as an alternative to the accrual of compensatory leave except as specifically provided for in a legislative appropriation. The provisions of this section shall not be construed to limit the hours of operation of any agency or to abrogate any action taken during hours other than those stated, nor shall these provisions apply to any offices that do not customarily stay open five (5) days a week. The provisions of this section shall not apply to the military department of the State of Mississippi or to the armories, field training sites, air bases or other installations of the Mississippi National Guard.

A workday for a state employee in a full-time employment position shall be eight (8) hours in duration at a minimum exclusive of time off for meals. The appointing authority shall develop work schedules which ensure that each full-time employee works a full workday and shall provide the State Auditor with a copy of the regular work schedule of the appointing authority.

HISTORY: Laws, 1975, ch. 486, § 2; Laws, 1981, ch. 504, § 1; Laws, 1983, ch. 500, § 1; Laws, 1998, ch. 574, § 3, eff from and after July 1, 1998.

Editor’s Notes —

Section 7-7-2 provides that the words “State Auditor of Public Accounts,” “State Auditor,” and “Auditor” appearing in the laws of this state in connection with the performance of Auditor’s functions shall mean the State Fiscal Officer.

Section 27-104-6 provides that whenever the term “State Fiscal Officer” appears in any law it shall mean “Executive Director of the Department of Finance and Administration.”

Laws of 1998, ch. 574, § 2 provides as follows:

“SECTION 2. It is the intent of the Legislature that citizens of the State of Mississippi who have physical or mental disabilities shall be afforded the opportunity to compete and participate in employment on an equal basis with persons who are not disabled, if the disabled persons are qualified and able to perform the essential functions of the employment positions that are held or sought.”

Cross References —

Applicability of definition of “workday” to provisions on vacation time and sick leave, see §25-3-91.

Military department, see §33-3-3.

National guard, see §§33-7-1 et seq.

Work schedule of members of state parole board, see §47-7-5.

OPINIONS OF THE ATTORNEY GENERAL

Miss. Code Section 25-1-98 applies to state employees working on holidays, but not to county employees. Pope, Apr. 14, 1993, A.G. Op. #93-0069.

§ 25-1-99. County office hours.

The clerks of the circuit and chancery courts, the county superintendents of education, the county tax assessors, and the sheriffs shall keep their offices at the courthouses of their respective counties if offices shall be there provided for them. If offices shall not be there provided for them, they shall keep their offices within one-half (1/2) mile of the courthouses of their respective counties; except that the office of the county superintendent of education may be placed in the county in any other place determined by the county board of education to be most feasible, regardless of the distance from the courthouse. The offices of all circuit and chancery clerks and sheriffs shall be open for business on all business days from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., except that within the discretion of the board of supervisors of said county, the above county offices may be closed at 12:00 noon one (1) business day of each week, or may be closed all day Saturday of each week, or may be closed at 12:00 noon on Saturday and at 12:00 noon on one (1) additional business day of each week. Such courthouse hours decided upon within the discretion of the board of supervisors must be duly entered at large on the minutes of said board, and such action by the board shall be published in a newspaper having general circulation in the county once each week for four (4) consecutive weeks.

Provided, however, the courthouse shall be closed on all state holidays as set forth in Section 3-3-7, and when any state holiday set forth in Section 3-3-7 falls on a Saturday, the courthouse may be closed on the Friday immediately preceding such Saturday and when such holiday falls on a Sunday, the courthouse may be closed on the Monday immediately succeeding such Sunday. The board of supervisors, in its discretion, may close the county offices on those holidays created by executive order of the Governor.

HISTORY: Codes, Hutchinson’s 1848, ch. 33, art 10 (1); 1857, ch. 6, art 190; 1871, § 313; 1880, § 419; 1892, § 3074; 1906, § 3482; Hemingway’s 1917, § 2820; 1930, § 2916; 1942, § 4062; Laws, 1926, ch. 143; Laws, 1942, ch. 209; Laws, 1950, ch. 285; Laws, 1958, ch. 215, § 3; Laws, 1960, ch. 198; Laws, 1962, ch. 252; Laws, 1964, ch. 284; Laws, 1966, ch. 299, § 1; Laws, 1968, ch. 286, § 1; Laws, 1972, ch. 428, § 1; Laws, 1974, ch. 345; Laws, 1976, ch. 304; Laws, 1988, ch 350, § 6; Laws, 1988, ch. 386, eff from and after July 1, 1988.

Cross References —

Office hours of Secretary of State, see §7-3-3.

State office hours, generally, see §§25-1-97,25-1-98.

JUDICIAL DECISIONS

1. In general.

Under this statute, the county superintendent of education is required to keep his office in the courthouse if offices be there provided for him; it is only when an office is not provided in the courthouse that the county board of education has the power to determine where the offices of the county superintendent may be located. Tally v. Board of Supervisors, 307 So. 2d 553, 1975 Miss. LEXIS 1826 (Miss. 1975).

Where the courthouse and the office of the clerk were closed by authority of Code 1942, § 4062 on Saturday, the terminal day for giving an appeal bond from the judgment of the county court, and the clerk was not available in the courthouse on such day for filing and approving the appeal bond, that Saturday would not be counted in determining the 10 days within which an appeal had to be taken. Parkman v. Mississippi State Highway Com., 250 So. 2d 637, 1971 Miss. LEXIS 1188 (Miss. 1971).

Minutes of a board of supervisors are legally signed on the day following that fixed by law, where such day is a holiday. Gordon v. Monroe County, 244 Miss. 849, 147 So. 2d 126, 1962 Miss. LEXIS 515 (Miss. 1962).

A caption of the minutes of a board of supervisors that their meeting was held in the office of the chancery clerk does not import that the session was in fact held at the courthouse. State ex rel. Attorney Gen. v. Harris, 18 So. 123 (Miss. 1895).

OPINIONS OF THE ATTORNEY GENERAL

Statute does not state that Chancery Clerk may only conduct business between hours of 8:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. and actions taken by Chancery Clerk outside normal business hours are valid. Chaffin, August 16, 1993, A.G. Op. #93-0345.

Offices of all circuit and chancery clerks and sheriffs must be open from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Monday through Friday; board of supervisors of each county has discretionary authority to provide, by order entered on minutes, that these offices be closed at 12:00 noon on one business day and open until 12:00 noon on Saturday; term “business days” in its ordinary usage and as used in statute means Monday through Friday, therefore, unless board of supervisors adopts order authorizing offices in question to close at 12:00 noon on one business day and requiring that they be open until 12:00 noon on Saturday, offices would be required to be open from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday, excepting, State holidays. Pulliam Dec. 22, 1993, A.G. Op. #93-0978.

Under stated facts, viz., the office of the school superintendent is located upon property owned by the school district, the board of supervisors is neither obligated nor required to pay to the school district any sums therefor. Palmer, July 24, 1998, A.G. Op. #98-0417.

The county board of supervisors has discretion to set the office hours during which the justice court clerk’s offfice is to be open with a clerk present, and to provide for the location of the justice court offices. Reynolds, Nov. 27, 2000, A.G. Op. #2000-0641.

The tax assessor in a county must maintain his main office within the statutory one-half mile of the courthouse if the office is not located within the courthouse itself; however, the tax assessor may also operate satellite offices outside of the statutory one-half mile in order to better serve the county. Richardson, June 28, 2002, A.G. Op. #02-0315.

The county tax assessor’s office must be open for business on all business days from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., except when the board of supervisors authorizes it to be closed at 12:00 noon one business day of each week, or all day Saturday of each week, or at 12:00 noon on Saturday and at 12:00 noon on one additional business day of each week. Richardson, June 28, 2002, A.G. Op. #02-0315.

RESEARCH REFERENCES

CJS.

67 C.J.S., Officers, §§ 334–340.

§ 25-1-100. Certain personnel records exempt from public access requirements; exceptions.

  1. Personnel records and applications for employment in the possession of a public body, as defined by paragraph (a) of Section 25-61-3, except those which may be released to the person who made the application or with the prior written consent of the person who made the application, shall be exempt from the provisions of the Mississippi Public Records Act of 1983.
  2. Test questions and answers in the possession of a public body, as defined by paragraph (a) of Section 25-61-3, which are to be used in employment examinations, shall be exempt from the provisions of the Mississippi Public Records Act of 1983.
  3. Letters of recommendation in the possession of a public body, as defined by paragraph (a) of Section 25-61-3, respecting any application for employment, shall be exempt from the provisions of the Mississippi Public Records Act of 1983.
  4. Documents relating to contract authorization under Section 25-9-120 shall not be exempt from the provisions of Mississippi Public Records Act of 1983.
  5. Contracts for personal and professional services that are awarded or executed by any state agency, including, but not limited to, the Department of Information Technology Services and the Department of Transportation, shall not be exempt from the Mississippi Public Records Act of 1983.

HISTORY: Laws, 1983, ch. 424, § 12; Laws, 1994, ch. 401, § 2; Laws, 2015, ch. 431, § 3, eff from and after July 1, 2015.

Amendment Notes —

The 2015 amendment added (5).

Cross References —

Mississippi Public Records Act of 1983 generally, see §§25-61-1 et seq.

Exemption of confidential information furnished by third parties from public access requirements, see §25-61-9.

JUDICIAL DECISIONS

1. In general.

2. “Comp time.”

1. In general.

Where the Harrison County Development Commission (HCDC), a political subdivision of the State of Mississippi, willfully and knowingly denied a county citizen access to certain records related to a planned development (in part, by unilaterally requiring fees that were not part of its policy), and which were not exempt under the Mississippi Public Records Act of 1983, Miss. Code Ann. §25-61-1 to Miss. Code Ann.§25-61-17, it was properly ordered to produce those records not specifically exempt, and pay a civil penalty, as well as attorney’s fees. Pursuant to Miss. Code Ann. §25-61-9(2), HCDC should have separated information on its director’s salary and leave time (subject to disclosure), from his personnel file and disclosed any non exempt material; further, the information on its business partners or prospects were not confidential and were subject to disclosure, and therefore, it was not entitled to a protective order per Miss. R. Civ. P. 26(d). Harrison County Dev. Comm'n v. Kinney, 920 So. 2d 497, 2006 Miss. App. LEXIS 51 (Miss. Ct. App. 2006).

Records of accrued compensation time of employees of a state agency are not exempt from disclosure under this section. Mississippi Dep’t of Wildlife, Fisheries & Parks v. Mississippi Wildlife Enforcement Officers’ Ass’n, 1999 Miss. LEXIS 67 (Miss. Feb. 4, 1999), opinion withdrawn by, substituted opinion at 740 So. 2d 925, 1999 Miss. LEXIS 255, 140 Lab. Cas. (CCH) P58844 (Miss. 1999).

2. “Comp time.”

Records of accumulated “comp time” for public employees is not exempt from disclosure under exemption for personnel records. Mississippi Dep't of Wildlife, Fisheries & Parks v. Mississippi Wildlife Enforcement Officers' Ass'n, 740 So. 2d 925, 1999 Miss. LEXIS 255 (Miss. 1999).

OPINIONS OF THE ATTORNEY GENERAL

Personnel records, in broad generic terms, include evaluations, applications for employment, recommendations submitted with applications, complaints made against a teacher, disciplinary measures contemplated or taken against a teacher, and medical records, and most of these records are routinely kept in a personnel file and are not subject to disclosure. Oakes, May 20, 1992, A.G. Op. #92-0379.

Names and compensation of employees of public bodies must be made available pursuant to the Public Records Act, and any existing list of employees’ resident addresses is public record, though the public entity is not required to go into personnel files to compile this information. Oakes, May 20, 1992, A.G. Op. #92-0379.

An applicant for employment as a law enforcement officer must give prior written permission to release his/her personnel files before a public body may release any such files. Chamberlin, May 1, 1998, A.G. Op. #98-0250.

If the member of a municipal governing body seeking to review personnel records has need, in the course and scope of his or her duties on behalf of the municipality, to review them, he or she should be entitled to such a review. Stovall, Jan. 6, 2004, A.G. Op. 03-0683.

The names, salaries and length of service of municipal personnel are not “personnel records” which would render that information exempt from disclosure pursuant to this section. Jones, June 4, 2004, A.G. Op. 04-0242.

Municipal governing authorities may adopt and enforce policies with regard to removal of documentation of disciplinary actions from employee personnel files; however, care should be taken that any removal of otherwise public information from city records is not done for the purpose of subverting the intent of the Mississippi Public Records Act of 1983. Mercer, Mar. 11, 2005, A.G. Op. 05-0097.

A school board may employ legal counsel other than the Board Attorney only by a majority vote of a quorum present in a properly noticed and open meeting of the board, and must officially hire an attorney before sharing any confidential personnel records. Reasons for non-renewal of a superintendent’s contract and any settlement offers must be approved and recorded in the minutes at an official meeting of the board. All policies, actions, and decisions of the school board must be reasonable and necessary to meet the educational needs of the district’s children. Foreman, March 30, 2007, A.G. Op. #07-00119, 2007 Miss. AG LEXIS 71.

§ 25-1-101. State-furnished books.

Every justice of the peace, or other officer to whom the statute laws or other books may be furnished by the state, shall carefully preserve the same and, at the expiration of his term, deliver them to his successor, take his receipt therefor, and file the same in the office of the clerk of the circuit court. In default thereof, the said court, on motion of the clerk or of the successor in office, whose duty it shall be to make such motion, shall enter judgment in favor of the state against the justice or other officer in default for the sum of Ten Dollars ($10.00) for each volume missing and not satisfactorily accounted for, five (5) days’ notice being given of such motion.

HISTORY: Codes, 1857, ch. 6, art 203; 1871, § 326; 1880, § 421; 1892, § 3075; 1906, § 3483; Hemingway’s 1917, § 2821; 1930, § 2917; 1942, § 4063.

Editor’s Notes —

Pursuant to Miss. Const. Art. 6, § 171, all reference in the Mississippi Code to justice of the peace shall mean justice court judge.

Cross References —

Duty of justice court judge leaving office to deliver docket to clerk of circuit court, see §9-11-25.

Penalty for failure of public officer to deliver books and records to successor, see §97-11-27.

RESEARCH REFERENCES

CJS.

67 C.J.S., Officers and Public Employees § 193.

§ 25-1-102. Certain attorneys’ work product exempt from public access requirements.

Records in the possession of a public body, as defined by paragraph (a) of Section 25-61-3, which represent and constitute the work product of any attorney, district attorney or county prosecuting attorney representing a public body and which are related to litigation made by or against such public body, or in anticipation of prospective litigation, including all communications between such attorney made in the course of an attorney-client relationship, shall be exempt from the provisions of the Mississippi Public Records Act of 1983.

HISTORY: Laws, 1983, ch. 424, § 13, eff from and after July 1, 1983.

Cross References —

Mississippi Public Records Act of 1983 generally, see §§25-61-1 et seq.

OPINIONS OF THE ATTORNEY GENERAL

A sewer district is a public corporation and a body politic and as such its records are public records. However, any records which constitute the work product of an attorney or attorney-client privileged records are exempt from the Mississippi public Records Act. Cobb, Apr. 16, 2004, A.G. Op. 04-0170.

§ 25-1-103. Certain offices held by same person.

The offices of the clerk of the circuit and chancery courts may be held by the same person, in the discretion of the board of supervisors, in a county of not exceeding fifteen thousand (15,000) inhabitants.

HISTORY: Codes, 1857, ch. 6, art 199; 1871, § 322; 1880, § 418; 1892, § 3073; 1906, § 3481; Hemingway’s 1917, § 2819; 1930, § 2918; 1942, § 4064; Laws, 1968, ch. 361, § 4, eff from and after January 1, 1972.

Cross References —

Authority of Legislature to determine mode of filling vacancies in offices and to define powers of offices, see Miss. Const. Art. 4, § 103.

RESEARCH REFERENCES

ALR.

Validity, construction, and application of regulation regarding outside employment of governmental employees or officers. 94 A.L.R.3d 1230.

CJS.

67 C.J.S., Officers §§ 37-45, 339.

§ 25-1-105. Application of prohibition against striking to public employees and employers.

All provisions of Section 37-9-75 prohibiting strikes by teachers and teacher organizations and providing penalties therefor, and providing certain responsibilities for members of local school governing boards and school administrators shall likewise apply as far as is practicable to all public employees and public employers respectively.

For purposes of this section, “public employee” means any person holding a position by employment, contract or appointment with a public employer; and

“Public employer” means any governmental entity in this state whose employees are paid in whole or in part by funds appropriated or otherwise provided by the state.

HISTORY: Laws, 1985, ch. 351, § 32, eff from and after May 1, 1985.

OPINIONS OF THE ATTORNEY GENERAL

Because a county development foundation, a separate corporate entity, is neither a state agency, political subdivision nor instrumentality thereof, its employees would not be entitled to membership in the Public Employees’ Retirement System. Also, because the employees of the foundation are not employees of the County, the would not be entitled to the benefits the county offers its employees. Fortier, Apr. 23, 2004, A.G. Op. 03-0482.

RESEARCH REFERENCES

ALR.

Validity of public utility anti-strike laws and regulations. 22 A.L.R.2d 894.

Applicability of Norris-La Guardia Act and similar state statutes to injunction action by governmental unit or agency. 29 A.L.R.2d 431.

Union organization and activities of public employees. 31 A.L.R.2d 1142.

Labor law: Right of public employees to strike or engage in work stoppage. 37 A.L.R.3d 1147.

Bargainable or negotiable issues in state public employment labor relations. 84 A.L.R.3d 242.

Damage liability of state or local public employees’ union or union officials for unlawful work stoppage. 84 A.L.R.3d 336.

What constitutes unfair labor practice under state public employee relations acts. 9 A.L.R.4th 20.

Who are employees forbidden to strike under state enactments or state common-law rules prohibiting strikes by public employees or stated classes of public employees. 22 A.L.R.4th 1103.

Lawyers’ Edition.

Damages liability of union or its members in suit under 29 USCS § 185 for breach of express or implied no-strike obligation of collective bargaining agreement–federal cases. 68 L. Ed. 2d 884.

Law Reviews.

Public Sector Collective Bargaining in Mississippi: An Argument for Acceptance. 56 Miss. L. J. 379, August, 1986.

§ 25-1-107. Date of postmark as proof of date of payment or report.

Except as otherwise specifically provided by law, whenever any check, money order or other form of payment or reports is required to be made to any state agency or any county, municipality or other political subdivision of the state by or before a certain date and the mailing is made by United States mail, then the date that the mail containing the payment or report is postmarked by the United States Post Office shall be considered as the date the payment or report is made. The date of the United States Post Office postmark is proof of the date of payment or report if the payment or report was mailed with postage paid and was correctly addressed.

HISTORY: Laws, 1995, ch. 305, § 1, eff from and after July 1, 1995.

OPINIONS OF THE ATTORNEY GENERAL

A notice of withdrawal from a development district was not timely where the notice was metered, postmarked, and received after the deadline for such notices, even though the letter was dated before the deadline. Davis, Apr. 19, 2002, A.G. Op. #02-0180.

§ 25-1-109. Law enforcement officers prohibited from disclosing identity of person arrested, issued a citation, or being held for misdemeanor.

No law enforcement agency shall disclose the name of any person arrested for any misdemeanor, issued a citation, or being held for any misdemeanor unless such person shall be formally charged and arrested for the offense, except to other law enforcement agencies or to the Mississippi Department of Human Services or child day care providers where such information is used to help determine suitability of persons to serve as child care providers or child service workers. No political subdivision nor any employee thereof shall be held liable for the disclosure of any information prohibited by this section.

HISTORY: Laws, 1997, ch. 550, § 5, eff from and after July 1, 1997.

§ 25-1-111. Prevention of disclosure by state agencies of social security numbers.

When any state agency mails, delivers, circulates, publishes, distributes, transmits, or otherwise disseminates, in any form or manner, information or material that contains the social security number of an individual, the agency shall take such steps as may be reasonably necessary to prevent the inadvertent disclosure of the individual’s social security number to members of the general public or to persons other than those persons who, in the performance of their duties and responsibilities, have a lawful and legitimate need to know the individual’s social security number. State agencies shall be in compliance with this section on or before July 1, 2003.

HISTORY: Laws, 2002, ch. 609, § 1, eff from and after July 1, 2002.

OPINIONS OF THE ATTORNEY GENERAL

The tax assessor-collector may provide the sheriff with a list of those property owners who were granted homestead exemption, which list may include the social security number and the birth date of the taxpayer. Such information must remain confidential and cannot be disclosed by the sheriff to the general public. Beech, Nov. 15, 2002, A.G. Op. #02-0659.

The secretary of state may lawfully promulgate a rule requiring that Uniform Commercial Code filings not contain any Social Security numbers and providing for rejection when they do. Anderson, July 28, 2006, A.G. Op. 06-0348.

§ 25-1-113. Public employment of persons convicted of embezzlement of public funds prohibited.

  1. From and after July 1, 2013, the state and any county, municipality or any other political subdivision shall not employ a person who has been convicted or pled guilty in any court of this state, another state, or in federal court of any felony in which public funds were unlawfully taken, obtained or misappropriated in the abuse or misuse of the person’s office or employment or money coming into the person’s hands by virtue of the person’s office or employment.
  2. From and after July 1, 2014, the state and any county, municipality or any other political subdivision shall not employ or continue to employ a person who has been convicted or pled guilty in any court of this state, another state, or in federal court of any felony in which public funds were unlawfully taken, obtained or misappropriated in the abuse or misuse of the person’s office or employment or money coming into the person’s hands by virtue of the person’s office or employment.

HISTORY: Laws, 2013, ch. 528, § 1; Laws, 2014, ch. 343, § 1, eff from and after passage (approved March 14, 2014).

Amendment Notes —

The 2014 amendment inserted the “(1)” designation and substituted “shall not employ” for “may not employ” and added (2).

§ 25-1-115. Certain persons prohibited from serving on executive committees.

  1. No person shall serve on any temporary municipal executive committee, municipal executive committee, temporary county executive committee, county executive committee or state executive committee if the person has been convicted of any criminal violation of the Mississippi Election Code, has been convicted of an election crime in this state or any other state, has been convicted of any felony in this state or any other state, has been convicted of an election crime under federal law, has been removed from public office pursuant to Section 25-5-1, or who has resigned from office as part of a plea agreement.
  2. Any person who violates this section shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction, shall be punished as provided in Section 99-19-31 and removed from the committee.

HISTORY: Laws, 2013, ch. 391, § 1; Laws, 2014, ch. 378, § 1, eff from and after July 1, 2014.

Editor’s Notes —

The effective date of Chapter 391, Laws of 2013, which added this section, is “from and after the date it is effectuated under Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act of 1965, as amended and extended.” However, after the bill was approved, the United States Supreme Court, in the case of Shelby County v. Holder (June 25, 2013), struck down the coverage formula that determined what jurisdictions are subject to Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act, so the coverage formula can no longer be used as a basis for subjecting jurisdictions to preclearance under Section 5.

Because of the Shelby County decision, the United States Attorney General is not making any determinations under Section 5 on voting or election changes made by states. The Supreme Court did not strike down Section 5, so it is still in effect. For that reason, the Mississippi Attorney General’s Office submitted Chapter 391, Laws of 2013, to the United States Attorney General, in order to technically meet the requirements of Section 5 and fulfill the condition in the effective date of the bill, which will allow the bill to take effect.

By letter dated August 1, 2013, the United States Attorney General responded that he is not making determinations on the merits of any bill that is submitted under Section 5. The submission of Chapter 391 and the response from the United States Attorney General technically met the requirements of Section 5 and fulfilled the condition in the effective date of Chapter 391, so Chapter 391 became effective from and after August 1, 2013, the date of the United States Attorney General’s response letter.

Amendment Notes —

The 2014 amendment, in (1), substituted “any criminal violation” for “a criminal violation” and “in this state or any other state, has been convicted of any felony in this state or any other state, has been convicted of an election crime under federal law” for “contained in Chapter 13, Title 97, Mississippi Code of 1972.”

Cross References —

Imposition of standard state assessment in addition to all court imposed fines or other penalties for any misdemeanor violation, see §99-19-73.

§ 25-1-117. State agencies and public officials providing information about the agency or office to the public on a website are required to regularly review and update that information.

Each state agency and each statewide elected official that provides information to the public about the agency or office on a website on the Internet shall review and update the information on the website on a regular basis, not less frequently than once a month, to ensure that the information appearing on the website is current and that outdated information has been removed or placed in a separate section of archived information.

HISTORY: Laws, 2013, ch. 369, § 1, eff from and after July 1, 2013.

§ 25-1-119. Public bodies, employees, and officers prohibited from creating, planning, participating in, enabling, etc., sanctuary policies.

  1. No state agency, department, political subdivision of this state, county, municipality, university, college, community college or junior college, or any agent, employee or officer thereof shall adopt, or implement a policy, order or ordinance that (a) limits or prohibits any person from communicating or cooperating with federal agencies or officials to verify or report the immigration status of any person; or (b) grants to any person the right to lawful presence or status within the state, a county or municipality, or the campus of a university, college, community college or junior college in violation of state or federal law.
  2. Any policy, order or ordinance adopted in violation of this section shall be invalid and void from the date of its adoption or enactment and shall have no force or effect.

HISTORY: Laws, 2017, ch. 383, § 1, eff from and after passage (approved Mar. 27, 2017).

Chapter 3. Salaries and Compensation

General Provisions

§ 25-3-1. Classifications of counties.

For the purposes of this chapter the counties are divided into eight (8) classes, numbered from One to Eight, according to the 1930 total assessed valuation of the real, personal, and public service corporation property of each county, as follows:

Class Number One. — Shall be composed of all counties in which the assessed valuation equals and exceeds Twenty-five Million Dollars ($25,000,000.00).

Class Number Two. — Shall be composed of all counties in which the assessed valuation equals and exceeds Twenty Million Dollars ($20,000,000.00) and is less than Twenty-five Million Dollars ($25,000,000.00).

Class Number Three. — Shall be composed of all counties in which the assessed valuation equals and exceeds Fifteen Million Dollars ($15,000,000.00) and is less than Twenty Million Dollars ($20,000,000.00).

Class Number Four. — Shall be composed of all counties in which the assessed valuation equals and exceeds Ten Million Dollars ($10,000,000.00) and is less than Fifteen Million Dollars ($15,000,000.00).

Class Number Five. — Shall be composed of all counties in which the assessed valuation equals and exceeds Eight Million Dollars ($8,000,000.00) and is less than Ten Million Dollars ($10,000.000.00).

Class Number Six. — Shall be composed of all counties in which the assessed valuation equals and exceeds Six Million Dollars ($6,000,000.00) and is less than Eight Million Dollars ($8,000,000.00).

Class Number Seven. — Shall be composed of all counties in which the assessed valuation equals and exceeds Three Million Dollars ($3,000,000.00) and is less than Six Million Dollars ($6,000,000.00).

Class Number Eight. — Shall be composed of all counties in which the assessed valuation is less than Three Million Dollars ($3,000,000.00).

The assessed value of each county shall be determined by the amounts certified to the State Tax Commission by the clerk of the board of supervisors, the assessed value of all public service corporations as certified by the State Tax Commission, and, in counties where oil or gas is produced, the actual value of such oil at the point of production as certified to the counties by the State Tax Commission under the provisions of Sections 27-25-501 through 27-25-525, and the actual value of such gas at the point of production as certified by the State Tax Commission under the provisions of Sections 27-25-701 through 27-25-723; provided, however, that the actual value of oil or gas at the point of production in counties where oil or gas is produced shall not be included in the assessed value of such county in determining the classification of such county in the fixing of fees to tax collectors under Section 25-7-21.

In any year the assessed value of a county shows that its class has changed to a higher class, such county shall remain in its original class until the succeeding January first and then be classed according to such assessed value.

Nothing in this section shall be construed to lower the classification of any county from its classification under the assessment of 1930.

HISTORY: Codes, 1930, § 6498; 1942, § 4159; Laws, 1922, ch. 163; Laws, 1928, ch. 89; Laws, 1930, ch. 83; Laws, 1944, ch. 192; Laws, 1950, ch. 280, §§ 1, 2; Laws, 1960, ch. 199; Laws, 1997, ch. 570, § 11, eff October 1, 1997.

Editor's Notes —

Laws of 1997, ch. 570, § 14, provides as follows:

“SECTION 14. This act shall take effect and be in force from and after the date it is effectuated under Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act of 1965, as amended and extended, or October 1, 1997, whichever occurs later.”

The United States Attorney General, by letter dated September 5, 1997, interposed no objection, under Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act of 1965, to the amendment of this section by Laws of 1997, ch. 570, § 11.

Section 27-3-4 provides that the terms “'Mississippi State Tax Commission,' 'State Tax Commission,' 'Tax Commission' and 'commission' appearing in the laws of this state in connection with the performance of the duties and functions by the Mississippi State Tax Commission, the State Tax Commission or Tax Commission shall mean the Department of Revenue.”

At the direction of the co-counsel for the Joint Legislative Committee on Compilation, Revision and Publication of Legislation, a typographical error in the “Class Number Three” paragraph was corrected by substituting “…assessed valuation equals and exceeds…” for “…assessed valuation equals and exceed…”

Laws of 2019, ch. 485, § 12, effective April 18, 2019, provides:

“SECTION 12. (1) There is created a County Elected Officials Compensation and Fees Task Force to study the structure, amounts and sources of the compensation received by, and the fees charged and collected by, the elected officials of the counties, and to make recommendations to address the compensation received by, and the fees charged and collected by, elected county officials on a long-term basis.

“(2) The task force shall make a report of its findings and recommendations to the Legislature by December 1, 2019, including any recommended legislation.

“(3) The task force shall be composed of fourteen (14) members, as follows:

“(a) A representative of the Mississippi Association of Supervisors, designated by the association;

“(b) A representative of the Mississippi Chancery Clerks Association, designated by the association;

“(c) A representative of the Mississippi Circuit Clerks Association, designated by the association;

“(d) A representative of the Mississippi Assessors and Collectors Association, designated by the association;

“(e) A representative of the Mississippi Coroner and Medical Examiners Association, designated by the association;

“(f) A representative of the Mississippi Constables Association, designated by the association;

“(g) A representative of the Mississippi Sheriffs' Association, designated by the association;

“(h) A representative of the Mississippi Justice Court Judges Association, designated by the association;

“(i) Three (3) members of the House of Representatives appointed by the Speaker of the House of Representatives; and

“(j) Three (3) members of the Senate appointed by the Lieutenant Governor.

“(4) Legislative appointments shall be made within thirty (30) days after the effective date of this section. Within fifteen (15) days thereafter on a day to be designated jointly by the Speaker of the House of Representatives and the Lieutenant Governor, the task force shall meet and organize by selecting from its membership a chair and a vice chair. The vice chair shall also serve as secretary and shall be responsible for keeping all records of the task force. A majority of the members of the task force shall constitute a quorum. In the selection of its officers and the adoption of rules, resolutions and reports, an affirmative vote of a majority of the task force shall be required. All members shall be notified in writing of all meetings, and those notices shall be mailed at least fifteen (15) days before the date on which a meeting is to be held.

“(5) The members of the task force who are not legislators shall be compensated at the per diem rate authorized by Section 25-3-69 and shall be reimbursed in accordance with Section 25-3-41 for mileage and actual expenses incurred in the performance of their duties. Legislative members of the task force shall be paid from the contingent expense funds of their respective houses in the same manner as provided for committee meetings when the Legislature is not in session. However, no per diem or expenses for attending meetings of the task force will be paid to legislative members of the task force while the Legislature is in session. No task force members may incur per diem, travel or other expense unless previously authorized by vote, at a meeting of the task force, which action shall be recorded in the official minutes of the meeting. The nonlegislative members shall be paid from any funds made available to the task force for that purpose.”

Cross References —

Limitation of county size, see Miss. Const. Art. 14, § 260.

Salaries of county judges determined by county classifications, see §9-9-11.

Fees of chancery clerks being determined by county classification, see §25-7-9.

JUDICIAL DECISIONS

1. In general.

Assuming that board of supervisors of county which was one of the fourth class in 1930 and had an assessed valuation of a county of the third class in 1942, made unauthorized and excessive allowance as to county auditor’s salary for the year 1942 in basing it on classification as a third class county, neither members of the board, nor their bondsmen, could be held personally liable for the reason that the allowance was to an object authorized by law. Barnett v. Woods, 196 Miss. 678, 18 So. 2d 443, 1944 Miss. LEXIS 249 (Miss. 1944).

County, which was in the fourth class in 1930 and had an assessed valuation of a third class county in 1942, was authorized to allow its auditor a salary of $2,300 for the year 1942 pursuant to this section which provides for change in classification of county for the purpose of determining salaries based upon change in assessed valuation. Barnett v. Woods, 196 Miss. 678, 18 So. 2d 443, 1944 Miss. LEXIS 249 (Miss. 1944).

Surety on bonds of board of supervisors of county in class five was liable to county for $60 paid as salaries to board in November, 1930, where at that time each member had been allowed sum above $1,000, though less than $1,250, maximum compensation allowable for first ten months. United States Fidelity & Guaranty Co. v. Gully, 168 Miss. 740, 150 So. 828, 1933 Miss. LEXIS 196 (Miss. 1933).

Salaries due board of supervisors of county in class five for services rendered prior to November 1, 1930, not exceeding $1,250, could be allowed after November 1, though in excess of $1,000, maximum compensation allowable after that time. United States Fidelity & Guaranty Co. v. Gully, 168 Miss. 740, 150 So. 828, 1933 Miss. LEXIS 196 (Miss. 1933).

OPINIONS OF THE ATTORNEY GENERAL

Any public official or employee whose pay schedule is not determined in Sections 25-3-1 through 25-3-27, may be paid bi-weekly. Officials who are not required to be paid monthly may be paid on some other basis in the discretion of the board of supervisors. Scipper, August 9, 1996, A.G. Op. #96-0489.

RESEARCH REFERENCES

Am. Jur.

63A Am. Jur. 2d, Public Officers and Employees §§ 429 et seq.

CJS.

20 C.J.S., Counties § 8.

§ 25-3-2. Elected county official’s salary reductions due to valuation and population changes.

No county elected official’s annual salary established under this chapter shall be reduced during his term of office as a result of a reduction in total assessed valuation or a change in population.

HISTORY: Laws, 1998, ch. 567, § 4, eff from and after October 1, 1998.

Editor’s Notes —

Laws of 1998, ch. 567, § 6, provides:

“SECTION 6. This act shall take effect and be in force from and after October 1, 1998, if it is effectuated on or before that date under Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act of 1965, as amended and extended. If it is effectuated under Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act of 1965, as amended and extended, after October 1, 1998, this act shall take effect and be in force from and after the date it is effectuated under Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act of 1965, as amended and extended.”

On July 30, 1998, the United States Attorney General interposed no objection under Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act of 1965, as amended and extended, to the addition of this section by Laws of 1998, ch. 567, § 4.

§ 25-3-3. Salaries of assessors also serving as tax collectors; additional compensation.

[Effective from and after January 1, 2020, this section will read as follows:]

  1. The term “total assessed valuation” as used in this section only refers to the ad valorem assessment for the county and, in addition, in counties where oil or gas is produced, the actual value of oil at the point of production, as certified to the counties by the Department of Revenue under the provisions of Sections 27-25-501 through 27-25-525, and the actual value of gas as certified by the Department of Revenue under the provisions of Sections 27-25-701 through 27-25-723.
  2. The salary of assessors and collectors of the various counties is fixed as full compensation for their services as county assessors or tax collectors, or both if the office of assessor has been combined with the office of tax collector. The annual salary of each assessor or tax collector, or both if the offices have been combined, shall be based upon the total assessed valuation of his respective county for the preceding taxable year in the following categories and for the following amounts:
    1. For counties having a total assessed valuation of Three Billion Dollars ($3,000,000,000.00) or more, a salary of Seventy Thousand Five Hundred Sixty Dollars ($70,560.00);
    2. For counties having a total assessed valuation of at least Two Billion Dollars ($2,000,000,000.00) but less than Three Billion Dollars ($3,000,000,000.00), a salary of Sixty-seven Thousand Two Hundred Dollars ($67,200.00);
    3. For counties having a total assessed valuation of at least One Billion Dollars ($1,000,000,000.00) but less than Two Billion Dollars ($2,000,000,000.00), a salary of Sixty-four Thousand Five Hundred Seventy-five Dollars ($64,575.00);
    4. For counties having a total assessed valuation of at least Five Hundred Million Dollars ($500,000,000.00) but less than One Billion Dollars ($1,000,000,000.00), a salary of Sixty-one Thousand Four Hundred Twenty-five Dollars ($61,425.00);
    5. For counties having a total assessed valuation of at least Two Hundred Fifty Million Dollars ($250,000,000.00) but less than Five Hundred Million Dollars ($500,000,000.00), a salary of Fifty-eight Thousand Eight Hundred Dollars ($58,800.00);
    6. For counties having a total assessed valuation of at least One Hundred Fifty Million Dollars ($150,000,000.00) but less than Two Hundred Fifty Million Dollars ($250,000,000.00), a salary of Fifty-six Thousand Seven Hundred Dollars ($56,700.00);
    7. For counties having a total assessed valuation of at least Seventy-five Million Dollars ($75,000,000.00) but less than One Hundred Fifty Million Dollars ($150,000,000.00), a salary of Fifty-five Thousand One Hundred Twenty-five Dollars ($55,125.00);
    8. For counties having a total assessed valuation of less than Seventy-five Million Dollars ($75,000,000.00), a salary of Fifty Thousand Nine Hundred Twenty-nine Dollars ($50,929.00).
  3. In addition to all other compensation paid pursuant to this section, the board of supervisors shall pay to a person serving as both the tax assessor and tax collector in their county an additional Five Thousand Dollars ($5,000.00) per year.
  4. The annual salary established for assessors and tax collectors shall not be reduced as a result of a reduction in total assessed valuation. The salaries shall be increased as a result of an increase in total assessed valuation.
  5. In addition to all other compensation paid to assessors and tax collectors in counties having two (2) judicial districts, the board of supervisors shall pay such assessors and tax collectors an additional Three Thousand Five Hundred Dollars ($3,500.00) per year. In addition to all other compensation paid to assessors or tax collectors, in counties maintaining two (2) full-time offices, the board of supervisors shall pay the assessor or tax collector an additional Three Thousand Five Hundred Dollars ($3,500.00) per year.
  6. In addition to all other compensation paid to assessors and tax collectors, the board of supervisors of a county shall allow for such assessor or tax collector, or both, to be paid additional compensation when there is a contract between the county and one or more municipalities providing that the assessor or tax collector, or both, shall assess or collect taxes, or both, for the municipality or municipalities; and such assessor or tax collector, or both, shall be authorized to receive such additional compensation from the county and/or the municipality or municipalities in any amount allowed by the county and/or the municipality or municipalities for performing those services.
  7. When any tax assessor holds a valid certificate of educational recognition from the International Association of Assessing Officers or is a licensed appraiser under Section 73-34-1 et seq., he shall receive an additional One Thousand Five Hundred Dollars ($1,500.00) annually beginning the next fiscal year after completion. When any tax assessor is a licensed state certified Residential Appraiser (RA) or licensed state certified Timberland Appraiser (TA) under Section 73-34-1 et seq., or when any tax assessor holds a valid designation from the International Association of Assessing Officers as a Cadastral Mapping Specialist (CMS) or Personal Property Specialist (PPS) or Residential Evaluation Specialist (RES), he shall receive an additional Six Thousand Five Hundred Dollars ($6,500.00) annually beginning the next fiscal year after completion. When any tax assessor holds the valid designation of Certified Assessment Evaluator (CAE) from the International Association of Assessing Officers or is a state certified General Real Estate Appraiser (GA) under Section 73-34-1 et seq., he shall receive an additional Eight Thousand Five Hundred Dollars ($8,500.00) annually beginning the next fiscal year after completion.
  8. The salaries provided for in this section shall be the total funds paid to the county assessors and tax collectors and shall be full compensation for their services, with any fees being paid to the county general fund.
  9. The salaries provided for in this section shall be payable monthly on the first day of each calendar month by chancery clerk’s warrant drawn on the general fund of the county; however, the board of supervisors, by resolution duly adopted and entered on its minutes, may provide that such salaries shall be paid semimonthly on the first and fifteenth day of each month. If a pay date falls on a weekend or legal holiday, salary payments shall be made on the workday immediately preceding the weekend or legal holiday.

HISTORY: Codes, 1942, § 4160-01; Laws, 1968, ch. 369, § 7; Laws, 1970, ch 401, §§ 1 and 2; Laws, 1974, ch. 349; Laws, 1977, ch. 443; Laws, 1980, ch. 497, § 1; Laws, 1983, ch. 526, § 1; Laws, 1985, ch. 513, § 1; Laws, 1988, ch. 433, § 1; Laws, 1989, ch. 335, § 1; Laws, 1990, ch. 314, § 1; Laws, 1991, ch. 382, § 1; Laws, 1993, ch. 550, § 3; Laws, 1997, ch. 570, § 1; Laws, 2004, ch. 505, § 1, eff October 1, 2004ch. 505, Laws, 2004, ch. 505, § 1, eff October 1, 2004, eff from and after October 1, 2004; Laws, 2019, ch. 485, § 3, eff from and after January 1, 2020.

Editor’s Notes —

The United States Attorney General, by letter dated May 27, 1993, interposed no objection under Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act of 1965, as amended and extended, to the amendment of this section by Laws of 1993, ch. 550, § 3.

Laws of 1997, ch. 570, § 14, provides as follows:

“SECTION 14. This act shall take effect and be in force from and after the date it is effectuated under Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act of 1965, as amended and extended, or October 1, 1997, whichever occurs later.”

The United States Attorney General, by letter dated September 5, 1997, interposed no objection, under Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act of 1965, to the amendment of this section by Laws of 1997, ch. 570, § 1.

On August 19, 2004, the United States Attorney General interposed no objection under Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 to the amendment of this section by Laws of 2004, ch. 505, § 1.

Section 27-3-4 provides that the terms “‘Mississippi State Tax Commission,’ ‘State Tax Commission,’ ‘Tax Commission’ and ‘commission’ appearing in the laws of this state in connection with the performance of the duties and functions by the Mississippi State Tax Commission, the State Tax Commission or Tax Commission shall mean the Department of Revenue.”

Section 73-34-19 was amended by Section 1 of Chapter 400, Laws of 2014, effective July 1, 2014, to delete the timberland real estate appraiser license classification referred to in subsection (7).

Laws of 2019, ch. 485, § 14, provides as follows:

“SECTION 14. This act will take effect and be in force from and after January 1, 2020, except for Section 11, which shall take effect and be in force from and after July 1, 2019, and Sections 12 and 13, which shall take effect and be in force from and after the passage of this act [approved April 18, 2019].

Amendment Notes —

The 2004 amendment added the subsection designations; substituted “assessors and tax collectors” for “assessor-tax collectors” or a variation thereof throughout the section; rewrote (2); inserted (3); substituted “salaries shall be” for “salaries may be” in (4); in (5), substituted “shall pay such assessors and tax collectors an additional” for “shall allow that said assessor-tax collector be paid an additional” and “shall pay the assessor or tax collector an additional” for “may allow that said assessor or tax collector be paid an additional”; in (6), inserted “or both” throughout, and substituted “assess or collect” for “assess and/or collect” and “county and/or” for “county and” following “allowed by the”; substituted “salaries provided for in this section” for “salaries herein set out” in (8); substituted “salaries provided for in this section” for “salaries herein provided” in (9); and deleted the last paragraph.

The 2019 amendment, effective January 1, 2020, substituted “Department of Revenue” for “State Tax Commission” twice in (1); in (2), added (a) and redesignated former (a) through (f) as (b) through (g), rewrote (b), which read: “For counties having a total assessed valuation of Two Billion Dollars ($2,000,000,000.00) or more, a salary of Sixty-four Thousand Dollars ($64,000.00),” substituted “Sixty-four Thousand Five Hundred Seventy-five Dollars ($64,575.00)” for “Sixty-one Thousand Five Hundred Dollars ($61,500.00)” in (c), “Sixty-one Thousand Four Hundred Twenty-five Dollars ($61,425.00)” for “Fifty-eight Thousand Five Hundred Dollars ($58,500.00)” in (d), “Fifty-eight Thousand Eight Hundred Dollars ($58,800.00)” for “Fifty-six Thousand Dollars ($56,000.00)” in (e), “Fifty-six Thousand Seven Hundred Dollars ($56,700.00)” for “Fifty-four Thousand Dollars ($54,000.00)” in (f), “Fifty-five Thousand One Hundred Twenty-five Dollars ($55,125.00)” for “Fifty-two Thousand Five Hundred Dollars ($52,500.00)” in (g), deleted former (g), which read: “For counties having a total assessed valuation of at least Thirty-five Million Dollars ($35,000,000.00) but less than Seventy-five Million Dollars ($75,000,000.00), a salary of Forty-eight Thousand Five Hundred Dollars ($48,500.00),” and substituted “Seventy-five Million Dollars ($75,000,000.00), a salary of Fifty Thousand Nine Hundred Twenty-nine Dollars ($50,929.00)” for “Thirty-five Million Dollars ($35,000,000.00), a salary of Forty-one Thousand Five Hundred Dollars ($41,500.00)” in (h).

Cross References —

Certified residential appraiser, certified timberland appraiser and certified general appraiser, see §73-34-19.

OPINIONS OF THE ATTORNEY GENERAL

County tax collectors are entitled to be paid additional compensation for collecting city taxes on motor vehicles if they are collecting such taxes by virtue of written contract or interlocal agreement between county and municipality or municipalities in county and if there is not effective municipal order requiring collection of such taxes by county tax collector as authorized by Section 27-51-29. Shaw, June 23, 1993, A.G. Op. #93-0460.

The plain language of Section 25-3-3 allows a board of supervisors, in its discretion, to pay an assessor-tax collector an additional $3,500.00 when that assessor-tax collector maintains two full-time offices. Shaw, January 10, 1996, A.G. Op. #95-0808.

The term “total assessed valuation” in §§25-3-3 and25-3-9 includes the assessed valuation of any properties for which a fee in lieu of taxes has been negotiated pursuant to §27-31-104. Bailey, March 26, 1999, A.G. Op. #99-0134.

Where a board of supervisors is given the discretion to allow an additional $3,500.00 compensation to an assessor-collector who maintains two full-time offices, the board has discretion to allow a lesser amount. Reynolds, May 3, 2002, A.G. Op. #02-0230.

RESEARCH REFERENCES

CJS.

20 C.J.S., Counties §§ 174, 175.

67 C.J.S., Officers § 321.

§ 25-3-5. Repealed.

Repealed by Laws, 2004, ch. 505, § 14, eff from and after August 19, 2004 (the date the United States Attorney General interposed no objection under Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 to the repeal of this section.)

[Codes, 1942 § 4160-02; Laws, 1968, ch. 369, § 12; Laws, 1974, ch. 368; Laws, 1977, ch. 469; Laws, 1980, ch. 497, § 2; Laws, 1983, ch. 526, § 2; Laws, 1985, ch. 513, § 2; Laws, 1988, ch. 433, § 2; Laws, 1989, ch. 335, § 2; Laws, 1990, ch. 314, § 2; Laws, 1991, ch. 382, § 2; Laws, 1993, ch. 550, § 4; Laws, 1997, ch. 570, § 2, eff October 1, 1997; Laws, 2004, ch. 505, § 14, eff from and after August 19, 2004 (the date the United States Attorney General interposed no objection under Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 to the repeal of this section.)]

Editor’s Notes —

Former §25-3-5 was entitled: Salaries of assessors and tax collectors in separate offices; additional compensation.

§ 25-3-7. State contribution to compensation of assessors.

From the state treasury shall be paid up to one fourth (1/4) of the salary of each county assessor, but in no instance shall the payment exceed the figure paid for the fiscal year of 1970-1971 to the assessor, whether or not the offices of assessor and tax collector are combined.

HISTORY: Codes, 1880, § 463; 1892, § 2017; 1906, § 2193; 1930, § 6501; 1942, § 4163; Laws, 1882, p 82; 1884, p 17; 1898 p 47; Laws, 1910, ch. 193; Laws, 1930, ch. 170; Laws, 1932, ch. 193; Laws, 1968, ch. 369, § 18, eff from and after the first Monday in January, 1972.

OPINIONS OF THE ATTORNEY GENERAL

No authority can be found for an information technology services board member to hold over and continue to serve after the expiration of his or her term of office. Litchliter, Apr. 14, 2006, A.G. Op. 06-0125.

RESEARCH REFERENCES

Am. Jur.

63C Am. Jur. 2d, Public Officers and Employees §§ 429 et seq.

§ 25-3-9. Salaries of county prosecuting attorneys.

  1. Except as provided in subsections (2), (3) and (4) of this section, the county prosecuting attorney may receive for his services an annual salary to be paid by the board of supervisors as follows:
    1. For counties with a total population of more than two hundred thousand (200,000), a salary not to exceed Twenty-eight Thousand Five Hundred Dollars ($28,500.00).
    2. For counties with a total population of more than one hundred thousand (100,000) and not more than two hundred thousand (200,000), a salary not to exceed Twenty-six Thousand Five Hundred Dollars ($26,500.00).
    3. For counties with a total population of more than fifty thousand (50,000) and not more than one hundred thousand (100,000), a salary not to exceed Twenty-one Thousand Seven Hundred Dollars ($21,700.00).
    4. For counties with a total population of more than thirty-five thousand (35,000) and not more than fifty thousand (50,000), a salary not to exceed Twenty Thousand Four Hundred Dollars ($20,400.00).
    5. For counties with a total population of more than twenty-five thousand (25,000) and not more than thirty-five thousand (35,000), a salary not to exceed Nineteen Thousand Three Hundred Dollars ($19,300.00).
    6. For counties with a total population of more than fifteen thousand (15,000) and not more than twenty-five thousand (25,000), a salary not to exceed Seventeen Thousand Seven Hundred Dollars ($17,700.00).
    7. For counties with a total population of more than ten thousand (10,000) and not more than fifteen thousand (15,000), a salary not to exceed Sixteen Thousand One Hundred Dollars ($16,100.00).
    8. For counties with a total population of more than six thousand (6,000) and not more than ten thousand (10,000), a salary not to exceed Fourteen Thousand Five Hundred Dollars ($14,500.00).
    9. For counties with a total population of six thousand (6,000) or less, the board of supervisors, in its discretion, may appoint a county prosecuting attorney, and it may pay such county prosecuting attorney an annual salary not to exceed Twelve Thousand Nine Hundred Dollars ($12,900.00).

      In all cases of conviction there shall be taxed against the convicted defendant, as an item of cost, the sum of Three Dollars ($3.00), which shall be turned in to the county treasury as a part of the general county funds; however, the Three Dollars ($3.00) shall not be taxed in any case in which it is not the specific duty of the county attorney to appear and prosecute.

      From and after October 1, 1993, in addition to the salaries provided for in this subsection, the board of supervisors of any county, in its discretion, may pay the county prosecuting attorney an additional amount not to exceed ten percent (10%) of the maximum allowable salary prescribed herein.

  2. In the following counties, the county prosecuting attorney shall receive for his services an annual salary to be paid by the board of supervisors, as follows:
    1. In any county bordering upon the Mississippi River and having a population of not less than thirty thousand (30,000) and not more than thirty-five thousand five hundred (35,500) according to the federal census of 1990, and in counties having a population of not more than thirty-seven thousand (37,000) according to the federal census of 1990 in which Interstate Highway 55 and U.S. Highway 98 intersect, the county prosecuting attorney shall receive a salary equal to the justice court judge of such county; and in any county wherein is located the state’s oldest state-supported institution of higher learning and wherein Mississippi State Highways 7 and 6 intersect, the county prosecuting attorney shall receive an annual salary equal to that of a member of the board of supervisors of such county.
    2. In counties having a population in excess of fifty thousand (50,000) in the 1960 federal census, wherein is located a state-supported university and in which U.S. Highways 49 and 11 intersect, the salary of the county prosecuting attorney shall be not less than Seventeen Thousand Four Hundred Dollars ($17,400.00) per year. The Board of Supervisors of Forrest County, Mississippi, may, in its discretion, and by agreement with the county prosecuting attorney, employ the county prosecuting attorney as a full-time elected official during his/her term of office, designate additional duties and responsibilities of the office and pay additional compensation up to, but not in excess of, ninety percent (90%) of the annual compensation and salary of the county court judge and the youth court judge of Forrest County as authorized by law and provide a reasonable office and reasonable office expenses to the county prosecuting attorney. The salary authorized by this paragraph (b) for the county prosecuting attorney shall be the sole and complete salary for such prosecuting attorney in each county to which this paragraph applies, notwithstanding any other provision of law to the contrary.
    3. In any county wherein is housed the seat of state government, wherein U.S. Highways 80 and 49 intersect, and having two (2) judicial districts, the board of supervisors, in its discretion, may pay the county prosecuting attorney an annual salary equal to the annual salary of members of the board of supervisors in the county.
    4. In any county which has two (2) judicial districts and wherein Highway 8 and Highway 15 intersect, having a population of greater than seventeen thousand (17,000), according to the 1980 federal decennial census, the board of supervisors shall pay the county prosecuting attorney a salary equal to that of a member of the board of supervisors of such county; provided that if such county prosecuting attorney is paid a sum for the purpose of defraying office or secretarial expenses, then the salary prescribed herein shall be reduced by that amount.
    5. In any county bordering the State of Tennessee and in which Mississippi Highways No. 4 and 15 intersect, and having a population of less than twenty thousand (20,000) in the 1970 federal census, the salary of the county prosecuting attorney shall be no less than Six Thousand Dollars ($6,000.00).
    6. In any county having a population of more than twenty-five thousand (25,000) and in which U.S. Highways 72 and 45 intersect, the salary of the county attorney shall be not less than Eight Thousand Dollars ($8,000.00).

      In addition, such county prosecuting attorney shall receive the sum of One Thousand Five Hundred Dollars ($1,500.00) per month for the purpose of defraying secretarial expense.

    7. In any county wherein I-20 and State Highway 15 intersect; and in any county wherein I-20 and State Highway 35 intersect, the salary of the county prosecuting attorney shall be not less than Eight Thousand Four Hundred Dollars ($8,400.00).
    8. In any Class 1 county bordering on the Mississippi River, lying in whole or in part within a levee district, wherein U.S. Highways 82 and 61 intersect, bounded by the Sunflower River and Stales Bayou, the board of supervisors, in its discretion, may pay an annual salary equal to the annual salary of members of the board of supervisors in the county. In addition, such county prosecuting attorney shall receive the sum of One Thousand Dollars ($1,000.00) per month for the purpose of defraying secretarial expenses.
    9. In any county bordering on the Gulf of Mexico having two (2) judicial districts, and wherein U.S. Highways 90 and 49 intersect, the salary of the county prosecuting attorney shall be not less than Nineteen Thousand Dollars ($19,000.00) per year. The Board of Supervisors of Harrison County, Mississippi, may, in its discretion, and by agreement with the county prosecuting attorney, employ the county prosecuting attorney and his/her assistant during his/her term of office, and designate additional duties and responsibilities of the office and pay additional compensation up to, but not in excess of, ninety percent (90%) of the annual compensation and salary of the county court judges of Harrison County as authorized by law and provide adequate office space and reasonable office expenses to the county prosecuting attorney and his/her assistant. The salary authorized by this paragraph (i) for the county prosecuting attorney and his/her assistant shall be the sole and complete salary paid by the county for such prosecuting attorney and his/her assistant in each county to which this paragraph applies, notwithstanding any other provision of law to the contrary.
    10. In any county bordering on the State of Alabama, having a population in excess of seventy-five thousand (75,000) according to the 1980 decennial census in which is located an institution of higher learning and a United States military installation and which is traversed by an interstate highway, the salary of the county prosecuting attorney shall not be less than Twelve Thousand Dollars ($12,000.00) nor more than the amount of the annual salary received by a member of the board of supervisors of that county.
    11. In any county with a land area wherein Mississippi Highways 8 and 9 intersect, the salary of the county prosecuting attorney shall be not less than Eight Thousand Five Hundred Dollars ($8,500.00) per year.
    12. In any Class 2 county wherein Mississippi Highways 6 and 3 intersect, the salary of the county prosecuting attorney shall be not less than Twelve Thousand Dollars ($12,000.00) per year nor more than the amount of the annual salary received by a member of the board of supervisors of that county.
    13. In any county wherein Interstate Highway 55 and State Highway 8 intersect, the salary of the county prosecuting attorney shall be not less than Twelve Thousand Dollars ($12,000.00) per year.
    14. In any county wherein U.S. Highway 51 intersects Mississippi Highway 6, and having two (2) judicial districts, the salary of the county prosecuting attorney shall be not less than Three Thousand Six Hundred Dollars ($3,600.00) per year.
    15. In any county bordering on the Alabama state line, having a population of greater than fifteen thousand (15,000) according to the 1970 federal decennial census, wherein U.S. Highway 45 and Mississippi Highway 18 intersect, the salary of the county prosecuting attorney shall be not less than Three Thousand Six Hundred Dollars ($3,600.00) nor greater than that of a member of the board of supervisors of such county. All prior acts, orders and resolutions of the board of supervisors of such county which authorized the payment of the salary in conformity with the provisions of this paragraph, whether or not heretofore specifically authorized by law are hereby ratified, approved and confirmed.
    16. In any county wherein is located a state-supported institution of higher learning and wherein U.S. Highway 82 and Mississippi Highway 389 intersect, the board of supervisors, in its discretion, may pay the county prosecuting attorney an annual salary equal to the annual salary of members of the board of supervisors in the county.
    17. In any county having two (2) judicial districts wherein Mississippi Highway 32 intersects U.S. Highway 49E, the salary of the county prosecuting attorney shall be not less than Twelve Thousand Seven Hundred Dollars ($12,700.00).
    18. In any county traversed by the Natchez Trace Parkway wherein U.S. Highway 45 and Mississippi Highway 4 intersect, the board of supervisors, in its discretion, may pay the county prosecuting attorney an annual salary equal to the annual salary of justice court judges in the county.
    19. In any county having a population of more than fourteen thousand (14,000) according to the 1970 census and which county is bordered on the north by the State of Tennessee and on the east by the State of Alabama and in which U.S. Highway No. 72 and Highway No. 25 intersect, the board of supervisors, in its discretion, may pay the county prosecuting attorney an annual salary equal to the annual salary of justice court judges in the county.
      1. The Board of Supervisors of Madison County, in its discretion, may pay the county prosecuting attorney an annual salary in the amount of Twenty-eight Thousand Dollars ($28,000.00), if the county prosecuting attorney is not employed on a full-time basis.
      2. From and after October 1, 1993, in addition to the salary provided for in subparagraph (i) of this paragraph, the board of supervisors, in its discretion, may pay the county prosecuting attorney an additional amount not to exceed ten percent (10%) of the maximum allowable salary prescribed herein.
      3. The Board of Supervisors of Madison County, in its discretion, may employ the elected county prosecuting attorney on a full-time basis during his or her term of office and may pay compensation to the full-time prosecuting attorney in an amount of not more than ninety percent (90%) of the annual compensation and salary of the county court judges of the county as authorized by law, and may provide adequate office space and reasonable office expenses to the county prosecuting attorney. The salary authorized by this subparagraph (iii) for the county prosecuting attorney shall be the sole and complete salary paid by the county for the prosecuting attorney in Madison County, notwithstanding any other provisions of law to the contrary.
    20. In any county having a population in the 1970 census in excess of thirty-five thousand (35,000) and in which U.S. Highways 49W and 82 intersect, and in which is located a state penitentiary, the annual salary of a county prosecuting attorney shall be Thirty Thousand Four Hundred Twenty Dollars ($30,420.00).
    21. In any county wherein Mississippi Highway 50 intersects U.S. Highway 45-Alternate, and having a population greater than twenty thousand (20,000) according to the 1980 federal decennial census, a salary equal to that of a member of the board of supervisors of such county; provided that if such county prosecuting attorney is paid a sum for the purpose of defraying office or secretarial expenses, then the salary prescribed herein shall be reduced by that amount.
    22. In any county in which the 1975 assessed valuation was Forty Million Seven Hundred Thirty-nine Thousand Four Hundred Sixty-six Dollars ($40,739,466.00) and wherein U.S. Highway 45 and Mississippi Highway 8 intersect, the salary of the county prosecuting attorney shall be equal to that of a member of the board of supervisors of such county.
    23. In any county bordering on the Mississippi River having a population greater than fifty thousand (50,000) according to the 1980 federal decennial census and also having a national military park and national cemetery, an annual salary of Twenty-five Thousand Dollars ($25,000.00) or a salary equal to that of a member of the board of supervisors in such county, whichever is greater. In addition, such county prosecuting attorney shall receive the sum of One Thousand Dollars ($1,000.00) per month for the purpose of defraying secretarial expenses.
    24. In any county bordering on the Alabama state line, traversed by the Chickasawhay River, and wherein U.S. Highway 45 and U.S. Highway 84 intersect, a salary that shall be equal to the annual salary of a member of the board of supervisors of such county. All prior acts, orders and resolutions of the board of supervisors of such county which authorize the payment of the salary of the county prosecuting attorney in conformity with the provisions of this section as it existed immediately prior to April 12, 1985, are hereby ratified, approved, confirmed and validated.
    25. In any county having a population greater than sixty-five thousand five hundred eighty (65,580) but less than sixty-five thousand five hundred ninety (65,590) according to the 1990 federal decennial census, wherein U.S. Highway 45 intersects with Mississippi Highway 6, an annual salary equal to Thirty Thousand Dollars ($30,000.00).
    26. In any county where an institution of higher learning is located and wherein U.S. Highway 82 and U.S. Highway 45 intersect, the salary of the county prosecuting attorney shall be not less than that of a member of the board of supervisors in such county, and the board of supervisors may, in its discretion, pay such county prosecuting attorney a salary in an amount not to exceed the amount of the salary of the District Attorney for the Sixteenth Judicial District of Mississippi.
    27. In any county having a population greater than six thousand (6,000) according to the federal decennial census and wherein U.S. Highway 61 and Highway 24 intersect, the board of supervisors, in its discretion, may pay the county prosecuting attorney an annual salary equal to the annual salary of members of the board of supervisors in the county.
    28. In any county having a population greater than thirty-one thousand (31,000) according to the 1990 federal decennial census and wherein U.S. Highway 61 and U.S. Highway 49 intersect, a salary of not less than the annual salary of justice court judges in the county.
      1. The Rankin County prosecuting attorney, if such person is not employed on a full-time basis, shall receive an annual salary of Twenty-nine Thousand Dollars ($29,000.00).
      2. The Board of Supervisors of Rankin County, in its discretion, may employ the elected county prosecuting attorney and an assistant on a full-time basis during his or her term of office and may pay compensation to such full-time prosecuting attorney in an amount of not more than ninety percent (90%) of the annual compensation and salary of the county court judges of the county as authorized by law, and may provide adequate office space and reasonable office expenses to the county prosecuting attorney and his/her assistant. The Board of Supervisors of Rankin County, in its discretion, may also employ a full-time assistant county prosecuting attorney and may pay such person an annual salary in such amount as determined by the board of supervisors. The salary authorized by this paragraph (dd)(ii) for the elected county prosecuting attorney and an assistant shall be the sole and complete salary paid by the county for the elected prosecuting attorney and assistant in Rankin County, notwithstanding any other provisions of law to the contrary.
    29. In any county having a population greater than eight thousand (8,000) but less than eight thousand two hundred (8,200) according to the 1990 federal census, and in which U.S. Highway 61 and Mississippi Highway 4 intersect, the board of supervisors may, in its discretion, pay the county prosecuting attorney an amount not to exceed Fourteen Thousand Dollars ($14,000.00), in addition to the maximum allowable salary for that attorney under subsection (1), beginning on April 1, 1997.
    30. In any county having a population greater than thirty thousand three hundred (30,300) but less than thirty thousand four hundred (30,400) according to the 1990 federal census, and in which U.S. Highway 78 and Mississippi Highway 7 intersect, a salary of not less than the annual salary of a member of the board of supervisors in such county.
    31. In any county having a population greater than thirteen thousand three hundred (13,300) but less than thirteen thousand four hundred (13,400) according to the 1990 federal census, and in which Mississippi Highway 24 and Mississippi Highway 48 intersect, the board of supervisors may, in its discretion, pay the county prosecuting attorney an additional amount not to exceed ten percent (10%) of the maximum allowable salary for that attorney under subsection (1).
    32. In any county having a population greater than eight thousand three hundred (8,300) but less than eight thousand four hundred (8,400) according to the 1990 federal census, and in which U.S. Highway 84 and U.S. Highway 98 intersect, the board of supervisors may, in its discretion, pay the county prosecuting attorney an additional amount not to exceed ten percent (10%) of the maximum allowable salary for that attorney under subsection (1).
    33. In any county having a population of more than thirty thousand four hundred (30,400) and which is traversed in whole or in part by I-59, U.S. Highways 98 and 11 and State Highway 13, the annual salary of the county prosecuting attorney shall be Twenty-five Thousand Dollars ($25,000.00).
    34. In any county having a population greater than twenty thousand (20,000) according to the 1990 federal census and wherein U.S. Highway 78 and Mississippi Highway 25 intersect, the board of supervisors, in its discretion, may pay the county prosecuting attorney an annual salary equal to the annual salary of justice court judges in the county.
    35. In any county having a population greater than twelve thousand four hundred (12,400) but less than twelve thousand five hundred (12,500) according to the 1990 federal census, and in which U.S. Highway 84 and Mississippi Highway 27 intersect, the board of supervisors may, in its discretion, pay the county prosecuting attorney an additional amount not to exceed ten percent (10%) of the maximum allowable salary for that attorney under subsection (1).
    36. In any county having a population greater than thirty thousand two hundred (30,200) but less than thirty thousand three hundred (30,300) according to the 1990 federal census, and in which U.S. Interstate 55 and Mississippi Highway 84 intersect, the board of supervisors may, in its discretion, pay the county prosecuting attorney an additional amount not to exceed ten percent (10%) of the maximum allowable salary for that attorney under subsection (1).
    37. In any county on the Mississippi River levee, having a population greater than forty-one thousand eight hundred (41,800) but less than forty-one thousand nine hundred (41,900) according to the 1990 federal census wherein U.S. Highway 61 and Mississippi Highway 8 intersect, the board of supervisors, in its discretion, may pay the county prosecuting attorney an annual salary equal to the annual salary of members of the board of supervisors in the county. In addition, the board of supervisors, in its discretion, may pay the county prosecuting attorney the sum of One Thousand Dollars ($1,000.00) per month for the purpose of defraying secretarial expenses.
    38. In any county having a population greater than twenty-four thousand seven hundred (24,700) and less than twenty-four thousand nine hundred (24,900) according to the 1990 federal census, wherein Mississippi Highways 15 and 16 intersect, the board of supervisors, in its discretion, may pay the county prosecuting attorney an annual salary equal to the annual salary of members of the board of supervisors in the county.
    39. In any county having a population greater than thirty-seven thousand (37,000) but less than thirty-eight thousand (38,000) according to the 1990 federal census, in which is located a state supported institution of higher learning, and in which U.S. Highway 82 and Mississippi Highway 7 intersect, the board of supervisors may, in its discretion, pay the county prosecuting attorney a salary in an amount not to exceed the amount of the salary of the District Attorney for the Fourth Judicial District of Mississippi.
    40. In any county in which U.S. Highway 78 and Mississippi Highway 15 intersect and which is traversed by the Tallahatchie River, a salary equal to that of members of the board of supervisors of the county, which salary shall be in addition to any sums received for the purpose of defraying office or secretarial expenses and sums received as youth court prosecutor fees.
    41. In any county bordering on the State of Tennessee and the State of Arkansas, wherein Interstate Highway 55 and Mississippi Highway 302 intersect, the board of supervisors, in its discretion, may pay the county prosecuting attorney an annual salary equal to the annual salary of justice court judges in the county.
    42. In any county that is traversed by the Natchez Trace Parkway and in which Mississippi Highway 35 and Mississippi Highway 12 intersect, the board of supervisors, in its discretion, may pay the county prosecuting attorney an annual salary in the amount of the annual salary of justice court judges in the county.
    43. In any county in which Mississippi Highway 14 and Mississippi Highway 25 intersect, the board of supervisors, in its discretion, may pay the county prosecuting attorney an annual salary in the amount of Twenty-two Thousand Dollars ($22,000.00).
    44. In any county in which Interstate Highway 59 and U.S. Highway 84 intersect, the board of supervisors, in its discretion, may pay the county prosecuting attorney an annual salary equal to the annual salary of members of the board of supervisors in the county.
      1. In any county bordering on the Mississippi River having a population greater than fifty thousand (50,000) according to the 1980 federal decennial census and also having a national military park and national cemetery, the board of supervisors of the county shall pay an annual salary of Twenty-five Thousand Dollars ($25,000.00) or a salary equal to that of a member of the board of supervisors, whichever is greater, if not employed on a full-time basis. In addition, the county prosecuting attorney shall be paid the sum of One Thousand Dollars ($1,000.00) per month for the purpose of defraying secretarial expenses, if not employed on a full-time basis; or
      2. The board of supervisors of the county described in subparagraph (i) of this paragraph, in its discretion, may employ the elected county prosecuting attorney on a full-time basis during his or her term of office and may pay compensation to the full-time prosecuting attorney in an amount of not more than ninety percent (90%) of the annual compensation and salary of the County Court Judge of Warren County as authorized by law, and may provide adequate office space and reasonable office expenses to the county prosecuting attorney. The salary authorized herein by this subparagraph (ii) for the county prosecuting attorney shall be the sole and complete salary paid by the county for the prosecuting attorney in Warren County, notwithstanding any other provisions of law to the contrary.
  3. In any case where a salary, expense allowance or other sum is authorized or paid by the board of supervisors pursuant to this section, that salary, expense allowance or other sum shall not be reduced or terminated during the term for which the county attorney was elected.
  4. Notwithstanding any provision of this section to the contrary, no county prosecuting attorney shall receive for his services an annual salary less than the salary paid to a justice court judge in his respective county.

HISTORY: Codes, Hemingway’s 1917, § 699; 1930, § 6502; 1942, § 4164; Laws, 1916, ch. 238; Laws, 1926, ch. 154; Laws, 1928, ch. 203; Laws, 1932, ch. 193; Laws, 1948, ch. 262; Laws, 1956, ch. 190; Laws, 1966, ch. 442, § 1; Laws, 1968, ch. 364, § 1; Laws, 1973, ch. 490, § 1; Laws, 1974, ch. 550, § 1; Laws, 1977, ch. 467; Laws, 1980, ch. 513; Laws, 1981, ch. 490, § 1; Laws, 1985, ch. 506; Laws, 1990, ch. 587, § 1; Laws, 1992, ch. 554, § 1; Laws, 1993, ch. 550, § 5; Laws, 1997, ch. 570, § 3; Laws, 1999, ch. 564, § 1; Laws, 2003, ch. 547, § 1; Laws, 2004, ch. 505, § 13; Laws, 2007, ch. 557, § 4; Laws, 2008, ch. 396, § 1, eff August 11, 2008 (the date the United States Attorney General interposed no objection under Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act of 1965, to the amendment of this section).

Joint Legislative Committee Note —

Pursuant to Section 1-1-109, the Joint Legislative Committee on Compilation, Revision and Publication of Legislation corrected a typographical error in subdivision (2)(aa). The word “the” was inserted before “county” so that the phrase “the salary of county prosecuting attorney” will read as “the salary of the county prosecuting attorney.” The Joint Committee ratified the correction at its June 3, 2003, meeting.

Pursuant to Section 1-1-109, the Joint Legislative Committee on Compilation, Revision and Publication of Legislation corrected an error in the text of paragraph (y) of subsection (2) by substituting “prior to April 12, 1985” for “prior to the effective date of Chapter 506, Laws of 1985 [effective April 12, 1985].” The Joint Committee ratified the correction at its July 22, 2010, meeting.

Editor's Notes —

On August 19, 2004, the United States Attorney General interposed no objection under Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 to the amendment of this section by Laws of 2004, ch. 505, § 13.

On August 11, 2008, the United States Attorney General interposed no objection under Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 to the amendment of this section by Laws of 2008, ch. 396, § 1.

Amendment Notes —

The 2004 amendment substituted “subsections (2), (3) and (4)” for “subsections (2) and (3)” in (1); deleted “paid” following “shall be” in the first paragraph of (2)(f); inserted “in” following “provided for” in (2)(t)(ii); added (4); and made a minor stylistic change.

The 2007 amendment in (t), rewrote (i) and added (iii).

The 2008 amendment, effective from and after August 11, 2008, substituted “paragraph (dd)(ii)” for “subparagraph (dd)(ii)” in the last sentence of (2)(dd)(ii); added (2)(uu); and made a minor stylistic change.

Cross References —

Additional salary for county prosecuting attorney employed as attorney for board of supervisors, see §19-23-15.

Additional compensation to county prosecuting attorney for secretarial services, see §19-23-19.

Classification of counties, see §25-3-1.

OPINIONS OF THE ATTORNEY GENERAL

County prosecuting attorney may represent county in civil forfeiture proceedings; compensation to be paid to county attorney for such services would have to be included in county attorney's salary. Swayze Sept. 7, 1993, A.G. Op. #93-0533.

The term “total assessed valuation” in §§25-3-3 and25-3-9 includes the assessed valuation of any properties for which a fee in lieu of taxes has been negotiated pursuant to §27-31-104. Bailey, March 26, 1999, A.G. Op. #99-0134.

The salary established for a county attorney by this section comprises the “earned compensation” addressed in §25-11-103(k). Compton, Mar. 31, 2003, A.G. Op. #03-0024.

Provided it is the duty of the county prosecuting attorney to appear and prosecute the particular case at issue, the $3.00 item of cost may be taxed against a defendant where he enters a plea on a criminal charge and is convicted thereof, on or before the initial hearing/docket call court date, and also where the case is initially docketed for trial and then the defendant later enters a plea of guilty on or before that trial date. Johnson, Sept. 22, 2006, A.G. Op. 06-0432.

RESEARCH REFERENCES

CJS.

20 C.J.S., Counties § 179.

§ 25-3-11. Travel and expenses of county attorneys.

In Class 1 counties having two judicial districts and having an area in excess of nine hundred (900) square miles according to the Mississippi Official and Statistical Register issued by the Secretary of State of the State of Mississippi for the year 1952, the board of supervisors is hereby empowered, in its discretion, to provide for and pay the county attorney a sum not to exceed One Hundred Dollars ($100.00) per month as a mileage and automobile expense account, said monies to be paid from the general county fund of such county.

HISTORY: Codes, 1942, § 4164.5; Laws, 1956, ch. 191.

Cross References —

Uniform system of officers’ expense accounts, see §25-1-81.

Classification of counties, see §25-3-1.

Provision that officers’ salaries shall be full compensation, see §25-3-37.

RESEARCH REFERENCES

CJS.

20 C.J.S., Counties § 211.

67 C.J.S., Officers §§ 199, 200.

§ 25-3-13. Salaries of supervisors.

[Effective from and after January 1, 2020, this section will read as follows:]

  1. The salaries of the members of the boards of supervisors of the various counties are fixed as full compensation for their services.

    The annual salary of each member of the board of supervisors shall be based upon the total assessed valuation of his respective county for the preceding taxable year in the following categories and for the following amounts:

    1. For counties having a total assessed valuation of less than Thirty Million Dollars ($30,000,000.00), a salary of Twenty-nine Thousand Eight Hundred Seventy Dollars ($29,870.00);
    2. For counties having a total assessed valuation of at least Thirty Million Dollars ($30,000,000.00), but less than Fifty Million Dollars ($50,000,000.00), a salary of Thirty-three Thousand Two Hundred Sixty-nine Dollars ($33,269.00);
    3. For counties having a total assessed valuation of at least Fifty Million Dollars ($50,000,000.00), but less than Seventy-five Million Dollars ($75,000,000.00), a salary of Thirty-four Thousand Seven Hundred Eleven Dollars ($34,711.00);
    4. For counties having a total assessed valuation of at least Seventy-five Million Dollars ($75,000,000.00), but less than One Hundred Twenty-five Million Dollars ($125,000,000.00), a salary of Thirty-five Thousand Seven Hundred Forty-one Dollars ($35,741.00);
    5. For counties having a total assessed valuation of at least One Hundred Twenty-five Million Dollars ($125,000,000.00), but less than Three Hundred Million Dollars ($300,000,000.00), a salary of Forty-one Thousand Six Hundred Twelve Dollars ($41,612.00);
    6. For counties having a total assessed valuation of at least Three Hundred Million Dollars ($300,000,000.00), but less than One Billion Dollars ($1,000,000,000.00), a salary of Forty-six Thousand Forty-one Dollars ($46,041.00);
    7. For counties having a total assessed valuation of One Billion Dollars ($1,000,000,000.00), but less than Two Billion Dollars ($2,000,000,000.00), a salary of Forty-seven Thousand Seventy-one Dollars ($47,071.00);
    8. For counties having a total assessed valuation of Two Billion Dollars ($2,000,000,000.00) or more, a salary of Forty-eight Thousand One Hundred One Dollars ($48,101.00).
  2. The annual salary established for the members of the board of supervisors shall not be reduced as a result of a reduction in total assessed valuation.
  3. The salary of the members of the board of supervisors shall not be increased under this section until the board of supervisors shall have passed a resolution stating the amount of the increase and spread it on its minutes.

HISTORY: Codes, 1942, §§ 4166-01, 4166-02; Laws, 1970, ch. 318, §§ 1, 2; Laws, 1972, ch. 371, § 1; Laws, 1974, ch. 543, § 1; Laws, 1977, ch. 457; Laws, 1980, ch. 477; Laws, 1985, ch. 402; Laws, 1988 Ex Sess, ch. 31, § 1; Laws, 1993, ch. 550, § 6; Laws, 1997, ch. 570, § 4; Laws, 2004, ch. 505, § 2; Laws, 2006, ch. 435, Laws, 2006, ch. 435, § 1, eff June 28, 2006 (the date the United States Attorney General interposed no objection under Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act of 1965, to the amendment of this section); Laws, 2019, ch. 485, § 4, eff from and after January 1, 2020.

Editor’s Notes —

Laws of 1997, ch. 570, § 14, provides as follows:

“SECTION 14. This act shall take effect and be in force from and after the date it is effectuated under Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act of 1965, as amended and extended, or October 1, 1997, whichever occurs later.”

The United States Attorney General, by letter dated September 5, 1997, interposed no objection, under Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act of 1965, to the amendment of this section by Laws of 1997, ch. 570, § 4.

On August 19, 2004, the United States Attorney General interposed no objection under Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 to the amendment of this section by Laws of 2004, ch. 505, § 2.

On June 28, 2006, the United States Attorney General interposed no objection under Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 to the amendment of this section by Laws of 2006 ch. 435, § 1.

Laws of 2019, ch. 485, § 14, provides as follows:

“SECTION 14. This act will take effect and be in force from and after January 1, 2020, except for Section 11, which shall take effect and be in force from and after July 1, 2019, and Sections 12 and 13, which shall take effect and be in force from and after the passage of this act [approved April 18, 2019].

Amendment Notes —

The 2004 amendment changed the assessed valuations and salary amounts throughout the section.

The 2006 amendment inserted (2); and designated the formerly undesignated first and second paragraphs as (1) and (3), respectively.

The 2019 amendment, effective January 1, 2020, in (1), made the following substitutions: “Twenty-nine Thousand Eight Hundred Seventy Dollars ($29,870.00)” for “Twenty-nine Thousand Dollars ($29,000.00)” in (a), “Thirty-three Thousand Two Hundred Sixty-nine Dollars ($33,269.00)” for “Thirty-two Thousand Three Hundred Dollars ($32,300.00)” in (b), “Thirty-four Thousand Seven Hundred Eleven Dollars ($34,711.00)” for “Thirty-three Thousand Seven Hundred Dollars ($33,700.00)” in (c), “Thirty-five Thousand Seven Hundred Forty-one Dollars ($35,741.00)” for “Thirty-four Thousand Seven Hundred Dollars ($34,700.00)” in (d), “Forty-one Thousand Six Hundred Twelve Dollars ($41,612.00)” for “Forty Thousand Four Hundred Dollars ($40,400.00)” in (e), “Forty-six Thousand Forty-one Dollars ($46,041.00)” for “Forty-four Thousand Seven Hundred Dollars ($44,700.00)” in (f), “Forty-seven Thousand Seventy-one Dollars ($47,071.00)” for “Forty-five Thousand Seven Hundred Dollars ($45,700.00)” in (g), and “Forty-eight Thousand One Hundred One Dollars ($48,101.00)” for “Forty-six Thousand Seven Hundred Dollars ($46,700.00)” in (h).

Cross References —

Provision that officers’ salaries shall be full compensation, see §25-3-37.

OPINIONS OF THE ATTORNEY GENERAL

If county supervisors are entitled to increase in salary as result of increase in assessed valuation of oil and gas in county which has been reported by tax commission, supervisors may pass a resolution increasing their salaries and may collect amount of increase in salary beginning in January of calendar year following that in which total assessed valuation is determined. Ruffin, Oct. 12, 1992, A.G. Op. #92-0781.

“Total assessed valuation” refers to total assessed value of county as shown on land rolls, personal property rolls, including assessment of automobiles, and assessed value of all properties in county which are assessed by state tax commission and certified to counties in addition to foregoing; “ad valorem assessment” refers to assessment of property which would be subject to taxation. Davis, Oct. 21, 1992, A.G. Op. #92-0761.

Due to the language in this section which establishes supervisor salaries at “fixed” amounts, the Legislature must clarify the language in the section in order for salaries to be increased in phases over a period of years. Chaney, June 11, 2004, A.G. Op. 04-0237.

Once the board of supervisors passes a resolution putting salaries established under Section 25-3-13 into effect, said salaries are thereafter “fixed” pursuant to statute. Roberts, Nov. 23, 2005, A.G. Op. 05-0555.

RESEARCH REFERENCES

CJS.

20 C.J.S., Counties § 113.

§ 25-3-15. Additions to assessed valuation for fixing supervisors’ salaries in certain counties.

It is hereby further provided that, in any county of the state having producing oil or gas wells, the total valuation of such oil or gas produced, as reported by the State Tax Commission for the last preceding calendar year, may be combined with the total assessed valuation of said county in computing its category for the purpose of fixing the salary of the members of the board of supervisors of said county; provided that in any county wherein twenty-five percent (25%) or more of the real property of the county is owned by an agency of the federal government, and consequently exempt from ad valorem taxes, the salary of the members of the board of supervisors in each such county shall be that established by the next highest rate from that determined by the total assessed value of the property of the county.

HISTORY: Codes, 1942, § 4166-03; Laws, 1970, ch. 318, § 3; Laws, 1997, ch. 570, § 12, eff October 1, 1997.

Editor’s Notes —

Laws of 1997, ch. 570, § 14, provides as follows:

“SECTION 14. This act shall take effect and be in force from and after the date it is effectuated under Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act of 1965, as amended and extended, or October 1, 1997, whichever occurs later.”

The United States Attorney General, by letter dated September 5, 1997, interposed no objection, under Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act of 1965, to the amendment of this section by Laws of 1997, ch. 570, § 12.

Section 27-3-4 provides that the terms “‘Mississippi State Tax Commission,’ ‘State Tax Commission,’ ‘Tax Commission’ and ‘commission’ appearing in the laws of this state in connection with the performance of the duties and functions by the Mississippi State Tax Commission, the State Tax Commission or Tax Commission shall mean the Department of Revenue.”

Cross References —

Provision that officers’ salaries shall be full compensation, see §25-3-37.

RESEARCH REFERENCES

CJS.

20 C.J.S., Counties §§ 8, 113.

§ 25-3-17. Payment of supervisors’ salaries.

The salaries provided in Sections 25-3-13 and 25-3-15 shall be payable monthly on the first day of each calendar month during the calendar year following that in which the total assessed valuation is determined; however, the board of supervisors, by resolution duly adopted and entered on its minutes, may provide that such salaries shall be paid semimonthly on the first and fifteenth day of each month. If a pay date falls on a weekend or legal holiday, salary payments shall be made on the workday immediately preceding the weekend or legal holiday. The chancery clerk shall draw his warrant on the general fund of the county, the county road and bridge fund, or any fund of the county available for such purposes.

HISTORY: Codes, 1942, § 4166-04; Laws, 1970, ch. 318, § 4; Laws, 1997, ch. 572, § 2, eff from and after passage (approved April 23, 1997).

Cross References —

Uniform system of officers’ expense accounts, see §25-1-81.

Provision that officers’ salaries shall be full compensation, see §25-3-37.

RESEARCH REFERENCES

CJS.

20 C.J.S., Counties §§ 113, 176, 180, 181.

§ 25-3-19. Salaries of county auditors.

The chancery clerks, as county auditors, shall receive compensation for their services as such the annual amount of Five Thousand Three Hundred Dollars ($5,300.00), payable in equal monthly installments out of the county treasury; however, the board of supervisors, by resolution duly adopted and entered on its minutes, may provide that such salaries shall be paid semimonthly on the first and fifteenth day of each month. If a pay date falls on a weekend or legal holiday, salary payments shall be made on the workday immediately preceding the weekend or legal holiday.

HISTORY: Codes, 1930, § 6505; 1942, § 4167; Laws, 1928, ch. 87; Laws, 1932, ch. 193; Laws, 1938, Ex ch. 25; Laws, 1940, ch. 255; Laws, 1948, ch. 267; Laws, 1950, ch. 258; Laws, 1952, ch. 218; Laws, 1958, ch. 343; Laws, 1966, ch. 300, §§ 1, 2; Laws, 1981, ch. 497, § 2; Laws, 1996, ch. 535, § 1; Laws, 1997, ch. 572, § 3, eff from and after passage (approved April 23, 1997).

Cross References —

Clerk of board of supervisors acting as county auditor, see §19-17-1.

Fees charged by chancery clerks, see §25-7-9.

JUDICIAL DECISIONS

1. In general.

County, which was in the fourth class in 1930 and had an assessed valuation of a third class county in 1942, was authorized to allow its auditor a salary of $2,300 for the year 1942 pursuant to this section, providing for change in classification of county for the purpose of determining salaries based upon change in assessed valuation. Barnett v. Woods, 196 Miss. 678, 18 So. 2d 443, 1944 Miss. LEXIS 249 (Miss. 1944).

Assuming that board of supervisors of county which was one of the fourth class in 1930 and had an assessed valuation of a county of the third class in 1942, made unauthorized and excessive allowance as to county auditor’s salary for the year 1942 in basing it on classification as a third class county, neither members of the board, nor their bondsmen, could be held personally liable for the reason that the allowance was to an object authorized by law. Barnett v. Woods, 196 Miss. 678, 18 So. 2d 443, 1944 Miss. LEXIS 249 (Miss. 1944).

§ 25-3-21. Allowance for copying assessment rolls.

The board of supervisors may allow to its clerks reasonable compensation, to be paid out of the county treasury, for making copies of assessment rolls required by law, not to exceed One and One-half Cents (1-1/2¢) for each personal assessment or Three Cents (3¢) for each separate assessment of lands per copy; but the board of supervisors may allow as much as One Hundred Fifty Dollars ($150.00) in any case for copying the personal roll, and each copy thereof shall be considered a roll.

HISTORY: Codes, 1930, § 6506; 1942, § 4169; Laws, 1924, ch. 206; Laws, 1928, ch. 87; Laws, 1932, ch. 193.

Cross References —

Duties of clerk of board of supervisors as to land assessment and homestead exemption rolls, see §27-33-35.

Duties of clerk of board of supervisors as to completion and submission of assessment rolls, see §27-35-123.

RESEARCH REFERENCES

CJS.

67 C.J.S., Officers §§ 381–385.

§ 25-3-23. Deputy chancery clerk in certain counties.

The board of supervisors of any county having two (2) judicial districts and having an assessed valuation of less than Five Million Dollars ($5,000,000.00) for the year 1945, and having a population of less than twenty thousand (20,000) based on the federal census of 1940, may, in their discretion, pay a salary not to exceed Twelve Hundred Dollars ($1200.00) per annum to a regular appointed deputy chancery clerk, who shall reside in and serve in the judicial district of the county other than the judicial district of the county in which the chancery clerk resides, provided the chancery clerk’s office in both districts be kept open for official business during the hours required by law.

In counties having two (2) judicial districts, a regular appointed deputy chancery clerk in each judicial district, a total assessed valuation in excess of Fifteen Million Dollars ($15,000,000.00) for the year 1973 and in which Mississippi Highways 8 and 15 intersect, the chancery clerk or deputy clerks designated by him, may be allowed, payable monthly out of the county treasury such sum as the board of supervisors may allow, payable out of the general county fund; provided, the chancery clerk’s office in both judicial districts be kept open for official business during the hours required by law. Provided, further, such amounts as may be allowed by the board of supervisors shall be in addition to all other compensation provided by law.

In counties having two (2) judicial districts, a regular appointed deputy chancery court clerk, a total assessed valuation in excess of Ninety Million Dollars ($90,000,000.00), a total population of more than one hundred nineteen thousand (119,000) according to the federal census for the year 1960, and two (2) cities located within such county, each of which had a population of more than thirty thousand (30,000) according to the federal census for the year 1960, the chancery clerk may be allowed, payable monthly out of the county treasury, such sum as the board of supervisors may allow, but not less than Four Hundred Dollars ($400.00) monthly, payable out of the general county fund of such county; and such amounts shall be in addition to all other allowances now provided by law.

In counties having two (2) judicial districts, a regular appointed deputy chancery court clerk, a total population of more than forty-nine thousand (49,000) but less than fifty thousand (50,000) according to the federal census of 1970, the board of supervisors may, in its discretion, pay a salary not to exceed Two Thousand Four Hundred Dollars ($2,400.00) per annum to a regular appointed deputy chancery clerk who shall reside in and serve in the judicial district of the county other than the judicial district of the county in which the chancery clerk resides, provided the chancery clerk’s office in both districts be kept open for official business during the hours required by law.

The board of supervisors of any Class 4 county, having two (2) judicial districts, traversed by U.S. Highway 51, wherein Mississippi Highways 7 and 32 intersect, may, in its discretion, pay a salary not to exceed Three Hundred Fifty Dollars ($350.00) monthly to a regular appointed deputy chancery clerk who shall reside and serve in the judicial district of the county other than the judicial district in which the chancery clerk resides, provided the chancery clerk’s office in both districts be kept open for official business during the hours required by law.

HISTORY: Codes, 1942, § 4173-01; Laws, 1946, ch. 286; Laws, 1958, ch. 225; Laws, 1968, ch. 367, § 1; Laws, 1972, ch. 418, § 1; Laws, 1974, ch. 422, eff from and after passage (approved March 25, 1974).

RESEARCH REFERENCES

CJS.

20 C.J.S., Counties §§ 183, 184.

§ 25-3-25. Salaries of sheriffs.

  1. Except as otherwise provided in subsections (2) through (9), the salaries of sheriffs of the various counties are fixed as full compensation for their services.

    The annual salary for each sheriff shall be based upon the total population of his county according to the latest federal decennial census in the following categories and for the following amounts; however, no sheriff shall be paid less than the salary authorized under this section to be paid the sheriff based upon the population of the county according to the most recent federal decennial census:

    1. For counties with a total population of more than one hundred thousand (100,000), a salary of Ninety-nine Thousand Dollars ($99,000.00).
    2. For counties with a total population of more than forty-five thousand (45,000) and not more than one hundred thousand (100,000), a salary of Ninety Thousand Dollars ($90,000.00).
    3. For counties with a total population of more than thirty-four thousand (34,000) and not more than forty-five thousand (45,000), a salary of Eighty-five Thousand Dollars ($85,000.00).
    4. For counties with a total population of more than fifteen thousand (15,000) and not more than thirty-four thousand (34,000), a salary of Eighty Thousand Dollars ($80,000.00).
    5. For counties with a total population of not more than fifteen thousand (15,000), a salary of Seventy-five Thousand Dollars ($75,000.00).
  2. In addition to the salary provided for in subsection (1) of this section, the Board of Supervisors of Leflore County, in its discretion, may pay an annual supplement to the sheriff of the county in an amount not to exceed Ten Thousand Dollars ($10,000.00). The Legislature finds and declares that the annual supplement authorized by this subsection is justified in such county for the following reasons:
    1. The Mississippi Department of Corrections operates and maintains a restitution center within the county;
    2. The Mississippi Department of Corrections operates and maintains a community work center within the county;
    3. There is a resident circuit court judge in the county whose office is located at the Leflore County Courthouse;
    4. There is a resident chancery court judge in the county whose office is located at the Leflore County Courthouse;
    5. The Magistrate for the Fourth Circuit Court District is located in the county and maintains his office at the Leflore County Courthouse;
    6. The Region VI Mental Health-Mental Retardation Center, which serves a multicounty area, calls upon the sheriff to provide security for out-of-town mental patients, as well as patients from within the county;
    7. The increased activity of the Child Support Division of the Department of Human Services in enforcing in the courts parental obligations has imposed additional duties on the sheriff; and
    8. The dispatchers of the enhanced E-911 system in place in Leflore County have been placed under the direction and control of the sheriff.
  3. In addition to the salary provided for in subsection (1) of this section, the Board of Supervisors of Rankin County, in its discretion, may pay an annual supplement to the sheriff of the county in an amount not to exceed Ten Thousand Dollars ($10,000.00). The Legislature finds and declares that the annual supplement authorized by this subsection is justified in such county for the following reasons:
    1. The Mississippi Department of Corrections operates and maintains the Central Mississippi Correctional Facility within the county;
    2. The State Hospital is operated and maintained within the county at Whitfield;
    3. Hudspeth Regional Center, a facility maintained for the care and treatment of persons with an intellectual disability, is located within the county;
    4. The Mississippi Law Enforcement Officers Training Academy is operated and maintained within the county;
    5. The State Fire Academy is operated and maintained within the county;
    6. The Pearl River Valley Water Supply District, ordinarily known as the “Reservoir District,” is located within the county;
    7. The Jackson International Airport is located within the county;
    8. The patrolling of the state properties located within the county has imposed additional duties on the sheriff; and
    9. The sheriff, in addition to providing security to the nearly one hundred thousand (100,000) residents of the county, has the duty to investigate, solve and assist in the prosecution of any misdemeanor or felony committed upon any state property located in Rankin County.
  4. In addition to the salary provided for in subsection (1) of this section, the Board of Supervisors of Neshoba County shall pay an annual supplement to the sheriff of the county an amount equal to Ten Thousand Dollars ($10,000.00).
  5. In addition to the salary provided for in subsection (1) of this section, the Board of Supervisors of Tunica County, in its discretion, may pay an annual supplement to the sheriff of the county an amount equal to Ten Thousand Dollars ($10,000.00), payable beginning April 1, 1997.
  6. In addition to the salary provided for in subsection (1) of this section, the Board of Supervisors of Hinds County shall pay an annual supplement to the sheriff of the county in an amount equal to Fifteen Thousand Dollars ($15,000.00). The Legislature finds and declares that the annual supplement authorized by this subsection is justified in such county for the following reasons:
    1. Hinds County has the greatest population of any county, two hundred fifty-four thousand four hundred forty-one (254,441) by the 1990 census, being almost one hundred thousand (100,000) more than the next most populous county;
    2. Hinds County is home to the State Capitol and the seat of all state government offices;
    3. Hinds County is the third largest county in geographic area, containing eight hundred seventy-five (875) square miles;
    4. Hinds County is comprised of two (2) judicial districts, each having a courthouse and county office buildings;
    5. There are four (4) resident circuit judges, four (4) resident chancery judges, and three (3) resident county judges in Hinds County, the most of any county, with the sheriff acting as chief executive officer and provider of bailiff services for all;
    6. The main offices for the clerk and most of the judges and magistrates for the United States District Court for the Southern District of Mississippi are located within the county;
    7. The state’s only urban university, Jackson State University, is located within the county;
    8. The University of Mississippi Medical Center, combining the medical school, dental school, nursing school and hospital, is located within the county;
    9. Mississippi Veterans Memorial Stadium, the state’s largest sports arena, is located within the county;
    10. The Mississippi State Fairgrounds, including the Coliseum and Trade Mart, are located within the county;
    11. Hinds County has the largest criminal population in the state, such that the Hinds County Sheriff’s Department operates the largest county jail system in the state, housing almost one thousand (1,000) inmates in three (3) separate detention facilities;
    12. The Hinds County Sheriff’s Department handles more mental and drug and alcohol commitment cases than any other sheriff’s department in the state;
    13. The Mississippi Department of Corrections maintains a restitution center within the county;
    14. The Mississippi Department of Corrections regularly houses as many as one hundred (100) state convicts within the Hinds County jail system; and
    15. The Hinds County Sheriff’s Department is regularly asked to provide security services not only at the Fairgrounds and Memorial Stadium, but also for events at the Mississippi Museum of Art and Jackson City Auditorium.
  7. In addition to the salary provided for in subsection (1) of this section, the Board of Supervisors of Wilkinson County, in its discretion, may pay an annual supplement to the sheriff of the county in an amount not to exceed Ten Thousand Dollars ($10,000.00). The Legislature finds and declares that the annual supplement authorized by this subsection is justified in such county because the Mississippi Department of Corrections contracts for the private incarceration of state inmates at a private correctional facility within the county.
  8. In addition to the salary provided for in subsection (1) of this section, the Board of Supervisors of Marshall County, in its discretion, may pay an annual supplement to the sheriff of the county in an amount not to exceed Ten Thousand Dollars ($10,000.00). The Legislature finds and declares that the annual supplement authorized by this subsection is justified in such county because the Mississippi Department of Corrections contracts for the private incarceration of state inmates at a private correctional facility within the county.
  9. In addition to the salary provided in subsection (1) of this section, the Board of Supervisors of Greene County, in its discretion, may pay an annual supplement to the sheriff of the county in an amount not to exceed Ten Thousand Dollars ($10,000.00). The Legislature finds and declares that the annual supplement authorized by this subsection is justified in such county for the following reasons:
    1. The Mississippi Department of Corrections operates and maintains the South Mississippi Correctional Facility within the county;
    2. In 1996, additional facilities to house another one thousand four hundred sixteen (1,416) male offenders were constructed at the South Mississippi Correctional Facility within the county; and
    3. The patrolling of the state properties located within the county has imposed additional duties on the sheriff justifying additional compensation.
  10. In addition to the salary provided in subsection (1) of this section, the board of supervisors of any county, in its discretion, may pay an annual supplement to the sheriff of the county in an amount not to exceed Ten Thousand Dollars ($10,000.00). The amount of the supplement shall be spread on the minutes of the board. The annual supplement authorized in this subsection shall not be in addition to the annual supplements authorized in subsections (2) through (9).
    1. The salaries provided in this section shall be payable monthly on the first day of each calendar month by chancery clerk’s warrant drawn on the general fund of the county; however, the board of supervisors, by resolution duly adopted and entered on its minutes, may provide that such salaries shall be paid semimonthly on the first and fifteenth day of each month. If a pay date falls on a weekend or legal holiday, salary payments shall be made on the workday immediately preceding the weekend or legal holiday.
    2. At least Ten Dollars ($10.00) from each fee collected and deposited into the county’s general fund under the provisions of paragraphs (a), (c) and (g) of subsection (1) of Section 25-7-19 shall be used for the sheriffs’ salaries authorized in Section 25-3-25; as such Ten Dollar ($10.00) amount was authorized during the 2007 Regular Session in Chapter 331, Laws of 2007 for the purpose of providing additional monies to the counties for sheriffs’ salaries.
    1. All sheriffs, each year, shall attend twenty (20) hours of continuing education courses in law enforcement. Such courses shall be approved by the Mississippi Board on Law Enforcement Officers Standards and Training. Such education courses may be provided by an accredited law enforcement academy or by the Mississippi Sheriffs’ Association.
    2. The Mississippi Board on Law Enforcement Officer Standards and Training shall reimburse each county for the expenses incurred by sheriffs and deputy sheriffs for attendance at any approved training programs as required by this subsection.

HISTORY: Codes 1942, § 4234.5; Laws, 1968, ch 369, § 4; Laws, 1974, ch. 542, § 1; Laws, 1975, ch. 483; Laws, 1977, ch. 454; Laws, 1980, ch. 529; Laws, 1981, ch. 340, § 1; Laws, 1983, ch. 496; Laws, 1985, ch. 421; Laws, 1988, ch. 498, § 1; Laws, 1992, ch. 478, § 1; Laws, 1993, ch. 431, § 1; Laws, 1997, ch. 570, § 5; Laws, 1998, ch. 459, § 2; Laws, 2004, ch. 505, § 3; Laws, 2010, ch. 476, § 6; Laws, 2014, ch. 323, § 2, eff from and after July 1, 2014.

Joint Legislative Committee Note —

Pursuant to Section 1-1-109, the Joint Legislative Committee on Compilation, Revision and Publication of Legislation corrected a typographical error in subsection (5). The words “the Board of Supervisors of Tunica County may, in their discretion” were changed to “the Board of Supervisors of Tunica County may, in its discretion.” The Joint Committee ratified the correction at its April 26, 2001 meeting.

Pursuant to Section 1-1-109, the Joint Legislative Committee on Compilation, Revision and Publication of Legislation corrected an error in a statutory reference. “ Section 25-7-19” was substituted for “this section” in (11)(b). The Joint Committee ratified the correction at its July 24, 2014, meeting.

Editor's Notes —

On June 12, 1998, the United States Attorney General interposed no objection under Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act of 1965, as amended and extended, to the amendment of this section by Laws of 1998, ch. 459, § 2.

On August 19, 2004, the United States Attorney General interposed no objection under Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act of 1965, to the amendment of this section by Laws of 2004, ch. 505, § 3.

At the direction of the co-counsel for the Joint Legislative Committee on Compilation, Revision and Publication of Legislation, errors in the text of this section have been corrected as follows: in (2)(h), “The dispatchers...have been placed…” was substituted for “The dispatchers…has been placed…,” and in (6)( l ), “…drug and alcohol commitment cases…” was substituted for “…drug and alcohol commitments cases…”

Amendment Notes —

The 2004 amendment changed the dollar amounts throughout the section; deleted “hereby” following “counties are” in (1); deleted “more than seven thousand five hundred (7,500) and” following “population of” in (1)(h); deleted (1)(i); inserted (10), and redesignated the remaining subsection accordingly; substituted “salaries provided in this section” for “salaries herein provided” in (11); and made minor stylistic changes.

The 2010 amendment substituted “persons with an intellectual disability” for “the mentally retarded” in (3)(c).

The 2014 amendment, in (1), deleted “From and after October 1, 1998,” from the beginning of the second paragraph and substituted “most recent” for “1980”; deleted (1)(a) for counties with populations over 200,000, (1)(c) for counties between 45,000 and 100,000, and (1)(g) for counties between 9,500 and 15,000, and redesignated remaining subsections accordingly; in present (1)(a), deleted “and not more than two hundred thousand (200,000)” following “one hundred thousand (100,000)” and substituted “Ninety-nine Thousand Dollars ($99,000.00)” for “Eighty-four Thousand Dollars ($84,000.00)”; in (1)(b), substituted “Ninety Thousand Dollars ($90,000.00)” for “Seventy-eight Thousand Dollars ($78,000.00)”; in (1)(c), substituted “Eighty-five Thousand Dollars ($85,000.00)” for “Seventy-two Thousand Dollars ($72,000.00)”; in (1)(d), substituted “thirty-four thousand (34,000)” for “twenty-five thousand (25,000)” and “Eighty Thousand Dollars ($80,000.00)” for “Sixty Thousand Dollars ($60,000.00)”; in (1)(e), substituted “fifteen thousand (15,000)” for “nine thousand five hundred (9,500)” and “Seventy-five Thousand Dollars ($75,000.00)” for “Fifty-five Thousand Dollars ($55,000.00)”; and added (11)(b) and (12).

OPINIONS OF THE ATTORNEY GENERAL

General salary is full compensation allowable to sheriff; he may not be allowed clothing allowance permitted plainclothes investigators under local and private law. Younger, Oct. 28, 1992, A.G. Op. #92-0825.

Pay raises for county prosecuting attorneys, sheriffs and justice court justices may be made retroactively effective to April 1, 1997, once Laws, 1997, Chapter 570 becomes effectuated under Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act. Dulaney, July 25, 1997, A.G. Op. #97-0403.

Salaries of sheriffs must be based on official census figures. Bryan, Aug. 8, 2005, A.G. Op. 05-0391.

RESEARCH REFERENCES

Am. Jur.

70 Am. Jur. 2d, Sheriffs, Police, and Constables §§ 40, 41.

CJS.

80 C.J.S., Sheriffs and Constables §§ 309 et seq.

§ 25-3-27. Salaries of deputy sheriffs in counties having two judicial districts.

The board of supervisors of any county having two judicial districts may, in the discretion of said board, pay a salary of not less than One Thousand Five Hundred Dollars ($1,500.00) nor more than Two Thousand Five Hundred Dollars ($2,500.00) to a regularly appointed deputy sheriff, who shall reside in and serve in the judicial district of the county other than the judicial district in which the sheriff of the county resides, provided the sheriff’s office in both districts shall be kept open for official business during the hours required by law.

The board of supervisors of any county having two judicial districts with an assessed valuation of less than Four Million Dollars ($4,000,000.00) shall pay a salary of not less than One Thousand Dollars ($1,000.00) nor more than Fifteen Hundred Dollars ($1500.00) per annum to a regularly appointed deputy sheriff, who shall reside in and serve in the judicial district of the county other than the judicial district of the county in which the sheriff resides, provided the sheriff’s office in both districts be kept open for official business during the hours required by law.

The board of supervisors of any county having two judicial districts, having a population of less than fifteen thousand (15,000) according to the last federal census, and situated partly inside and partly outside the Yazoo-Mississippi Valley Delta may pay a salary of not less than Two Thousand Four Hundred Dollars ($2,400.00) nor more than Five Thousand Four Hundred Dollars ($5,400.00) per annum to a regularly appointed deputy sheriff, who shall reside in and serve in the judicial district of the county other than the judicial district of the county in which the sheriff resides, provided the sheriff’s office in both districts be kept open for official business during the hours required by law.

The board of supervisors of any county having an assessed valuation of not exceeding Six Million Two Hundred Fifty Thousand Dollars ($6,250,000.00) and having situated within its boundaries two federal flood control reservoirs, or parts of said reservoirs, shall pay a salary of Fifteen Hundred Dollars ($1500.00) per annum to a regularly appointed deputy sheriff, who shall reside in and serve in the judicial district of the county other than the judicial district of the county in which the sheriff resides, provided the sheriff’s office in both districts be kept open for official business during the hours required by law.

HISTORY: Codes, 1930, § 6509; 1942, § 4172; Laws, 1928, Ex ch. 82; Laws, 1932, ch. 193; Laws, 1936, ch. 268; Laws, 1938, ch. 308; Laws, 1954, ch. 196; Laws, 1956, ch. 192; Laws, 1962, ch. 387; Laws, 1968, ch. 366, § 1; Laws, 1971, ch. 417, § 1, eff from and after passage (approved March 23, 1971).

Cross References —

Appointment and qualification of deputy sheriffs, see §§19-25-19,19-25-21.

Requirement that sheriff maintain adequate number of deputies, see §19-25-23.

RESEARCH REFERENCES

Am. Jur.

70 Am. Jur. 2d, Sheriffs, Police, and Constables §§ 40, 41.

CJS.

80 C.J.S., Sheriffs and Constables § 502, 505, 509, 510..

§ 25-3-29. Method of paying salaries.

Except as otherwise therein provided, the salaries mentioned in the foregoing sections shall be paid monthly out of the general county fund, and the said salaries and allowances shall be included in the budget of each county; however, the board of supervisors, by resolution duly adopted and entered on its minutes, may provide that such salaries shall be paid semimonthly on the first and fifteenth day of each month. If a pay date falls on a weekend or legal holiday, salary payments shall be made on the workday immediately preceding the weekend or legal holiday.

HISTORY: Codes, 1930, § 6510; 1942, § 4174; Laws, 1924, ch. 208; Laws, 1926, ch. 296; Laws, 1997, ch. 572, § 1, eff from and after passage (approved April 23, 1997).

Cross References —

Disposition by board of supervisors of claims against county, see §19-13-31.

RESEARCH REFERENCES

Am. Jur.

63A Am. Jur. 2d, Public Officers and Employees §§ 448 et seq.

CJS.

67 C.J.S., Officers §§ 414–418.

§ 25-3-31. Salaries of elective state and district officers.

The annual salaries of the following elected state and district officers are fixed as follows:

Governor $122,160.00 Attorney General 108,960.00 Secretary of State 90,000.00 Commissioner of Insurance 90,000.00 State Treasurer 90,000.00 State Auditor of Public Accounts 90,000.00 Commissioner of Agriculture and Commerce 90,000.00 Transportation Commissioners 78,000.00 Public Service Commissioners 78,000.00

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If the person serving as Governor on December 31, 2003, is reelected to the Office of Governor for the term beginning in the year 2004, he may choose not to receive the salary increase authorized by this section, but to receive, instead, an annual salary of One Hundred One Thousand Eight Hundred Dollars ($101,800.00) during his new term of office by filing a written request with the Department of Finance and Administration.

HISTORY: Codes, 1930, § 6511; 1942, § 4175; Laws, 1922, ch. 159; Laws, 1932, ch. 132; Laws, 1938, chs. 152, 153, 154, 156; Laws, 1942, chs. 275, 321; Laws, 1944, chs. 265, 317-319; Laws, 1946, chs. 275, 278, 293, 458; Laws, 1948, chs. 188, 201, 221, 223; Laws, 1950, chs. 199, 343, 443, 466; Laws, 1952, chs. 178, 229, 245, 315, 325, 335; Laws, 1954, chs. 212, 253; Laws, 1954, Ex ch. 16, §§ 1-4; Laws, 1956, ch. 358, § 2; Laws, 1958 chs. 325, 328, 334, 337, 338, 344, 345, 354; Laws, 1960, chs. 324, 332, 333, 334, 335, 336; Laws, 1962, ch. 388, § 2; Laws, 1966, ch. 445, § 1, 1970, ch. 402, § 1; Laws, 1974, ch. 545, § 1; Laws, 1977, ch. 453, § 6; Laws, 1978, ch. 520, § 1; Laws, 1983, ch. 536, § 1; Laws, 1988, ch. 528, § 2; Laws, 1993, ch. 481, § 4; Laws, 1997, ch. 577, § 1; Laws, 2003, ch. 563, § 1; Laws, 2006, ch. 548, § 1; Laws, 2008, ch. 359, § 11, eff from and after July 1, 2008.

Editor’s Notes —

Section 7-7-2 provides that the words “State Auditor of Public Accounts,” “State Auditor,” and “Auditor” appearing in the laws of this state in connection with the performance of Auditor’s functions shall mean the State Fiscal Officer.

Section 27-104-6 provides that whenever the term “State Fiscal Officer” appears in any law it shall mean “Executive Director of the Department of Finance and Administration.”

Laws of 2003, ch. 563, §§ 6, 7, provides as follows:

“SECTION 6. The Attorney General of the State of Mississippi shall submit Sections 1 and 2 of this act, immediately upon approval by the Governor, or upon approval by the Legislature subsequent to a veto, to the Attorney General of the United States or to the United States District Court for the District of Columbia in accordance with the provisions of the Voting Rights Act of 1965, as amended and extended.

“SECTION 7. Sections 1 and 2 of this act shall take effect and be in force from and after the date it is effectuated under Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act of 1965, as amended and extended, or January 1, 2004, whichever occurs later. Sections 3 through 5 of this act shall take effect and be in force from and after July 1, 2003.”

Amendment Notes —

The 2006 amendment extended the date of the repealer for this section from “January 1, 2007” until “July 1, 2008.”

The 2008 amendment deleted the former next-to-last paragraph, which read: “The above fixed salary of the Governor shall be the reference amount utilized in computing average compensation and earned compensation pursuant to Section 25-11-103(f) and Section 25-11-103(k) and to related sections which require such computations;” and deleted the former last paragraph, which contained a repealer for this section.

Cross References —

Compensation of assistant secretaries of state, see §7-3-71.

Authority of Legislature to fix compensation for deputy attorney general, see §7-5-3.

Authority of Attorney General to fix compensation of assistant attorneys general, see §7-5-5.

Establishment of General Accounting Office, see §7-7-3.

Compensation of deputy state treasurer, see §7-9-5.

Provision that no state officer or employee shall be compensated in excess of the salary fixed for the Governor, see §25-3-39.

Provision making Governor’s salary maximum figure for computation of various retirement benefits, see §25-11-103.

Provisions of this section not to affect the calculation of average or earned compensation of any member of the public employees’ retirement system, see §25-11-103.

Salary of legal assistant to district attorney, see §25-31-5.

Term of office and bond of state superintendent of public education, see §37-3-9.

Appointment and compensation of commissioner of insurance, deputy commissioner, and clerk and stenographer under commissioner, see §§83-1-3 et seq.

RESEARCH REFERENCES

Am. Jur.

63A Am. Jur. 2d, Public Officers and Employees §§ 429 et seq.

§ 25-3-32. Repealed.

Repealed by Laws, 1997, ch. 577, § 4, eff from and after July 1, 1997.

[Laws, 1978, ch. 520, § 2, eff from and after July 1, 1978]

Editor’s Notes —

Former section25-3-32 related to salaries of full-time district attorneys. See now, §25-3-35.

§ 25-3-33. Repealed.

Repealed by Laws, 2003, ch. 563, § 5, eff from and after July 1, 2003.

[Codes, 1942, § 4175.1; Laws, 1970, ch. 402, § 2; Laws, 1974, ch. 545, § 2; Laws, 1978, ch. 520, § 3; Laws, 1979, ch. 512, § 4; Laws, 1980, ch. 496, § 12, ch. 475, § 4; Laws, 1983, ch. 536, § 2; Laws, 1984, ch. 514; Laws, 1988, ch. 528, § 3; Laws, 1989, 1st Ex Sess, ch. 3, § 8; Laws, 1993, ch. 587, § 3; Laws, 1997, ch. 577, § 2; Laws, 1998, ch. 307, § 1; Laws, 1999, ch. 581, § 1; Laws, 2001, ch. 550, § 1, eff from and after July 1, 2001.]

Editor’s Notes —

Former §25-3-33 provided for the salary of appointed state and district officials.

Laws of 2005, 2nd Ex Sess, ch. 31, § 1, provides as follows:

“SECTION 1. There is hereby created a joint committee to study the reinstatement of the statutory salary cap, also known as the Omnibus Salary Section. The joint committee shall study the effect of the repeal of former Section 25-3-33, Mississippi Code of 1972, upon the increase in salary levels of the affected executive agency directors, deputy directors and the cost of salaries for other related state employees. The joint committee shall be composed of the following members: Chairmen of the Senate and House Appropriations Committees; Chairmen of the Senate and House Fees and Salaries Committees; three (3) members of the Senate appointed by the Lieutenant Governor; and three (3) members of the House appointed by the Speaker of the House of Representatives. The joint committee shall organize for business, select a chairman or co-chairman, and shall develop a report to be made to the 2006 Regular Session of the Legislature. At the conclusion of its work, the joint committee shall be dissolved.”

§ 25-3-34. Education benchmarks for appointive state and district officials.

  1. In addition to the salary provided in Section 25-3-33, any appointive state and district official and employee provided therein shall receive the award of an education benchmark as defined in State Personnel Board rules for the possession or attainment of any of the following:
    1. The Certified Public Manager designation;
    2. A job-related Ph.D (Doctor of Philosophy) degree which is not required as a minimum qualification of the position;
    3. A job related certification, licensure, or registration requiring the passage of an examination, which is not required as a minimum qualification of the position.
  2. No such official or employee may receive more than a total of three (3) eligible benchmarks, only one of which may be for a job related certification, licensure or registration.
  3. The State Personnel Board shall promulgate rules and regulations to carry out the provisions of this section.

HISTORY: Laws, 2000, ch. 478, § 1, eff from and after July 1, 2000.

Editor’s Notes —

Section 25-3-33 referred to in (1), was repealed by Laws of 2003, ch. 563, § 5 eff from and after July 1, 2003.

OPINIONS OF THE ATTORNEY GENERAL

The State Personnel Board may not approve an educational benchmark award for a subordinate employee that will result in the employee receiving a total salary in excess of the agency head’s salary as set in former Section 25-3-33, but not in excess of the salary paid to the agency head as a result of the additional benchmark award provided in Section 25-3-34. Stringer, Jr., Sept. 7, 2001, A.G. Op. #01-0552.

The positions listed in repealed Section 25-3-33, for which the salaries are now set by the State Personnel Board, continue to be covered by the regulations and restrictions on educational benchmarks contained in this section. Stringer, June 20, 2003, A.G. Op. 03-0293.

§ 25-3-35. Salaries of elected judiciary, district attorneys and legal assistants.

  1. The annual salaries of the following judges are fixed as follows:

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    There are imposed upon the Supreme Court justices the extra duties of taking all necessary action to promote judicial education in schools, intervention courts, electronic filing and case management systems as developed by the Administrative Office of Courts, or such other additional duties as may be assigned by the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court. For such extra services each justice, from and after January 1, 2013, shall receive a sum sufficient to aggregate, per annum, the salaries set forth in this subsection (1).

    The fixed salaries in this subsection (1) shall be paid from the State General Fund and from the Judicial System Operation Fund created under Section 9-21-45. No less than: One Hundred Fifteen Thousand Three Hundred Ninety Dollars ($115,390.00) of the Chief Justice’s salary in this subsection (1), One Hundred Thirteen Thousand One Hundred Ninety Dollars ($113,190.00) of the salary of a presiding justice in this subsection (1), and One Hundred Twelve Thousand Five Hundred Thirty Dollars ($112,530.00) of the salary of an associate justice in this subsection (1) shall be paid from general fund monies; in addition, the Legislature shall appropriate annually from the Judicial System Operation Fund a sum sufficient to increase the salary of the Chief Justice, a presiding justice and an associate justice to the levels set forth in this subsection (1).

    The fixed salaries as specified in this subsection (1) shall be the exclusive and total compensation which can be reported to the Public Employees’ Retirement System for retirement purposes; however, any judge in office on December 31, 2003, may continue to report his expense allowance as part of his compensation for retirement purposes.

  2. The annual salaries of the judges of the Court of Appeals of Mississippi are fixed as follows:

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    From and after January 1, 2013, each judge shall receive a sum sufficient to aggregate, per annum, the salaries set forth in this subsection (2).

    The fixed salaries in this subsection (2) shall be paid from the State General Fund and from the Judicial System Operation Fund created under Section 9-21-45. No less than One Hundred Eight Thousand One Hundred Thirty Dollars ($108,130.00) of the Chief Judge’s salary in this subsection (2) shall be paid from General Fund monies; in addition, the Legislature shall appropriate annually from the Judicial System Operation Fund a sum sufficient to increase the Chief Judge’s salary to the level set forth in this subsection (2). No less than One Hundred Five Thousand Fifty Dollars ($105,050.00) of the salary of an Associate Judge in this subsection (2) shall be paid from General Fund monies; in addition, the Legislature shall appropriate annually from the Judicial System Operation Fund a sum sufficient to increase the salary of an Associate Judge to the level set forth in this subsection (2).

    The fixed salaries as specified in this subsection (2) shall be the exclusive and total compensation which can be reported to the Public Employees’ Retirement System for retirement purposes; however, any judge in office on December 31, 2003, may continue to report his expense allowance as part of his compensation for retirement purposes.

  3. The annual salaries of the chancery and circuit court judges are fixed as follows:

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    In addition to their present official duties, the circuit and chancery judges shall take necessary action to promote judicial education in schools, intervention courts, electronic filing and case management systems as developed by the Administrative Office of Courts, or such other additional duties as may be assigned by the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court. For such extra services each judge, from and after January 1, 2013, shall receive a sum sufficient to aggregate, per annum, the salaries set forth in this subsection (3).

    The fixed salaries in this subsection (3) shall be paid from the State General Fund and from the Judicial System Operation Fund created under Section 9-21-45. No less than One Hundred Four Thousand One Hundred Seventy Dollars ($104,170.00) of the salary of a Chancery or Circuit Judge in this subsection (3) shall be paid from General Fund monies; in addition, the Legislature shall appropriate annually from the Judicial System Operation Fund a sum sufficient to increase the salary of a Chancery or Circuit Judge to the levels set forth in this subsection (3).

  4. From and after January 1, 2019, and every four (4) years thereafter, the annual salaries of the judges in subsections (1), (2) and (3) shall be fixed at the level of compensation recommended by the State Personnel Board according to the board’s most recent report on judicial salaries, as required under Section 25-9-115, to the extent that sufficient funds are available. The annual salaries fixed in accordance with this subsection (4) shall not become effective until the commencement of the next immediately succeeding term of office.
  5. The Supreme Court shall prepare a payroll for chancery judges and circuit judges and submit such payroll to the Department of Finance and Administration.
  6. The annual salary of the full-time district attorneys shall be:

    From and after January 1, 2013, through December 31, 2013:

    One Hundred Three Thousand Three Hundred Twenty-two Dollars ($103,322.00).

    From and after January 1, 2014, through December 31, 2014:

    One Hundred Ten Thousand Eight Hundred Forty-eight Dollars ($110,848.00).

    From and after January 1, 2015, through December 31, 2015:

    One Hundred Eighteen Thousand Three Hundred Seventy-four Dollars ($118,374.00).

    From and after January 1, 2016:

    One Hundred Twenty-five Thousand Nine Hundred Dollars ($125,900.00).

  7. The annual salary of the full-time legal assistants shall be not less than Fifteen Thousand Dollars ($15,000.00) nor more than eighty percent (80%) of the salary of the district attorney for legal assistants who have been licensed to practice law for five (5) years or less; eighty-five percent (85%) of the salary of the district attorney for legal assistants who have been licensed to practice law for at least five (5) years but less than fifteen (15) years; and ninety percent (90%) of the salary of the district attorney for legal assistants who have been licensed to practice law for at least fifteen (15) years or more.

From and after January 1, 2013, through December 31, 2013: Chief Justice of the Supreme Court $ 126,292.50 Presiding Justices of the Supreme Court, each 123,600.75 Associate Justices of the Supreme Court, each 122,460.00 From and after January 1, 2014, through December 31, 2014: Chief Justice of the Supreme Court $137,195.00 Presiding Justices of the Supreme Court, each 134,011.50 Associate Justices of the Supreme Court, each 132,390.00 From and after January 1, 2015, through December 31, 2015: Chief Justice of the Supreme Court $148,097.50 Presiding Justices of the Supreme Court, each 144,422.25 Associate Justices of the Supreme Court, each 142,320.00 From and after January 1, 2016: Chief Justice of the Supreme Court $159,000.00 Presiding Justices of the Supreme Court, each 154,833.00 Associate Justices of the Supreme Court, each 152,250.00

From and after January 1, 2013, through December 31, 2013: Chief Judge of the Court of Appeals $ 117,992.00 Associate Judges of the Court of Appeals, each 114,994.25 From and after January 1, 2014, through December 31, 2014: Chief Judge of the Court of Appeals $127,854.00 Associate Judges of the Court of Appeals, each 124,938.50 From and after January 1, 2015, through December 31, 2015: Chief Judge of the Court of Appeals $137,716.00 Associate Judges of the Court of Appeals, each. 134,882.75 From and after January 1, 2016: Chief Judge of the Court of Appeals $147,578.00 Associate Judges of the Court of Appeals, each 144,827.00

From and after January 1, 2013, through December 31, 2013: Chancery Judges, each $ 112,127.50 Circuit Judges, each 112,127.50 From and after January 1, 2014, through December 31, 2014: Chancery Judges, each $120,085.00 Circuit Judges, each 120,085.00 From and after January 1, 2015, through December 31, 2015: Chancery Judges, each $128,042.50 Circuit Judges, each 128,042.50 From and after January 1, 2016: Chancery Judges, each $136,000.00 Circuit Judges, each 136,000.00

HISTORY: Codes, 1942, § 4175.5; Laws, 1966, ch. 445, § 2; Laws, 1970, ch. 402, § 3; Laws, 1974, ch. 351; Laws, 1978, ch. 520, § 4; Laws, 1983, ch. 536, § 3; Laws, 1988, ch. 528, § 4; Laws, 1991, ch. 373, § 3; Laws, 1993, ch. 481, § 5; Laws, 1993, ch. 518, § 32; Laws, 1997, ch. 577, § 3; Laws, 1999, ch. 581, § 3; Laws, 2003, ch. 563, § 2; Laws, 2006, ch. 548, § 2; Laws, 2008, ch. 548, § 1; Laws, 2012, ch. 329, § 1, eff January 1, 2013 (the later of the date the United States Attorney General interposed no objection under Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act of 1965, to the amendment of this section, or January 1, 2013); Laws, 2019, ch. 466, § 24, eff from and after July 1, 2019; Laws, 2019, ch. 466, § 24, eff from and after July 1, 2019.

Editor’s Notes —

On June 17, 1999, the United States Attorney General interposed no objection under Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act of 1965, as amended and extended, to the amendment of this section by Laws of 1999, ch. 581, § 3.

Laws of 2003, ch. 563, §§ 6, 7, provides as follows:

“SECTION 6. The Attorney General of the State of Mississippi shall submit Sections 1 and 2 of this act, immediately upon approval by the Governor, or upon approval by the Legislature subsequent to a veto, to the Attorney General of the United States or to the United States District Court for the District of Columbia in accordance with the provisions of the Voting Rights Act of 1965, as amended and extended.

“SECTION 7. Sections 1 and 2 of this act shall take effect and be in force from and after the date it is effectuated under Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act of 1965, as amended and extended, or January 1, 2004, whichever occurs later. Sections 3 through 5 of this act shall take effect and be in force from and after July 1, 2003.”

On July 31, 2008, the United States Attorney General interposed no objection under Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 to the amendment of this section by Laws of 2008, ch. 548, § 1.

By letter dated August 24, 2012, the United States Attorney General interposed no objection under Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act of 1965, as amended and extended, to the amendment of this section by Chapter 329, Laws of 2012.

Laws of 2019, ch. 466, § 1 provides as follows:

“SECTION 1. This act shall be known and may be cited as the ‘Criminal Justice Reform Act.’”

Amendment Notes —

The 2006 amendment extended the date of the repealer for this section from “January 1, 2007” to “July 1, 2008.”

The 2008 amendment deleted former (7), which read: “This section shall stand repealed from and after July 1, 2008.”

The 2012 amendment rewrote the section.

The 2019 amendment substituted “intervention courts” for “drug courts” in the second paragraphs of (1) and (3).

Cross References —

Provision that no state officer or employee shall be compensated in excess of the salary fixed for the governor, see §25-3-39.

Applicability of compensation and travel expense provisions for circuit court judges to judges of the Mississippi Court of Military Appeals, see §33-13-417.

RESEARCH REFERENCES

Am. Jur.

63A Am. Jur. 2d, Public Officers and Employees §§ 429 et seq.

CJS.

48A C.J.S., Judges §§ 23–33, 189–214.

§ 25-3-37. Salaries to be full compensation.

  1. It is expressly provided that the salaries fixed in Sections 25-3-31 through 25-3-35 shall be the full and complete compensation for all public duties rendered by all public officers and public employees designated therein whatever the source of funds, whether appropriated from the State General Fund or allotted from federal funds received by the respective state agencies where such officers and employees are employed. All laws, parts of laws, regulations, or other authority which may have heretofore provided supplemental compensation or expenses of which no itemization therefor was made to the State Auditor of Public Accounts are hereby invalidated and held for naught.
  2. In the event the Commissioner of Public Safety and the highway patrol chief are entitled to longevity pay as provided by law, this section shall not be construed to prohibit the payment thereof.
  3. This section shall not be construed to affect employees of the Mississippi State Penitentiary, the Department of Mental Health and the Governor as pertains to housing, medical care, wholesale food purchases, and other financial benefits or emoluments as pertains to their state employment.

HISTORY: Codes, 1930, § 6513; 1942, §§ 4175.8, 4176, 4178; Laws, 1932, ch. 333; Laws, 1970, ch. 402, § 5; Laws, 1989, ch. 328, § 1, eff from and after passage (approved March 7, 1989).

Editor’s Notes —

Section 7-7-2 provides that the words “State Auditor of Public Accounts,” “State Auditor,” and “Auditor” appearing in the laws of this state in connection with the performance of Auditor’s functions shall mean the State Fiscal Officer.

Section 27-104-6 provides that whenever the term “State Fiscal Officer” appears in any law it shall mean “Executive Director of the Department of Finance and Administration”.

Cross References —

Uniform system of officers’ expense accounts, see §25-1-81.

JUDICIAL DECISIONS

1. In general.

Senate resolution allowing extra compensation to employee of Governor’s office violated constitutional inhibition against granting of extra compensation to public officers after services rendered. State of Wimberly v. White, 171 Miss. 663, 157 So. 472, 1934 Miss. LEXIS 239 (Miss. 1934).

OPINIONS OF THE ATTORNEY GENERAL

Although the Commissioner of Public Safety is not entitled to supplemental compensation for any employment duties connected with his position, the duties of Commissioner of Public Safety do not include being a member of the Mississippi Ethics Commission, therefore any per diem the Commissioner would be entitled to as a member of the Ethics Commission can be accepted. Dixon, Jan. 9, 1992, A.G. Op. #92-0006.

Limitation provided in section 25-3-37 applies to compensation paid to State Treasurer for performing all public duties and responsibilities relating to office of State Treasurer and limitation was not intended to apply to compensation paid to public officers for performing duties and responsibilities of separate office not enumerated in sections 25-3-31 through 25-3-35, such as trustee of Public Employees’ Retirement System. Walker, March 23, 1994, A.G. Op. #93-0749.

While Sections 25-3-37 and 25-3-38 are no longer directly applicable to the state forester, those statutes set forth a sound public policy that must be adhered to, that is that Mississippi public officials whose salaries were previously set by former Section 25-3-33 should not be receiving supplemental compensation from private or federal funds regardless of the manner in which their salaries are set. Harvey, Nov. 18, 2005, A.G. Op. 05-0444.

RESEARCH REFERENCES

Am. Jur.

63A Am. Jur. 2d, Public Officers and Employees §§ 448 et seq.

CJS.

67 C.J.S., Officers §§ 270 et seq.

§ 25-3-38. Payment of additional funds to appointive officials unlawful; penalty.

The salary for appointive and/or employed officials established herein shall be the total and complete salary, and it shall be unlawful for any additional funds to be paid from any source, including federal or private funds, to supplement salaries to a level in excess of that established herein. If any public officer or employee shall knowingly and wilfully violate the provisions of this section, he shall be guilty of a misdemeanor, and upon conviction shall be punished by a fine of not more than Two Hundred Fifty Dollars ($250.00), and in addition, shall vacate the office or position which he holds.

HISTORY: Laws, 1978, ch. 520, § 6, eff from and after July 1, 1978.

Cross References —

Imposition of standard state assessment in addition to all court imposed fines or other penalties for any misdemeanor violation, see §99-19-73.

RESEARCH REFERENCES

Am. Jur.

63A Am. Jur. 2d, Public Officers and Employees §§ 448 et seq.

CJS.

67 C.J.S., Officers §§ 270 et seq.

§ 25-3-39. Ceiling established for salaries; sources of funding for salaries; exemptions for Executive Director of Mississippi Development Authority, Governor’s Chief of Staff and certain professional public employees.

    1. Except as otherwise provided in this section, no public officer, public employee, administrator, or executive head of any arm or agency of the state, in the executive branch of government, shall be paid a salary or compensation, directly or indirectly, greater than one hundred fifty percent (150%) of the salary fixed in Section 25-3-31 for the Governor, nor shall the salary of any public officer, public employee, administrator, or executive head of any arm or agency of the state, in the executive branch of government, be supplemented with any funds from any source, including federal or private funds. Such salaries shall be completely paid by the state. All academic officials, members of the teaching staffs and employees of the state institutions of higher learning, the Mississippi Community College Board, and community and junior colleges, and licensed physicians who are public employees, shall be exempt from this subsection. All professional employees who hold a bachelor’s degree or more advanced degree from an accredited four-year college or university or a certificate or license issued by a state licensing board, commission or agency and who are employed by the Department of Mental Health shall be exempt from this subsection if the State Personnel Board approves the exemption. The Commissioner of Child Protection Services is exempt from this subsection. From and after July 1, 2018, the Executive Director of the Public Employees’ Retirement System and the Chief Investment Officer of the Public Employees’ Retirement System shall be exempt from this subsection.
    2. The Governor shall fix the annual salary of the Executive Director of the Mississippi Development Authority, the annual salary of the Commissioner of Child Protection Services, and the annual salary of the Chief of Staff of the Governor’s Office. The salary of the Governor’s Chief of Staff shall not be greater than one hundred fifty percent (150%) of the salary of the Governor and shall be completely paid by the state without supplementation from another source. The salary of the Executive Director of the Mississippi Development Authority may be greater than one hundred fifty percent (150%) of the salary of the Governor and may be supplemented with funds from any source, including federal or private funds; however, any state funds used to pay the salary of the Executive Director of the Mississippi Development Authority shall not exceed one hundred fifty percent (150%) of the salary of the Governor. If the executive director’s salary is supplemented with private funds, the Mississippi Development Authority shall publish on its website the amount of the supplement and the name of the donor of the private funds.
  1. No public officer, employee or administrator shall be paid a salary or compensation, directly or indirectly, in excess of the salary authorized to be paid the executive head of the state agency or department in which he is employed. The State Personnel Board, based upon its findings of fact, may exempt physicians and actuaries from this subsection when the acquisition of such professional services is precluded based on the prevailing wage in the relevant labor market.
  2. The executive head of any state agency or department appointed by the Governor, in such executive head’s discretion, may waive all or any portion of the salary or compensation lawfully established for the position.

HISTORY: Codes, 1942, § 4175.9; Laws, 1932, ch. 333; Laws, 1970, ch. 402, § 5; Laws, 1978, ch. 520, § 17; Laws, 1981, ch. 504, § 15; Laws, 1993, ch. 518, § 33; Laws, 1997, ch. 609, § 2; Laws, 2000, ch. 525, § 1; Laws, 2003, ch. 406, § 2; Laws, 2003, ch. 563, § 3; Laws, 2004, ch. 575, § 1; Laws, 2012, ch. 383, § 1; Laws, 2014, ch. 397, § 3; Laws, 2016, ch. 494, § 3; Laws, 2017, ch. 338, § 8, eff from and after July 1, 2017.

Joint Legislative Committee Note —

Section 2 of ch. 406, Laws of 2003, effective from and after July 1, 2003 (approved March 17, 2003), amended this section. Section 3 of ch. 563, Laws of 2003, effective July 1, 2003 (approved April 24, 2003), also amended this section. As set out above, this section reflects the language of Section 3 of ch. 563, Laws of 2003, pursuant to Section 1-3-79 which provides that whenever the same section of law is amended by different bills during the same legislative session, and the effective dates of the amendments are the same, the amendment with the latest approval date shall supersede all other amendments to the same section approved on an earlier date.

Editor’s Notes —

On July 13, 1993, the United States Attorney General interposed no objection under Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act of 1965, as amended and extended to the amendment of this section by Laws of 1993, ch. 518.

At the direction of the co-counsel for the Joint Legislative Committee on Compilation, Revision and Publication of Legislation, a typographical error in the first sentence of (1) was corrected by substituting “…one hundred fifty percent (150%) of the salary fixed in…” for “…one hundred fifty percent (150%) the salary fixed in…”

Laws of 2016, ch. 494, § 8 provides:

“SECTION 8. Section 1 of this act [codified as Section 43-26-1] shall take effect and be in force from and after its passage [May 13, 2016], and Sections 2 through 7 of this act [amending Sections 43-15-111, 25-3-39, 25-9-120, 25-9-127, 25-53-1, and 25-53-5, respectively] shall take effect and be in force from and after July 1, 2016.”

Amendment Notes —

The 2004 amendment substituted “authorized to be paid” for “of” preceding “the executive head of the state” in the first sentence of (2); and added (3).

The 2012 amendment in (1)(a), added the exception, added language beginning “nor shall the salary of any public officer” to the end of the first sentence and added the second sentence, deleted the former third sentence, which read “The Governor shall fix the annual salary of the Executive Director of the Mississippi Development Authority and the annual salary of the Chief of Staff of the Governor’s Office, which salaries shall be completely paid by the state and may not be supplemented with any funds from any source, including federal or private funds. Provided, however, that the salary of the Executive Director of the Mississippi Development Authority and the Governor’s Chief of Staff shall not be greater than one hundred fifty percent (150%) of the salary of the Governor. Furthermore”; and added (1)(b).

The 2014 amendment substituted “Mississippi Community College Board” for “State Board for Community and Junior Colleges” in (1)(a).

The 2016 amendment, in (1), added the last sentence of (a) and inserted “the annual salary of the Commissioner of Child Protection Services” in the first sentence of (b).

The 2017 amendment added the last sentence of (1)(a).

Cross References —

State agencies and public officials providing information about the agency or office to the public on a website are required to regularly review and update that information, see §25-1-117.

Provision that salaries shall be full and complete compensation for state officers, see §25-3-37.

Compensation of Deputy Commissioner of Insurance, see §25-3-39.1.

OPINIONS OF THE ATTORNEY GENERAL

Section 25-3-39(1) does not apply to county employees. Under its terms, the section applies only to public officers, employees, administrators or executive heads of arms or agencies of the state designated in Sections 25-3-31 through former 25-3-33. Ross, April 20, 1995, A.G. Op. #95-0207.

The State Personnel Board may not approve an educational benchmark award for a subordinate employee that will result in the employee receiving a total salary in excess of the agency head’s salary as set in Section 25-3-33[Repealed], but not in excess of the salary paid to the agency head as a result of the additional benchmark award provided in Section 25-3-34. Stringer, Jr., Sept. 7, 2001, A.G. Op. #01-0552.

The ceiling imposed by §25-3-39(2) applies to employees’ full or “aggregate” compensation. Strange, Sept. 13, 2002, A.G. Op. #02-0372.

For purposes of applying the ceiling imposed by §25-3-39(2) in the case of agents of the Mississippi Bureau of Narcotics, the executive head of the Bureau of Narcotics is the Director of the Bureau. Strange, Sept. 13, 2002, A.G. Op. #02-0372.

The salary ceiling of §25-3-39(2) applies to the calculation of retirement benefits. Strange, Sept. 13, 2002, A.G. Op. #02-0372.

A highway patrol officer assigned to duty with the Mississippi Bureau of Narcotics retains his or her status as a highway patrol officer for all purposes; therefore, because the executive head of the agency in which the officer is employed is the Commissioner of Public Safety, the cap imposed by §25-3-39(2) would, for these officers, apply to the Commissioner’s salary. Strange, Sept. 13, 2002, A.G. Op. #02-0372.

Section 25-3-39(1) has never been interpreted to apply to officers, employees or heads of units of local government, and thus does not limit the salary of the executive director of a regional housing authority. Delcambre, May 16, 2003, A.G. Op. 03-0217.

RESEARCH REFERENCES

Am. Jur.

63A Am. Jur. 2d, Public Officers and Employees §§ 434, 435.

CJS.

67 C.J.S., Officers §§ 270 et seq.

§ 25-3-39.1. Compensation of Deputy Commissioner of Insurance.

The compensation of the Deputy Commissioner of Insurance shall be fixed by the Commissioner of Insurance, subject to approval by the State Personnel Board, and shall be exempt from the provisions of Section 25-3-39.

HISTORY: Laws, 2009, ch. 448, § 21, eff from and after July 1, 2009.

§ 25-3-40. Annual salary increases; intent to implement minimum wage and maximize salary increases.

On July 1, 1978, and each year thereafter, the Mississippi Compensation Plan shall be amended to provide salary increases in such amounts and percentages as might be recommended by the legislative budget office and as may be authorized by funds appropriated by the Legislature for the purpose of granting incentive salary increases as deemed possible dependent upon the availability of general and special funds.

It is hereby declared to be the intent of the Mississippi Legislature to implement the minimum wage as enacted by statutory law of the United States Congress subject to funds being available for that purpose. It is the intent and purpose of this section to maximize annual salary increases consistent with the availability of funds as might be determined by the Mississippi Legislature at its regular annual session and that all salary increases hereafter be made consistent with the provisions of this section.

HISTORY: Laws, 1978, ch. 520, § 8; Laws, 1984, ch. 488, § 168, eff from and after July 1, 1984.

Cross References —

Local authorities prohibited from regulating how a private employer pays its employees, see §17-1-51.

Joint legislative budget committee and legislative budget office, generally, see §§27-103-101 et seq.

OPINIONS OF THE ATTORNEY GENERAL

The Board of Nursing sets the salary of its executive director within a salary range established by the State Personnel Board in accordance with the variable compensation plan. The Board may vote at any time to adjust the salary within the range established and amended by the Personnel Board. The Board does not have to vote to change the salary each time the range changes. Mabry, Nov. 10, 2006, A.G. Op. 06-0544.

RESEARCH REFERENCES

Am. Jur.

63A Am. Jur. 2d, Public Officers and Employees §§ 434, 435.

CJS.

67 C.J.S., Officers §§ 396, 397 et seq.

§ 25-3-41. Traveling expenses of state officers and employees; travel services by commercial travel agency.

  1. Subject to the provisions of subsection (10) of this section, when any officer or employee of the State of Mississippi, or any department, agency or institution thereof, after first being duly authorized, is required to travel in the performance of his official duties, the officer or employee shall receive as expenses for each mile actually and necessarily traveled, when the travel is done by a privately owned automobile or other privately owned motor vehicle, the mileage reimbursement rate allowable to federal employees for the use of a privately owned vehicle while on official travel.
  2. When any officer or employee of any county or municipality, or of any agency, board or commission thereof, after first being duly authorized, is required to travel in the performance of his official duties, the officer or employee shall receive as expenses Twenty Cents (20¢) for each mile actually and necessarily traveled, when the travel is done by a privately owned motor vehicle; provided, however, that the governing authorities of a county or municipality may, in their discretion, authorize an increase in the mileage reimbursement of officers and employees of the county or municipality, or of any agency, board or commission thereof, in an amount not to exceed the mileage reimbursement rate authorized for officers and employees of the State of Mississippi in subsection (1) of this section.
  3. Where two (2) or more officers or employees travel in one (1) privately owned motor vehicle, only one (1) travel expense allowance at the authorized rate per mile shall be allowed for any one (1) trip. When the travel is done by means of a public carrier or other means not involving a privately owned motor vehicle, then the officer or employee shall receive as travel expense the actual fare or other expenses incurred in such travel.
  4. In addition to the foregoing, a public officer or employee shall be reimbursed for other actual expenses such as meals, lodging and other necessary expenses incurred in the course of the travel, subject to limitations placed on meals for intrastate and interstate official travel by the Department of Finance and Administration, provided, that the Legislative Budget Office shall place any limitations for expenditures made on matters under the jurisdiction of the Legislature. The Department of Finance and Administration shall set a maximum daily expenditure annually for such meals and shall notify officers and employees of changes to these allowances immediately upon approval of the changes. Travel by airline shall be at the tourist rate unless that space was unavailable. The officer or employee shall certify that tourist accommodations were not available if travel is performed in first class airline accommodations. Itemized expense accounts shall be submitted by those officers or employees in such number as the department, agency or institution may require; but in any case one (1) copy shall be furnished by state departments, agencies or institutions to the Department of Finance and Administration for preaudit or postaudit. The Department of Finance and Administration shall promulgate and adopt reasonable rules and regulations which it deems necessary and requisite to effectuate economies for all expenses authorized and paid pursuant to this section. Requisitions shall be made on the State Fiscal Officer who shall issue his warrant on the State Treasurer. Provided, however, that the provisions of this section shall not include agencies financed entirely by federal funds and audited by federal auditors.
  5. Any officer or employee of a county or municipality, or any department, board or commission thereof, who is required to travel in the performance of his official duties, may receive funds before the travel, in the discretion of the administrative head of the county or municipal department, board or commission involved, for the purpose of paying necessary expenses incurred during the travel. Upon return from the travel, the officer or employee shall provide receipts of transportation, lodging, meals, fees and any other expenses incurred during the travel. Any portion of the funds advanced which is not expended during the travel shall be returned by the officer or employee. The Department of Audit shall adopt rules and regulations regarding advance payment of travel expenses and submission of receipts to ensure proper control and strict accountability for those payments and expenses.
  6. No state or federal funds received from any source by any arm or agency of the state shall be expended in traveling outside of the continental limits of the United States until the governing body or head of the agency makes a finding and determination that the travel would be extremely beneficial to the state agency and obtains a written concurrence thereof from the Governor, or his designee, and the Department of Finance and Administration. However, employees of state institutions of higher learning may expend funds for travel outside of the continental limits of the United States upon a written finding by the president or head of the institution that the travel would be extremely beneficial to the institution.
  7. Where any officer or employee of the State of Mississippi, or any department, agency or institution thereof, or of any county or municipality, or of any agency, board or commission thereof, is authorized to receive travel reimbursement under any other provision of law, the reimbursement may be paid under the provisions of this section or the other section, but not under both.
  8. When the Governor, Lieutenant Governor or Speaker of the House of Representatives appoints a person to a board, commission or other position that requires confirmation by the Senate, the person may receive reimbursement for mileage and other actual expenses incurred in the performance of official duties before the appointment is confirmed by the Senate, as reimbursement for those expenses is authorized under this section.
    1. The Department of Finance and Administration may contract with one or more commercial travel agencies, after receiving competitive bids or proposals therefor, for that travel agency or agencies to provide necessary travel services for state officers and employees. Municipal and county officers and municipal and county employees may also participate in the state travel agency contract and utilize these travel services for official municipal or county travel. However, the administrative head of each state institution of higher learning may, in his discretion, contract with a commercial travel agency to provide necessary travel services for all academic officials and staff of the university in lieu of participation in the state travel agency contract. Any such decision by a university to contract with a separate travel agency shall be approved by the Board of Trustees of State Institutions of Higher Learning and the Executive Director of the Department of Finance and Administration.
    2. Before executing a contract with one or more travel agencies, the Department of Finance and Administration shall advertise for competitive bids or proposals once a week for two (2) consecutive weeks in a regular newspaper having a general circulation throughout the State of Mississippi. If the department determines that it should not contract with any of the bidders initially submitting proposals, the department may reject all those bids, advertise as provided in this paragraph and receive new proposals before executing the contract or contracts. The contract or contracts may be for a period not greater than three (3) years, with an option for the travel agency or agencies to renew the contract or contracts on a one-year basis on the same terms as the original contract or contracts, for a maximum of two (2) renewals. After the travel agency or agencies have renewed the contract twice or have declined to renew the contract for the maximum number of times, the Department of Finance and Administration shall advertise for bids in the manner required by this paragraph and execute a new contract or contracts.
    3. Whenever any state officer or employee travels in the performance of his official duties by airline or other public carrier, he may have his travel arrangements handled by that travel agency or agencies. The amount paid for airline transportation for any state officer or employee, whether the travel was arranged by that travel agency or agencies or was arranged otherwise, shall not exceed the amount specified in the state contract established by the Department of Finance and Administration, Office of Purchasing and Travel, unless prior approval is obtained from the office.
    1. For purposes of this subsection, the term “state agency” means any agency that is subject to oversight by the Bureau of Fleet Management of the Department of Finance and Administration under Section 25-1-77.
    2. Each state agency shall use a trip optimizer type system developed and administered by the Department of Finance and Administration in computing the optimum method and cost for travel by state officers and employees using a motor vehicle where the travel will exceed one hundred (100) miles per day and the officer or employee is not driving a state-owned or state-leased vehicle that has been dedicated or assigned to the officer or employee.
    3. The provisions of this subsection shall be used to determine the most cost-effective method of travel by motor vehicles, whether those vehicles are owned by the state agency, leased by the state agency, or owned by the officer or employee, and shall be applicable for purposes of determining the maximum authorized amount of any travel reimbursement for officers and employees of those agencies related to vehicle usage.
    4. The maximum authorized amount of travel reimbursement related to motor vehicle usage shall be the lowest cost option as determined by the trip optimizer type system. All travel claims submitted for reimbursement shall include the results of the trip optimizer type system indicating the lowest cost option for travel by the state officer or employee.
    5. In providing a calculation of rates, the trip optimizer type system shall account for the distance that an officer or employee must travel to pick up a rental or state fleet vehicle, and shall account for the long-term rate discounts offered through the state purchasing contract for vehicle rentals.
    6. This subsection shall not apply to travel by state officials in motor vehicles driven by the official or in vehicles used for the transport of the official. The exemption in this paragraph (f) applies only to the state official and not to the staff or other employees of the state official. As used in this paragraph (f), “state official” means statewide elected officials and the elected members of the Public Service Commission.

HISTORY: Codes, 1942, § 4061-01; Laws, 1950, ch. 448, § 1; Laws, 1958, ch. 335; Laws, 1962, ch. 491; Laws, 1970, ch. 400,§ 1; Laws, 1974, ch. 303; Laws, 1978, ch. 487, § 1(1); Laws, 1980, ch. 502; Laws, 1984, ch. 488, § 169; Laws, 1985, ch. 455, § 5; Laws, 1986, ch. 500, § 2; Laws, 1990, ch. 320, § 1; Laws, 1994, ch. 612, § 1; Laws, 1998, ch. 571, § 1; Laws, 2000, ch. 581, § 1; Laws, 2001, ch. 440, § 1; Laws, 2002, ch. 630, § 1; Laws, 2005, ch. 310, § 1; Laws, 2006, ch. 425, § 1; Laws, 2006, ch. 537, § 4; Laws, 2017, ch. 409, § 2, eff from and after July 1, 2017.

Joint Legislative Committee Note —

Section 1 of ch. 425, Laws of 2006, effective from and after passage (approved March 15, 2006) amended this section. Section 4 of ch. 537, Laws of 2006, effective from and after July 1, 2005 (approved April 17, 2006) also amended this section. As set out above, this section reflects the language of Section 4 of ch. 537, Laws of 2006, pursuant to Section 1-3-79 which provides that whenever the same section of law is amended by different bills during the same legislative session, the amendment with the latest effective date shall supersede all other amendments to the same section taking effect earlier.

Editor’s Notes —

Section 11 of Chapter 448, Laws of 1950 (see now §25-1-93), declares that no section, portion or part of said chapter shall in any way be construed to apply to the Governor or the Governor’s office of the State of Mississippi. Since this code section is derived from said Chapter 448, it is probably inapplicable to the Governor or to the Governor’s office.

Section 27-104-6 provides that wherever the term “State Fiscal Officer” appears in any law it shall mean “Executive Director of the Department of Finance and Administration.”

Amendment Notes —

The 2005 amendment substituted “Governor, Lieutenant Governor, or Speaker of the House of Representatives” for “Governor or Lieutenant Governor” in (8).

The first 2006 amendment (ch. 425) added the last sentence in (6).

The second 2006 amendment (ch. 537) added the last sentence in (6); inserted “and Fleet Management” following “Purchasing Travel” at the end of (9)(c); and made a minor stylistic change.

The 2017 amendment added “Subject to the provisions of subsection (10) of this section” at the beginning of (1); and added (10).

Cross References —

Remuneration of legislators for the mileage allowance provided by this section, see §5-1-41.

Additional mileage and expense allowances of lieutenant governor, senators, and representatives, for attendance at sessions of legislature, see §5-1-47.

Travelling expenses of state legislators, see §5-1-47.

Mileage allowance for members of the joint legislative committee on performance evaluation and expenditure review, see §5-3-67.

Mileage and reimbursement of expenses for members of the standing joint legislative committee on reapportionment, see §5-3-95.

Mileage and reimbursement of expenses for members of the standing joint congressional redistricting committee, see §5-3-125.

Applicability of this provision to members of the commission on interstate cooperation, see §5-5-9.

Reimbursement of person appointed as special judge or senior judge, see §§9-1-105 and9-1-107.

Reimbursement of travel expenses for special judges, see §9-1-105.

Reimbursement for travel expenses incurred by judges of Court of Appeals, see §9-4-13.

Compensation of court reporters for circuit and chancery courts, and amount contributed by counties toward salary, see §9-13-19.

Reimbursement of mileage expenses of circuit or chancery court reporters, see §9-13-19.

Reimbursement for traveling and subsistence expenses for members of the Judicial Advisory Study Commission, see §9-21-39.

Appointed member of Tort Claims Board entitled to per diem and travel reimbursement, see §11-46-18.

State grand jurors entitled to reimbursement for travel and mileage as provided in this section, see §13-7-15.

Reimbursement of expenses of commissioners of regional solid waste management authorities, see §17-17-313.

Payment of travel expenses to hazardous waste facility siting authority, see §17-18-7.

Reimbursement for expenses of members of Hazardous Waste Technical Siting Committee, see §17-18-11.

Travel expenses of members of county boards of supervisors, see §19-3-67.

Reimbursement of expenses of county employees or officials traveling to attend professional education programs, see §19-3-77.

Reimbursement of expenses incurred by boards of commissioners of county cooperative service districts, see §19-3-105.

Payment of mileage expense for transporting persons to St. Jude Hospital in Memphis, Tennessee, see §19-5-93.

Expenses and mileage, as provided for herein, payable to members of Board of Emergency Telecommunications Standards and Training, see §19-5-351.

Provision requiring state boards and agencies to keep duplicate receipt books recording transfers of funds, see §25-1-75.

Uniform system of officers’ expense accounts, see §25-1-81.

Penalty for claim, receipt, approval, or allowance of travel expenses in excess of authorized amount, see §25-3-45.

Fees for grand jurors and petit jurors, see §25-7-61.

Compensation of jurors making inquisitions of idiocy, lunacy or of unsound mind and jurors on coroner’s inquest, see §25-7-61.

Compensation and expenses of members of state personnel board, see §25-9-113.

Reimbursement of members of Mississippi Personnel Advisory Council, see §25-9-117.

Compensation and travel expenses for board of trustees of public employees’ retirement system, see §25-11-15.

Compensation for members of investment advisory board, see §25-11-15.

Expenses of tax assessors and collectors attending annual or regional conferences, see §27-3-59.

Joint legislative budget committee and legislative budget office, generally, see §§27-103-101 et seq.

Mileage allowance for members of the Joint Legislative Budget Committee, see §27-103-101.

Reimbursement of expense of members of the Board of the Mississippi Development Bank, see §31-25-11.

Expenses and mileage of members of Mississippi Telecommunications Conference and Training Center Commission, see §31-31-5.

Compensation for inspections and other duties, see §33-7-23.

Reimbursement of expenses of Veterans’ Home Purchase Board members, see §35-7-7.

Applicability of this provision to members of the state board of education, see §37-1-1.

Applicability of this provision to members of the advisory board of the school executive management institute, see §37-3-4.

Reimbursement of the expenses of members of the State Board for Community and Junior Colleges, see §37-4-3.

Applicability of this section to per diem and mileage expenses of members of a school board, see §37-6-13.

Reimbursement for expenses and mileage of members of the Commission on School Accreditation, see §37-17-3.

Applicability of this section to compensation for mileage for junior college trustees, see §37-29-65.

Expenses of members of State Board of Rehabilitation Services, see §37-33-155.

Compensation and travel expenses of executive director, employees and members of educational television authority, see §§37-63-5,37-63-7.

Travel and lodging expenses of board of directors of Prepaid Affordable College Tuition Program Trust Fund, see §37-155-7.

Reimbursement for state licensed teacher moves under critical shortage of teachers act, see §37-159-5.

Reimbursement for licensed teacher employment interviews under critical shortage of teachers act, see §37-159-7.

Authorization for library trustees to be reimbursed for traveling expenses and mileage as provided in this section, see §39-3-15.

Travel expenses of hospital trustees in attending continuing education courses, see §41-7-140.

Applicability of this section to compensation and per diem allowances for members of the board of trustees of county hospitals or other health facilities, see §41-13-29.

Reimbursement of expenses of emergency medical advisory council, see §41-59-7.

Reimbursement of members of the Mississippi Hospital Equipment and Facilities Authority for actual and necessary expenses, see §41-73-11.

Children’s Health Insurance Program Commission, per diem and expense reimbursement, see §41-86-9.

Compensation of members of State Department of Human Services, see §43-1-2.

Mileage and other expenses for members of TANF Implementation Council, see §43-1-30.

Reimbursement of mileage and expenses of members of child care facilities advisory board, see §43-20-7.

Payment of mileage and other expenses for members of Mississippi Home Corporation, see §43-33-715.

Applicability of this section to reimbursement of expenses of members of the board on law enforcement officer standards and training and of advisors to the board, see §45-6-5.

Right of members of the state fire academy advisory board who are not state employees to receive travel expenses as provided in this section, see §45-11-8.

Reimbursement of expenses of members of radiation advisory council, see §45-14-9.

Expenses of members of the prison industries advisory council, see §47-5-329.

Reimbursement for mileage and expenses under this section for directors of nonprofit corporation formed to manage prison industries, see §47-5-541.

Expenses of members of state parole board, see §47-7-5.

Traveling expenses of departmental employees, see §49-2-19.

Travel and hotel expenses for Advisory Council created to conduct study as to costs and development of Title V, Clean Air Act, program, see §49-17-16.

Per diem compensation for members of Environmental Permit Board, see §49-17-28.

Reimbursement for mileage for members of the state forestry commission, see §49-19-1.

Applicability of this section to mileage and expenses of the directors of the Pearl River Valley Water Supply District, see §51-9-107.

Reimbursement for mileage and expenses of directors of Tombigbee River Valley Water Management District as provided in this section, see §51-13-105.

Applicability of mileage reimbursement provided by this section to local commissioners of drainage districts, see §51-29-17.

Travel expenses of Mississippi Veterans Monument Commission, see §55-15-53.

Reimbursement of expenses of members of small business consortium board, see §57-10-159.

Reimbursement of expenses of members of Mississippi Business Finance Corporation, see §57-10-167.

Applicability of expense reimbursement provisions to representatives of Mississippi on the Southern States Energy Board, see §57-25-7.

Expenses of appointed members of the Mississippi-Louisiana Rapid Rail Transit Commission, see §57-45-1.

Reimbursement of expenses of members of nuclear waste policy advisory council, see §57-49-7.

Reimbursement of expenses of members of nuclear waste technical review committee, see §57-49-11.

Payment of travel expenses for members of state port authority, see §59-5-21.

Applicability of this section to reimbursement of expenses of enforcement officers appointed by the boat and water safety commission, see §59-21-123.

Reimbursement of expenses of members of the motor vehicle commission, see §63-17-65.

Members of Appeals Board of State Transportation Commission to receive reimbursement for mileage and actual expenses, in accordance with this section, see §65-1-46.

Application of this section to reimbursement for travel expenses of members of the Department of Agriculture and Commerce Arbitration Council, see §69-3-19.

Reimbursement for expenses of members of Mississippi Egg Marketing Board, see §69-7-255.

Applicability of this section to travel expenses incurred in the examination of egg dealers and handlers by the egg marketing board, see §69-7-263.

Applicability of this section to mileage and expenses of members of the board of animal health, see §69-15-5.

Per diem allowance for members of State Soil and Water Conservation Commission, see §69-27-9.

Applicability of this section to per diem, mileage and other expenses incurred by members of Workers’ Compensation Advisory Council, see §71-3-119.

Reimbursement of expenses for members of the advisory committee to the Mississippi State Board of Architecture, see §73-2-13.

Reimbursement of expenses of members of Mississippi Auctioneers Commission, see §73-4-7.

Applicability of this section to mileage and expenses of members of the board of barber examiners, see §73-5-3.

Expense reimbursement for members of state board of chiropractic examiners, see §73-6-9.

Applicability of this section to reimbursement of expenses of members of the state board of cosmetology, see §73-7-1.

Compensation and travel expenses for members and employees of state board of cosmetology, see §73-7-3.

Reimbursement of expenses of members of the Mississippi Council of Advisors in Dietetics in accordance with this section, see §73-10-21.

Reimbursement of expenses for members of state board of funeral service, see §73-11-49.

Reimbursement of travel expenses for members of state board of licensure for professional engineers and land surveyors, see §73-13-9.

Expense reimbursement for members of state board of nursing home administrators, see §73-17-7.

Applicability of this section to reimbursement of expenses of members of the Mississippi Physical Therapy Advisory Council, see §73-23-41.

Application of this section to the compensation received by the members of the Advisory Council in Occupational Therapy, see §73-24-15.

Members of Real Estate Appraiser Licensing and Certification Board entitled to mileage and expenses authorized by this section, see §73-34-7.

Reimbursement of expenses of members of Real Estate Commission, see §73-35-5.

Reimbursement of expenses for members of board of registration for foresters, see §73-36-17.

Reimbursement of expenses of members of council of advisors in speech-pathology and audiology, see §73-38-15.

Provision as to payment of travel expenses of members of the state board of medical licensure, see §73-43-7.

Reimbursement of travel expenses for members of Registered Professional Geologists Board, see §73-63-11.

Professional Art Therapists Advisory Council reimbursement for travel expenses, see §73-65-3.

Expenses and mileage for members of Mississippi Commission on Proprietary School and College Registration, see §75-60-4.

Reimbursement of traveling expenses for members of state athletic commission, see §75-75-107.

Reimbursement of expenses of personnel of public utilities staff, see §77-3-8.

Reimbursement for mileage and travel expenses for banking examiners and commissioner of banking and consumer finance, see §81-1-71.

Payment of mileage to members of state board of banking review, see §81-3-12.

Reimbursement of expenses of members of board of directors of Comprehensive Health Insurance Risk Pool Association, see §83-9-211.

JUDICIAL DECISIONS

1. Constitutionality.

2. Expenses not reimbursed.

1. Constitutionality.

Duties and responsibilities, including allowing authority for Educational Television to contract (§37-63-11), giving concurrence for the use of funds to travel outside the continental United States (§25-3-41), advertising for and accepting bids on equipment for the State Crime Laboratory (§63-11-47), granting authority for the purchase of motor vehicles by state departments, institutions, or agencies (§25-1-77), and approving dispersement of funds by the Mississippi Air and Water Pollution Commission (§49-17-13), are administrative functions within the prerogative of the executive department, and statutes vesting those powers and functions in members of the legislature violate Miss. Const. Art. 1, § 2 and are unconstitutional. Alexander v. State, 441 So. 2d 1329, 1983 Miss. LEXIS 3007 (Miss. 1983).

2. Expenses not reimbursed.

Mayor was not entitled to mileage reimbursement because he failed to comply with this statute, which required preauthorization for mileage reimbursement, and that authorization had to be made on a case-by-case basis. Davis v. State ex rel. Hood, 198 So.3d 367, 2015 Miss. App. LEXIS 657 (Miss. Ct. App. 2015), cert. denied, 203 So.3d 596, 2016 Miss. LEXIS 379 (Miss. 2016).

OPINIONS OF THE ATTORNEY GENERAL

There is no statutory authority empowering regional library system to reimburse professional job applicants for travel expenses incurred in connection with interviewing for job vacancies within system. Williams, Jan. 24, 1990, A.G. Op. #90-0036.

Expenses incurred by council members (1) attending luncheons, dinners or banquets, or (2) traveling to and from council meetings, cannot legally be interpreted as incurred “in performance of official duties.” Compton, August 7, 1990, A.G. Op. #90-0488.

Sheriff could authorize out of county travel for deputy out of sheriff’s travel budget for necessary travel made in county patrol car without necessity of seeking additional approval of board of supervisors; if officer travels in his personal vehicle, sheriff could authorize officer to expend public funds on his meal, lodging, and other necessary expenses, except mileage as this expense would have to be approved by board of supervisors. Walters, August 22, 1990, A.G. Op. #90-0614.

Travel within city by council members, either to or from council meetings, is not reimbursable under statute. Halat, Oct. 26, 1990, A.G. Op. #90-0102.

Since Miss. Code Section 25-3-41 allows travel expenses to be reimbursed only “when any officer or employee of the state or county” is required to travel in scope of employment, if person in question is official county engineer, receiving salary under Miss. Code Section 65-17-205, then county may pay reasonable expenses for engineer to attend various professional meetings which board determines and approves in advance as being necessary and related to engineer’s county responsibilities; however, if engineer in question is independent contractor, who is being paid by county on contract basis, then such engineer may not receive any expenses unless provided for by contract. Austin, Mar. 10, 1993, A.G. Op. #93-0102.

Department of Finance and Administration, without further legislative redress, lacks authority to categorically deny reimbursement of all taxable meals. Ranck Aug. 27, 1993, A.G. Op. #93-0570.

Payment of cost of luncheon or dinner for city officers or employees in connection with seminar held by city for city officers and employees would constitute violation of law Shepard Oct. 6, 1993, A.G. Op. #93-0628.

When travel by public carrier is to location where private or state owned vehicle is not available, and transportation by motor vehicle is necessary such that rental vehicle is required, and such having previously been authorized, Section 25-3-41 authorizes such officer or employee to be reimbursed actual, reasonable and necessary expense incurred for such rental vehicle. Ranck Nov. 3, 1993, A.G. Op. #93-0819.

Under Section 25-3-41(2), travel must be duly authorized by the county board of supervisors before reimbursement can be received. Ross, April 12, 1995, A.G. Op. #95-0201.

A court reporter may not claim and be paid mileage expenses under Section 25-3-41 for travel from the court reporter’s home to his primary place of employment or “main office.” Hollimon, April 27, 1995, A.G. Op. #95-0179.

Under Section 25-3-41(4), a municipal governing authorities may in their discretion reimburse employees and officers for meals when the meal expenses are incurred in the course of travel which is not overnight and which is required in the performance of official duties. The governing authorities may define “travel” and specify which meal expenses will be reimbursed when officers and employees must travel beyond the geographic locations where they routinely work. Triggs, May 3, 1995, A.G. Op. #95-0260.

Section 25-3-41 does not allow local governing authorities to pass broadly worded reimbursement “authorizations” and that such a practice would negate the need for a case-by-case determination as to whether the reimbursement is proper. Compton, June 23, 1995, A.G. Op. #95-0346.

Whether a travel expense is incurred “in the performance of his official duties” is a factual determination to be made by the City Council on a case-by-case basis prior to the expense being authorized and incurred. Section 25-3-41 does not permit a blanket authorization. Compton, June 23, 1995, A.G. Op. #95-0346.

If a constable were given a lawful order by the court to transport a prisoner from the jail to the court, he may be entitled to mileage reimbursement as set forth in Section 25-3-41. Chapman, June 7, 1996, A.G. Op. #96-0369.

That travel expenses that are anticipated by the sheriff of a county and are specifically included in the annual budget which is approved by the board of supervisors are duly authorized as required by Section 25-3-41. Smith, August 23, 1996, A.G. Op. #96-0562.

An officer or employee of a municipality may be paid in advance for authorized travel expenses, but travel to and from council meetings, and expenses incurred attending luncheons, dinners or banquets are not legally reimbursable. Criss, July 11, 1997, A.G. Op. #97-0357.

A non-profit Mississippi corporation organized and existing for the purpose of providing public ambulance service is not subject to the provisions of the statute. Oliver, April 10, 1998, A.G. Op. #98-0183.

If a supervisor does not have a county vehicle available for use when travel is necessary, he may draw mileage pursuant to the statute, and there is no requirement that all county supervisors turn in their county owned vehicles in order for one supervisor to draw mileage. Austin, July 17, 1998, A.G. Op. #98-0332.

The county board of supervisors is the proper fact finder in determining whether a proposed travel expense will be incurred in the performance of official duties; thus, if the board determines, in advance and on a case by case basis, that travel is necessary for the proper conduct of county business and should be reimbursed, then such a finding can be made and reimbursement had although, generally speaking, traveling to and from boards of supervisors’ meetings cannot be legally interpreted as incurred in the performance of official duties. Austin, July 17, 1998, A.G. Op. #98-0332.

There is no authority for a municipality to reimburse aldermen for expenses for travel or dues for professional associations when these expenses and dues were not authorized prior to travel. Davis, July 31, 1998, A.G. Op. #98-0425.

The governing authorities could pay the travel expenses of officers who attended the convention where (1) the board, by a majority vote, approved travel to the convention by officers on the minutes on April 7, 1998, and (2) the board voted again on May 12, 1998 on an order to authorize travel expenses for officers who desired to attend the Convention and that order did not pass; payment was still permitted since the latter vote did not rescind or cancel the earlier vote. Gerhart, July 31, 1998, A.G. Op. #98-0454.

If an inmate sues the county board of supervisors and the sheriff and the trial occurs two years later out of county where overnight stay becomes a necessity, the county may reimburse the sheriff and supervisors for out of pocket expenses for the hotel, meals, and mileage, even if some of these elected officials are no longer holding public office at the time of the trial. Mullins, November 13, 1998, A.G. Op. #98-0679.

Where the governing authorities paid an alderman who owned a car for mileage expenses for travel to conference in advance of the travel, they did not have authority to also pay a second alderman who rode in the same car for mileage. Jenkins, February 19, 1999, A.G. Op. #99-0081.

This section does not apply to public transportation of Medicaid recipients who participate in the Division of Medicaid’s Non-Emergency Transportation program. Wetherbee, March 16, 1999, A.G. Op. #99-0106.

A county does not have authority to obtain credit cards for use by the board of supervisors and board attorney for use associated with county business. Austin, April 23, 1999, A.G. Op. #99-0182.

Members of the Mississippi State Board of Medical Licensure may receive travel expenses, meals, lodging, and other necessary expenses when they, after first being duly authorized, are required to travel in the performance of their official duties, and such official duties may include attending ad hoc committee meetings at times other than regular board meetings. Burnett, Dec. 3, 1999, A.G. Op. #99-0646.

The Department of Marine Resources may arrange lodging on a week-to-week basis for the duration of a legislative session in order to carry out the official duties of the department, as long as state regulations are followed in the exercise of this power. Woods, Jan. 21, 2000, A.G. Op. #99-0716.

There is no authority for governing boards of public universities, community colleges, and school districts to obtain credit cards to be issued in the names of the respective institutions to officers or employees for use in the course and scope of employment. Murray, Nov. 17, 2000, A.G. Op. #2000-0654.

A mayor does not have the authority to receive expenses for travel without prior board approval either specifically in the minutes or by official board policy adopted in the minutes. Willis, Mar. 8, 2002, A.G. Op. #02-0055.

A mayor and the aldermen may receive travel advances upon prior approval in the minutes by the board of aldermen in accordance with the guidelines adopted by the Department of Audit; however, there is no authority for advance payment of per diem. Willis, Mar. 8, 2002, A.G. Op. #02-0055.

An officer or employee of the state must obtain prior authorization for travel in order to be reimbursed for expenses incurred in travel. Ross, Sept. 6, 2002, A.G. Op. #02-0523.

Governing authorities of a municipality may, in their discretion, adopt a policy regarding reimbursement for meal expenses incident to travel which would establish a maximum daily allowance for those meals, and would not require the submission of receipts. Hammack, Mar. 14, 2003, A.G. Op. #03-0106.

Sections 19-4-1 and 19-4-7 permit the board of supervisors to delegate to the county administrator their duty to approve travel by county employees under Section 25-3-41; however, giving advance approval to certain classes of employees, rather than individual employees, to attend unspecified training classes during a particular month or similar time period, does not satisfy the requirements of Section 25-3-41. Nowak, Jan. 6, 2005, A.G. Op. 05-0625.

A county board of supervisors may, by appropriate action, increase the mileage rate for its officers and employees, and employees, or for any agency, board or commission of the county, not to exceed that allowed for state officers and employees, without increasing the mileage rate for jurors. McWilliams, Jan. 20, 2006, A.G. Op. 05-0642.

Even if travel is for official purposes, unless approved prior to the trip, a municipality is not authorized to pay for or reimburse an officer or employee for expenses related to that travel, and the approval of a claim for official travel which was not previously authorized either specifically in the minutes or by official policy of the municipality would be unlawful. Crisler, Mar. 24, 2006, A.G. Op. 06-0073.

A governing authority may define which expenses are reimbursable travel expenses, consistent with the rules and regulations of the Department of Finance and Administration. Reimbursement of travel expenses may only be made for travel authorized by a governing authority in minutes or by resolution or ordnance, and must be included in the annual budget. A governing authority can authorize a department head to approve travel it has budgeted. Only the administrative head of a municipal department may authorize travel advances. Campbell, March 23, 2007, A.G. Op. #07-00135, 2007 Miss. AG LEXIS 120.

RESEARCH REFERENCES

ALR.

Constitutional provision fixing or limiting salary of public officer as precluding allowance for expenses or disbursements. 5 A.L.R.2d 1182.

Am. Jur.

63A Am. Jur. 2d, Public Officers and Employees §§ 458, 460–464 et seq.

65 Am. Jur. 2d, Public Works and Contracts §§ 8-81.

CJS.

67 C.J.S., Officers §§ 381–385, 394, 434–436.

73A C.J.S., Public Contracts §§ 1-24, 41.

§ 25-3-43. Travel expenses of judiciary.

  1. When any chancery judge, county judge or circuit judge shall be required to travel in the performance of his official duties, such judge shall receive as expenses of such travel the mileage allowance and a reimbursement for other actual and necessary expenses incurred in such travel as provided for public officers and employees in Section 25-3-41, Mississippi Code of 1972. This shall be the entire travel allowances or travel expenses received by such judges.
  2. Chancery judges and circuit judges shall direct requests for reimbursement for the travel expenses authorized pursuant to this section to the Supreme Court and the Supreme Court shall submit such requests to the Department of Finance and Administration.
  3. The Supreme Court shall have the power to adopt rules and regulations regarding the administration of travel expenses authorized pursuant to this section.
  4. In any county in which is located a State Penitentiary, the board of supervisors, in order to compensate the justice court judges who are required to travel to the State Penitentiary, is authorized to reimburse justice court judges’ mileage in the amount authorized by Section 25-3-41, but not to exceed One Hundred Dollars ($100.00) per month, such monies to be paid from the general county fund of such county.
  5. In addition to the regular salary provided by Section 25-3-35 and the mileage reimbursement provided by Section 25-3-41, each Supreme Court Justice and each judge of the Court of Appeals shall receive an expense allowance as specified in this subsection. The expense allowance shall be equal to the maximum daily expense rate allowable to employees of the federal government for travel in the high rate geographical area of Jackson, Mississippi, as may be established by federal regulations, per day, for each day while actually attending to judicial duties in Jackson, Mississippi, not to exceed twenty (20) days per month.

HISTORY: Codes, 1942, §§ 1653.9, 4175.5; Laws, 1966, ch. 445, § 2; Laws, 1970, ch. 334, § 1; Laws, 1970, ch. 402, § 3; Laws, 1991, ch. 373, § 4; Laws, 1992, ch. 360, § 1; Laws, 1999, ch. 532, § 1, eff from and after July 6, 1999 (the date the United States Attorney General interposed no objection under Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 to the amendment of this section).

Cross References —

Reimbursement of travel expenses for special judges, see §9-1-105.

Salaries for justices of Supreme Court, see §25-3-35.

Applicability of compensation and travel expense provisions for circuit court judges to judges of the Mississippi Court of Military Appeals, see §33-13-417.

RESEARCH REFERENCES

Am. Jur.

63A Am. Jur. 2d, Public Officers and Employees §§ 458, 460–464 et seq.

CJS.

48A C.J.S., Judges §§ 189-214, 343–348.

67 C.J.S., Officers §§ 275-281, 287.

§ 25-3-45. Penalty for excessive travel expenses.

It shall be unlawful for any person to claim, receive, approve, or allow any item of expense for official travel in excess of that authorized by Section 25-3-41.

If any person shall knowingly and wilfully violate any of the provisions of said section, such person shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction, shall be punished by a fine of not more than Two Hundred Fifty Dollars ($250.00) and, in addition, shall be removed from the office or position which he holds. Such person shall also be civilly liable for the full amount of the expense account illegally received, allowed, or approved by him, and the person receiving same shall be so liable whether the violation be wilful or not.

HISTORY: Codes, 1942, §§ 4061-05, 4061-10; Laws, 1950, ch. 448, §§ 5, 10.

Editor’s Notes —

Section 11 of Chapter 448, Laws of 1950 (see now §25-1-93), declares that no section, portion or part of said chapter shall in any way be construed to apply to the Governor or the Governor’s office of the State of Mississippi. Since this code section is derived from said Chapter 448, it is probably inapplicable to the Governor or to the Governor’s office.

Cross References —

Imposition of standard state assessment in addition to all court imposed fines or other penalties for any misdemeanor violation, see §99-19-73.

§ 25-3-47. Department subordinates.

Unless otherwise expressly fixed or provided by law, the heads of the departments hereinabove enumerated shall each select and appoint his or their respective subordinates, and may at any time remove a subordinate and appoint his successor; and the subordinate shall perform such duties as shall be prescribed by the said head or heads of his department. Unless as to a particular subordinate, some other form of oath is prescribed by law, every subordinate shall take and subscribe an oath well and faithfully to perform all the duties incumbent upon him, which oath shall be filed in the office of the secretary of state.

HISTORY: Codes, 1930, § 6514; 1942, § 4179.

Cross References —

Persons before whom oath of office may be taken, see §25-1-9.

Filing oath of office of state officers, see §25-1-11.

Authority of deputy to perform duties of deceased officer, see §25-1-39.

JUDICIAL DECISIONS

1. In general.

An engineer employed by the Mississippi State Oil and Gas Board was liable to discharge at the pleasure of the supervisor of the Board under §25-3-47; since §53-1-9 modifies §25-3-47 only in relation to the hiring of employees of the Oil and Gas Board, the engineer could be terminated at any time and did not have a property interest in his employment. White v. Mississippi State Oil & Gas Bd., 650 F.2d 540, 1981 U.S. App. LEXIS 12776 (5th Cir. Miss. 1981).

RESEARCH REFERENCES

CJS.

67 C.J.S., Officers §§ 178-183.

§ 25-3-49. Salaries in special appointments.

In case of the death, resignation, or removal from office of any of the officers mentioned in Section 25-3-47, the person elected or appointed, temporarily or permanently, to fill such vacancy shall, from the time he shall enter upon the discharge of his official duties, receive the compensation authorized by this chapter, and at the same rate for any period of time less than one (1) year, and for so long as the person shall serve as such officer.

HISTORY: Codes, 1892, § 3953; 1906, § 4477; Hemingway’s 1917, § 7270; 1930, § 6515; 1942, § 4180.

Cross References —

Authority of deputy to perform duties of deceased officer, see §25-1-39.

RESEARCH REFERENCES

CJS.

67 C.J.S., Officers §§ 100-109, 119, 122-126, 130.

§ 25-3-51. Deduction for absence from the state.

Any officer of this state who receives a salary may, when the duties of his office will best permit, be absent from the state not more than one (1) month in any one (1) year without any deduction from his salary; but the state treasurer, the secretary of state, and auditor of public accounts shall, while absent, leave their offices so attended as to produce no injury to persons having business in said offices. If any officer who receives a salary shall be absent from the state without the consent of the governor for a longer time than one (1) month in any one (1) year, he shall be subject to a pro rata deduction from his salary for the length of time he shall be absent more than one (1) month; and, on his return, before he shall be entitled to any warrant on the treasury for his salary or any part thereof thereafter accruing, he shall make oath to the number of days he shall have been absent beyond one month and file the same in the office of the auditor of public accounts; and it shall be the duty of the auditor to deduct twice the number of days so sworn to from the time for which the salary of such officer may be estimated.

HISTORY: Codes, 1892, § 3956; 1906, § 4480; Hemingway’s 1917, § 7273; 1930, § 6518; 1942, § 4183.

Editor’s Notes —

Section 7-7-2 provides that the words “State Auditor of Public Accounts,” “State Auditor,” and “Auditor” appearing in the laws of this state in connection with the performance of Auditor’s functions shall mean the State Fiscal Officer.

Section 27-104-6 provides that whenever the term “State Fiscal Officer” appears in any law it shall mean “Executive Director of the Department of Finance and Administration”.

Cross References —

Authority of legislature to regulate deductions from salaries of public officers for neglect of duty, see Miss. Const. Art. 4, § 78.

Devolution of powers and duties of office of governor, upon absence or disability, see Miss. Const. Art. 5, § 131.

RESEARCH REFERENCES

Am. Jur.

63C Am. Jur. 2d, Public Officers and Employees §§ 475 et seq.

CJS.

67 C.J.S., Officers § 289-293.

§ 25-3-53. Compensation of special judges of circuit, county, or chancery courts.

When a special commission shall issue for the holding of a term of any circuit, county or chancery court by a special judge, or for the trial or hearing by such officer of any case in any such court because of the disqualification or disability of the judge or chancellor thereof (or where, because of the disqualification of the judge or chancellor, the attorneys involved have agreed upon a member of the bar to preside as special judge), the special judge shall receive compensation as provided in Section 9-1-105, for the time he shall serve as such, and the Fiscal Management Board shall issue its warrant therefor on the certificate of the clerk of the court in which the services were rendered for the time served.

HISTORY: Codes, 1892, § 3954; 1906, § 4478; Hemingway’s 1917, § 7271; 1930, § 6516; 1942, § 4181; Laws, 1948, ch. 222; Laws, 1952, ch. 236; Laws, 1971, ch. 348, § 1; Laws, 1989, ch. 587, § 5, eff from and after April 25, 1989 (became law without the Governor’s signature).

Editor’s Notes —

Section 27-104-1 provides that the term “Fiscal Management Board” shall mean the “Department of Finance and Administration.”

RESEARCH REFERENCES

Am. Jur.

46 Am. Jur. 2d, Judges §§ 237-251.

CJS.

48 C.J.S., Judges §§ 181-206, 327-330.

§ 25-3-55. Compensation of special judge of Supreme Court.

When a special judge or special judges shall be commissioned to preside in any cause in the Supreme Court, or during any term thereof or during the disability or disqualification of any of the judges of said court, such special judge or judges shall each be entitled to the compensation provided for in Section 9-1-105. Each judge so serving shall make out an itemized account of the number of days he in good faith served, and make affidavit to same and file it with the Clerk of the Supreme Court. The said clerk shall issue a certificate showing the length of time such special judge or judges served, and the Fiscal Management Board shall issue its warrant therefor.

HISTORY: Codes, 1892, § 3955; 1906, § 4479; Hemingway’s 1917, § 7272; 1930, § 6517; 1942, § 4182; Laws, 1964, ch. 424; Laws, 1989, ch. 587, § 6, eff from and after April 25, 1989 (became law without the Governor’s signature).

Editor’s Notes —

Section 27-104-1 provides that the term “Fiscal Management Board” shall mean the Department of Finance and Administration.

RESEARCH REFERENCES

Am. Jur.

46 Am. Jur. 2d, Judges §§ 237-251.

CJS.

48 C.J.S., Judges §§ 236–271.

§ 25-3-57. Deduction for absence from court.

In case any judge of the Supreme Court or the Court of Appeals or of a circuit court or chancery court shall fail to attend at any term of court which either of them is required by law to hold, or in case the Attorney General or any district attorney shall fail to attend at any court which he is required to attend officially, it shall be the duty of the clerk of such court to certify the number of days such judge, chancellor, Attorney General, or district attorney was absent at each term of the court to the Auditor of Public Accounts, who shall deduct twice the number of days so certified from the time for which the salary of such officer may be estimated, unless such officer shall make oath, and file the same in the Auditor’s office, that his absence was occasioned by sickness of himself or his family, or that his attendance was prevented by high water, the prevalence of an epidemic or contagious disease, or by accident not within his control.

HISTORY: Codes, 1892, § 3957; 1906, § 4481; Hemingway’s 1917, § 7274; 1930, § 6519; 1942, § 4184; Laws, 1993, ch. 518, § 34, eff July 13, 1993 (the date the United States Attorney General interposed no objection under Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act of 1965, to the amendment of this section).

Editor’s Notes —

Section 7-7-2 provides that the words “State Auditor of Public Accounts,” “State Auditor,” and “Auditor” appearing in the laws of this state in connection with the performance of Auditor’s functions shall mean the State Fiscal Officer.

Section 27-104-6 provides that whenever the term “State Fiscal Officer” appears in any law it shall mean “Executive Director of the Department of Finance and Administration.”

Cross References —

Duty of Legislature to regulate deductions from salaries of public officers for neglect of duty, see Miss. Const. Art. 4, § 78.

Appointment of attorney to act for state during absence of Attorney General, see §7-5-31.

Terms of Supreme Court, see §9-3-3.

Adjournment of Supreme Court for absence of judge, see §9-3-5.

Appointment pro tempore of attorney to act for state during absence or inability of district attorney, see §25-31-21.

RESEARCH REFERENCES

Am. Jur.

63C Am. Jur. 2d, Public Officers and Employees §§ 475 et seq.

CJS.

48A C.J.S., Judges §§ 190, 191 and 212–214.

67 C.J.S., Officers §§ 398–403.

§ 25-3-59. Deduction for absence from meeting of public service commission.

In case a public service commissioner shall fail to attend at any meeting or session of the public service commission appointed for the transaction of business, he shall be subject to a pro rata deduction from his salary; and the executive secretary of said commission or, in his absence, the commissioner or commissioners present shall certify to the auditor of public accounts the number of days such commissioner was absent at each meeting or session. The auditor shall deduct twice the number of days so certified from the time for which the salary of such commissioner may be estimated, unless such commissioner shall make and file an affidavit in the auditor’s office that his absence was occasioned by sickness of himself or a member of his family, or by the prevalence of an epidemic or a contagious disease, or by means not within his control.

HISTORY: Codes, 1892, § 3959; 1906, § 4483; Hemingway’s 1917, § 7276; 1930, § 6521; 1942, § 4186.

Editor’s Notes —

Section 7-7-2 provides that the words “State Auditor of Public Accounts,” “State Auditor,” and “Auditor” appearing in the laws of this state in connection with the performance of Auditor’s functions shall mean the State Fiscal Officer.

Section 27-104-6 provides that whenever the term “State Fiscal Officer” appears in any law it shall mean “Executive Director of the Department of Finance and Administration”.

Cross References —

Duty of Legislature to regulate deductions from salaries of public officers for neglect of duty, see Miss. Const. Art. 4, § 78.

RESEARCH REFERENCES

Am. Jur.

63A Am. Jur. 2d, Public Officers and Employees §§ 472 et seq.

CJS.

67 C.J.S., Officers §§ 398–403.

§ 25-3-61. Governor may grant leave of absence.

The Governor may grant leave of absence for a time not to exceed three (3) months in the year to any officer at a time when the duties of his office will admit of the absence without injury to the public service; but a judge, district attorney, and the attorney general shall not have a leave of absence which will interfere with his presence at any term of court at which he should be present. Nor shall a public service commissioner have a leave of absence which will interfere with his presence at any session or meeting of the public service commission.

HISTORY: Codes, 1892, § 3960; 1906, § 4484; Hemingway’s 1917, § 7277; 1930, § 6522; 1942, § 4187.

Cross References —

Duty of Legislature to regulate deductions from salaries of public officers for neglect of duty, see Miss. Const. Art. 4, § 78.

Power of Governor to supervise official conduct of state officers, see §7-1-5.

RESEARCH REFERENCES

Am. Jur.

63C Am. Jur. 2d, Public Officers and Employees §§ 475 et seq.

§§ 25-3-63 and 25-3-65. Repealed.

Repealed by Laws, 1976, ch. 490. § 6, eff from and after July 1, 1976.

§25-3-63. [Codes, 1982, § 3958; 1906, § 4482; Hemingway’s 1917, § 7275; 1930 § 6520; 1942, § 4185; 1968, ch. 435, § 1; 1970, ch. 403, § 1]

§25-3-65. [Codes, 1942, § 4187-01; Laws, 1946, ch. 223; 1975, ch. 486, § 1]

Editor’s Notes —

Former §25-3-63 pertained to sick leave for salaried state employees. See §§25-3-91 et seq. for comparable provisions.

Former §25-3-65 pertained to vacation for salaried state employees. For comparable provisions, see §§25-3-91 et seq.

§ 25-3-67. Deductions from municipal employees’ salaries for contributions for United Way, insurance, and United States Savings Bonds.

The governing authorities of any municipality may, within their discretion, deduct from the salary of any individual municipal employee an amount to be deposited with the municipal credit union, contributions for the United Way, life, health-and-accident insurance and United States Savings Bonds, if a request for such deductions is made in writing by the employee.

HISTORY: Laws, 1976, ch. 480, eff from and after passage (approved May 25, 1976).

OPINIONS OF THE ATTORNEY GENERAL

Municipalities have the local discretion to recoup the additional costs which are reasonably associated with providing a payroll deduction service for its employees pursuant to 25-3-67. Thompson, April 18, 1995, A.G. Op. #95-0240.

The statute does not limit the payroll deductions for insurance purposes only to those policies procured for the employee by the employer under the authority of Section 25-15-101. Perkins, Apr. 23, 2001, A.G. Op. #01-0204.

Municipal governing authorities do not have discretion to allow any payroll deductions beyond those listed in Section 25-3-67, which does not include wage assignments. Brown, Nov. 8, 2002, A.G. Op. #02-0649.

Payroll deductions for Sam’s Club memberships for municipal employees are not authorized. Kohnke, Jan. 14, 2005, A.G. Op. 04-0648.

§ 25-3-69. Uniform per diem compensation for officers and employees of state boards, commissions and agencies.

Unless otherwise provided by law, all officers and employees of state agencies, boards, commissions, departments and institutions authorized by law to receive per diem compensation for each day or fraction thereof occupied with the discharge of official duties shall be entitled to Forty Dollars ($40.00) per diem compensation. When the Governor, Lieutenant Governor or Speaker of the House of Representatives appoints a person to a board, commission or other position that requires confirmation by the Senate, the person may receive per diem compensation for the performance of official duties before such appointment is confirmed by the Senate, as such per diem compensation is authorized under this section.

HISTORY: Laws, 1980, ch. 560, § 1; Laws, 2001, ch. 440, § 2; Laws, 2005, ch. 310, § 2, eff from and after July 1, 2005.

Amendment Notes —

The 2005 amendment substituted “Governor, Lieutenant Governor, or Speaker of the House of Representatives” for “Governor or Lieutenant Governor” in the second sentence.

Cross References —

Lieutenant Governor, senators and representatives, see §5-1-47.

Joint legislative committee on performance evaluation and expenditure review, see §5-3-67.

Standing joint congressional redistricting committee, see §5-3-125.

Interstate cooperation, commission, see §5-5-9.

Per diem compensation for members of the Judicial Advisory Study Commission, see §9-21-39.

Appointed member of Tort Claims Board entitled to per diem and travel reimbursement, see §11-46-18.

Jury commissioner, see §13-5-6.

State grand jurors entitled to per diem compensation as provided in this section, see §13-7-15.

Hazardous waste facility siting authority, see §17-18-7.

County cooperative service districts, boards of commissioners, see §19-3-105.

Bailiffs, see §19-25-31.

Election commissioners, see §§23-15-153,23-15-211, and23-15-227.

Ethics Commission, see §25-4-13.

State personnel board, see §25-9-113.

Data Processing Authority, see §25-53-9.

Bureau of Capitol Facilities, see §29-5-6.

Development Bank Board, see §31-25-11.

Expenses and mileage of members of Mississippi Telecommunications Conference and Training Center Commission, see §31-31-5.

State Veterans’ Affairs Board, see §35-1-5.

Veteran’s Home Purchase Board, see §35-7-7.

State Board of Education, see §37-1-1.

Teacher and administrator education, certification and development, commission, see §37-3-2.

School executive management institute, advisory board see §37-3-4.

Community and Junior Colleges, state board, see §§37-4-3,37-4-4.

Per diem and mileage expenses for members of school boards, see §37-6-13.

School Accreditation Commission, see §37-17-3.

Junior college trustees, see §37-29-65.

State Board of Rehabilitation Services, see §37-33-155.

Educational television authority, see §37-63-5.

Board of Trustees of State Institutions of Higher Learning, persons attending meetings, see §37-101-3.

State Institutions of Higher Learning, board of trustees, see §37-101-9.

Board of directors of Prepaid Affordable College Tuition Program Trust Fund, see §37-155-7.

Health, state board, see §41-3-4.

Mental health, state board, see §41-4-3.

Hospital trustees for continuing education programs, see §41-7-140.

County hospitals or other health facilities, board of trustees, see §41-13-29.

County mosquito control commission, see §41-27-1.

Emergency medical advisory council, see §41-59-7.

Hospital Equipment and Facilities Authority, see §41-73-11.

Children’s Health Insurance Program Commission, per diem and expense reimbursement, see §41-86-9.

Human Services, state board, see §43-1-2.

Per diem allowable to members of TANF Implementation Council, see §43-1-30.

Child care facilities advisory board, see §43-20-7.

Family child care homes, advisory council, see §43-20-55.

Home Corporation, see §43-33-715.

State fire academy advisory board members who are not state employees, see §45-11-8.

Radiation advisory council, see §45-14-9.

Prison industries advisory council, see §47-5-329.

Nonprofit corporation formed to manage prison industries, directors, see §47-5-541.

State Parole Board, see §47-7-5.

Environmental Quality Commission, see §49-2-5.

Environmental Permit Board, see §49-17-28.

State Forestry Commission, see §49-19-1.

Pearl River Valley Water Supply District, directors, see §51-9-107.

Compensation of directors of Tombigbee River Valley Water Management District at the per diem rate specified in this section, see §51-13-105.

Drainage districts, local commissioners, see §51-29-17.

Drainage districts, county commissioners, see §51-31-13.

Urban flood and drainage control districts, directors, see §51-35-317.

Veterans Monument Commission, see §55-15-53.

Business Finance Corporation of Mississippi, Inc., see §57-10-167.

Southern States Energy Board, representatives, see §57-25-7.

Nuclear waste policy advisory council, see §57-49-7.

Nuclear waste technical review committee, see §57-49-11.

Port Authority, state, see §59-5-21.

County port authority or county development commission, see §59-9-13.

Motor vehicle commission, see §63-17-65.

Members of Appeals Board of State Transportation Commission to receive per diem in amount authorized by this section, see §65-1-46.

Central Market Board, see §69-7-105.

Egg Marketing Board, see §69-7-255.

Animal Health Board, see §69-15-5.

Medical Advisory Board of the Workers’ Compensation Commission, see 71-3-115.

Workers’ Compensation Advisory Council, see §71-3-119.

Employment Security Commission, advisory council, see §71-5-123.

Architecture board, see §73-1-11.

Landscape architecture advisory committee to the Mississippi State Board of Architecture, see §73-2-13.

Mississippi Auctioneer Commission, see §73-4-7.

Barber examiners board, see §73-5-3.

Chiropractic examiners board, see §73-6-9.

Cosmetology board, see §73-7-1.

Dental examiners board, see §73-9-43.

Funeral service board, see §73-11-49.

Engineers and land surveyors, state board of licensure, see §73-13-9.

Nursing board, see §73-15-11.

Nursing home administrators board, see §73-17-7.

Optometry board, see §73-19-13.

Public accountancy board, see §73-33-7.

Real Estate Appraiser Licensing and Certification Board, see §73-34-7.

Real Estate Commission, see §73-35-5.

Foresters, board of registration, see §73-36-17.

Speech pathology and audiology, council of advisors, see §73-38-11 et seq.

Registered Professional Geologists Board, see §73-63-11.

Athletic Commission, see §75-75-107.

Mississippi Gaming Commission, see §75-76-9.

Municipal Gas Authority of Mississippi, commissioners, see §77-6-11.

Local natural gas districts’ board of directors, see §77-15-1.

Banking Review Board, see §81-3-12.

Rural Risk Insurance Association, board of directors, see §83-38-9.

State executioner, see §99-19-53.

OPINIONS OF THE ATTORNEY GENERAL

A judge should order, pursuant to Section 25-3-69, each county to pay the bailiff's wages for the day or days that he serves in that county. Barlow, March 10, 1995, A.G. Op. #95-0054.

Hospital trustees are entitled to receive a per diem of forty dollars authorized by Section 25-3-69 for no more than thirty-six meetings for any one calendar year. Thomas, September 27, 1995, A.G. Op. #95-0469.

Based on Sections 25-7-27(e) and 19-19-7, a constable has a duty to attend both the criminal and civil cases in justice court in his district. However, a constable may be compensated with a per diem as provided under Section 25-3-69 when such constable serves as a bailiff in civil cases only. No similar provision exists that would provide compensation to the constable for serving as bailiff in a criminal case. Thompson, September 6, 1996, A.G. Op. #96-0606.

A county board of supervisors may choose to compensate its census committee pursuant to the standard per diem rate authorized by the statute, but as there may be some overlap between the duties and responsibilities of the census committee and that of the election commission, careful records must be maintained by the two committees to avoid duplicative payments. Gore, August 14, 1998, A.G. Op. #98-0473.

A commissioner who is entitled to receive per diem compensation under this section and who arrives at an airport authority commission meeting after the commissioners transact the business on the agenda but before they vote to adjourn the meeting is technically entitled to receive per diem compensation for that day. Yancey, August 13, 1999, A.G. Op. #99-0374.

The statute permits the payment of per diem compensation to members of the Mississippi State Board of Medical Licensure for attending ad hoc committee meetings that are held at a time other than regular board meetings when such attendance is for the discharge of official duties of such members. Burnett, Dec. 3, 1999, A.G. Op. #99-0646.

A full-time firefighter, like all other municipal officers and employees, is prohibited from being a commissioner of the municipal housing authority under Miss. Code Ann. §43-33-7. The appointment of a spouse of a member of the board of aldermen as a commissioner of the municipal housing authority violates the Nepotism Statute, Miss. Code Ann. §25-1-53, except that a person serving as commissioner prior to election of their spouse to the board of aldermen may be reappointed. Tucker, March 15, 2007, A.G. Op. #07-00130, 2007 Miss. AG LEXIS 103.

§ 25-3-71. Annual report of recommendations of salary increases and amounts.

The State Personnel Board shall prepare a written legislative report to be submitted to the members of the Mississippi Legislature on December 1, 1988, and on December 1 of every year thereafter, making recommendations on any salary increases and the amounts deemed necessary for all state and county elected officials and state appointed officials whose salaries are established by statute.

HISTORY: Laws, 1988, ch. 528, § 5, eff from and after July 1, 1988.

§ 25-3-73. Repealed.

Repealed by Laws, 2000, ch. 581, § 1, eff from and after passage May 20, 2000.

[Laws, 1997, ch. 572, § 4; Laws, 1998, ch. 591, § 1, eff from and after passage (approved April 17, 1998).]

Editor's Notes —

Former §25-3-73 required all state and nonstate service employees to be paid on a delayed basis, twice per month, beginning on January 1, 2001.

Vacation Time and Sick Leave

§ 25-3-91. Definitions.

For purposes of Sections 25-3-91 through 25-3-99, the following words and terms shall have the meaning described herein, unless the context requires otherwise:

“Appointing authority” shall mean such person, agency or authority authorized by law to employ individuals in state government, but shall not include the Board of Directors of the Mississippi Industries for the Blind.

“Catastrophic injury or illness” means a life-threatening injury or illness of an employee or a member of an employee’s immediate family which totally incapacitates the employee from work, as verified by a licensed physician, and forces the employee to exhaust all leave time earned by that employee, resulting in the loss of compensation from the state for the employee. Conditions that are short-term in nature, including, but not limited to, common illnesses such as influenza and the measles, and common injuries, are not catastrophic. Chronic illnesses or injuries, such as cancer or major surgery, which result in intermittent absences from work and which are long-term in nature and require long recuperation periods may be considered catastrophic.

“Employee” means a person appointed to a position in the state service or nonstate service as defined in Section 25-9-107, for which he is compensated on a full-time permanent or provisional basis, a temporary basis, or a part-time basis. However, in order for an employee to be eligible to receive donated leave, the employee must meet the requirements provided in Section 25-3-95(8).

“Workday” shall mean a day as defined in Section 25-1-98.

“Temporary employment” means the employment of a person in a temporary or time-limited position not to exceed twelve (12) months.

“Part-time employment” means the employment of a person in a part-time position.

HISTORY: Laws, 1976, ch. 490, § 1; Laws, 1977, ch. 473, § 1; Laws, 1981, ch. 504, § 2; Laws, 1997, ch. 519, § 1; Laws, 1998, ch. 574, § 4; Laws, 2003, ch. 472, § 3, eff from and after passage (approved Mar. 25, 2003).

Editor's Notes —

Laws of 1998, ch. 574, § 2 provides as follows:

“SECTION 2. It is the intent of the Legislature that citizens of the State of Mississippi who have physical or mental disabilities shall be afforded the opportunity to compete and participate in employment on an equal basis with persons who are not disabled, if the disabled persons are qualified and able to perform the essential functions of the employment positions that are held or sought.”

Cross References —

Application of definition of employee in computing credit for vacation pay, see §25-3-93.

Donating earned personal leave to another employee, see §25-3-95.

Creditable service, defined, see §25-11-103.

OPINIONS OF THE ATTORNEY GENERAL

There is no statutory authority for a school district to pay for employee benefits accruing to an individual as a result of previous employment with another school district. Walker, May 11, 1995, A.G. Op. #95-0319.

For purposes of determining creditable service and calculating average compensation for retirement benefits, leave accrued at rates in excess of that provided in Section 25-3-91 et seq. and the lump sum payment of personal leave in excess of thirty days would not be included. Artigues, November 8, 1996, A.G. Op. #96-0797.

Although Miss. Code Sections 25-3-91 and 25-3-95, which permit state employees to donate a certain portion of their earned personal leave or major medical leave to another employee under some circumstances, do not apply to municipal employees, municipalities may adopt ordinances or resolutions providing for a similar program in a municipality in the absence of a state statute governing a similar municipal employee leave program. Stark, July 18, 1997, A.G. Op. #97-0361.

Even when a state agency has a policy of granting administrative leave for court services or appearances, the agency may require an employee serving as a witness or juror or party litigant to take personal leave, compensatory leave, or leave without pay (where personal leave and compensatory leave have been exhausted) if the employee's court service or appearance is not verified by the clerk of the court. Taylor, June 7, 1999, A.G. Op. #99-0207.

The E-911 Commission may adopt the county personnel policy regarding the donation of leave to co-workers. Maxwell, Oct. 4, 2002, A.G. Op. #02-0569.

§ 25-3-92. Compensatory leave; administrative leave.

  1. When, in the opinion of the appointing authority, it is essential that a state employee work after normal working hours, the employee may receive credit for compensatory leave. Except as otherwise provided in Section 37-13-89, when, in the opinion of the appointing authority, it is essential that a state employee work during an official state holiday, the employee shall receive credit for compensatory leave.
  2. State employees may be granted administrative leave with pay. For the purposes of this section, “administrative leave” means discretionary leave with pay, other than personal leave or major medical leave.
    1. The appointing authority may grant administrative leave to any employee serving as a witness or juror or party litigant, as verified by the clerk of the court, in addition to any fees paid for such services, and such services or necessary appearance in any court shall not be counted as personal leave.
    2. The Governor or the appointing authority may grant administrative leave with pay to state employees on a local or statewide basis in the event of extreme weather conditions or in the event of a man-made, technological or natural disaster or emergency. Any employee on a previously approved leave during the affected period shall be eligible for such administrative leave granted by the Governor or appointing authority, and shall not be charged for his previously approved leave during the affected period.
    3. The appointing authority may grant administrative leave with pay to any employee who is a certified disaster service volunteer of the American Red Cross who participates in specialized disaster relief services for the American Red Cross in this state and in states contiguous to this state when the American Red Cross requests the employee’s participation. Administrative leave granted under this paragraph shall not exceed twenty (20) days in any twelve-month period. An employee on leave under this paragraph shall not be deemed to be an employee of the state for purposes of workers’ compensation or for purposes of claims against the state allowed under Chapter 46, Title 11, Mississippi Code of 1972. As used in this paragraph, the term “disaster” includes disasters designated at level II and above in American Red Cross national regulations and procedures.

HISTORY: Laws, 1981, ch. 504, § 3; Laws, 1982, ch. 390, § 1; Laws, 1983, ch. 343, § 1, ch. 500, § 2; Laws, 1984, ch. 307, § 1; Laws, 1986, ch. 314; Laws, 1994, ch. 397, § 1; Laws, 1999, ch. 529, § 2; Laws, 2015, ch. 368, § 1, eff from and after July 1, 2015.

Amendment Notes —

The 2015 amendment added the last sentence in (2)(b).

Cross References —

Compensatory leave for state employees required to work on legal holidays, see §25-1-98.

Administrative leave for sickness beyond an employee’s allotted days of earned sick leave, see §25-3-95.

Authority of state personnel board and director with respect to rules and regulations governing state personnel system, see §25-9-119.

Employment of agents of Mississippi Bureau of Narcotics as enforcement troopers, see §45-3-9.

JUDICIAL DECISIONS

1. Particular cases.

Mississippi Personnel Board Rule 7.22. 4(B) adopts the language of Miss. Code Ann. §25-3-92(2), which states, “‘administrative leave’ means discretionary leave with pay, other than personal leave or major medical leave.” A state employee who was under investigation for alleged improper sexual conduct continued to receive full pay and benefits for the duration of the employee’s leave, and the state agency was not required to give the employee the opportunity for a hearing within twenty days, even though Personnel Board Rule 9.20 states that an employee “suspended immediately with pay” must be given a hearing within twenty days, as the written notice placing the employee on administrative leave stated the leave was to be “until further notice”; thus, the employee was not denied due process. Davis v. Miss. State Dep't of Health, 856 So. 2d 485, 2003 Miss. App. LEXIS 286 (Miss. Ct. App.), cert. denied, 860 So. 2d 315, 2003 Miss. LEXIS 674 (Miss. 2003).

OPINIONS OF THE ATTORNEY GENERAL

The Adjutant General is not entitled to compensatory leave under any provision of state law and need not provide written documentation of his work schedule except to the extent required by the Governor. Pearson, May 13, 1992, A.G. Op. #92-0212.

Employees that work hours in excess of their normal work period are entitled to compensatory time off in accordance with state law, irrespective of the requirements of federal law. Head, June 25, 1992, A.G. Op. #92-0444.

Under Section 25-3-92 the legislature did not intend for any accumulated unused compensatory leave to be counted as creditable service for the purposes of the retirement system. Keating, January 19, 1996, A.G. Op. #96-0017.

Both the Commissioner of Corrections and the Deputy Commissioners come within the meaning of “employee”, as used in the statute and are eligible for compensatory leave, when in the opinion of the appointing authority, it is essential that they work after normal hours. Anderson, May 8, 1998, A.G. Op. #98-0229.

§ 25-3-93. Personal leave.

    1. Except as provided in subsection (1)(b), all employees and appointed officers of the State of Mississippi, who are employees as defined in Section 25-3-91, shall be allowed credit for personal leave computed as follows:

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      However, employees who were hired prior to July 1, 1984, who have continuous service of more than five (5) years but not more than eight (8) years shall accrue fifteen (15) hours of personal leave each month.

    2. Temporary employees who work less than a full workweek and part-time employees shall be allowed credit for personal leave computed on a pro rata basis. Faculty members employed by the eight (8) public universities on a nine-month contract, and employees of the public universities who do not contribute to the Mississippi Public Employees’ Retirement System or the State Institutions of Higher Learning Optional Retirement Program, shall not be eligible for personal leave.
  1. For the purpose of computing credit for personal leave, each appointed officer or employee shall be considered to work not more than five (5) days each week. Leaves of absence granted by the appointing authority for one (1) year or less shall be permitted without forfeiting previously accumulated continuous service. The provisions of this section shall not apply to military leaves of absence. The time for taking personal leave, except when such leave is taken due to an illness, shall be determined by the appointing authority of which such employees are employed.
  2. For the purpose of Sections 25-3-91 through 25-3-99, the earned personal leave of each employee shall be credited monthly after the completion of each calendar month of service, and the appointing authority shall not increase the amount of personal leave to an employee’s credit. It shall be unlawful for an appointing authority to grant personal leave in an amount greater than was earned and accumulated by the officer or employee.
  3. Employees are encouraged to use earned personal leave. Personal leave may be used for vacations and personal business as scheduled by the appointing authority and shall be used for illnesses of the employee requiring absences of one (1) day or less. Accrued personal or compensatory leave shall be used for the first day of an employee’s illness requiring his absence of more than one (1) day. Accrued personal or compensatory leave may also be used for an illness in the employee’s immediate family as defined in Section 25-3-95. There shall be no limit to the accumulation of personal leave. Upon termination of employment each employee shall be paid for not more than thirty (30) days of accumulated personal leave. Unused personal leave in excess of thirty (30) days shall be counted as creditable service for the purposes of the retirement system as provided in Sections 25-11-103 and 25-13-5.
  4. Any state law enforcement officer who is injured by wound or accident in the line of duty shall not be required to use earned personal leave during the period of recovery from such injury. As used in this subsection, the term “state law enforcement officer” means a person employed by a state agency who, as a condition of his or her employment, is required by law to complete a course of study at the Law Enforcement Officers Training Academy.
  5. Any employee may donate a portion of his or her earned personal leave to another employee who is suffering from a catastrophic injury or illness, or to another employee who has a member of his or her immediate family who is suffering from a catastrophic injury or illness, in accordance with subsection (8) of Section 25-3-95.

Continuous Accrual Rate Accrual Rate Service (Monthly) (Annually) 1 month to 3 years 12 hours per month 18 days per year 37 months to 8 years 14 hours per month 21 days per year 97 months to 15 years 16 hours per month 24 days per year Over 15 years 18 hours per month 27 days per year

HISTORY: Laws, 1976, ch. 490, § 2; Laws, 1977, ch. 473, § 2; Laws, 1981, ch. 504, § 4; Laws, 1984, ch. 307, § 2; Laws, 1988, ch. 553, § 1; Laws, 1989, ch. 536, § 1; Laws, 1991, ch. 364, § 1; Laws, 1994, ch. 428, § 3; Laws, 1996, ch. 348, § 1; Laws, 1997, ch. 519, § 3; reenacted and amended, Laws, 1999, ch. 557, § 1; Laws, 2003, ch. 472, § 1; Laws, 2005, ch. 341, § 1; Laws, 2005, ch. 411, § 1; Laws, 2014, ch. 495, § 2, eff from and after passage (approved April 16, 2014).

Joint Legislative Committee Note —

Pursuant to Section 1-1-109, the Joint Legislative Committee on Compilation, Revision and Publication of Legislation corrected an enacting error in the second sentence of (4). The word “or” was added following “employee requiring absences of one (1) day.” The Joint Committee ratified the correction at its July 8, 2004, meeting.

Section 1 of ch. 341, Laws of 2005, effective from and after July 1, 2005, amended this section. Section 1 of ch. 411, Laws of 2005, effective from and after passage (approved March 16, 2005), also amended this section. As set out above, this section reflects the language of Section 1 of ch. 341, Laws of 2005, pursuant to Section 1-3-79 which provides that whenever the same section of law is amended by different bills during the same legislative session, the amendment with the latest effective date shall supersede all other amendments to the same section taken effect earlier.

Editor’s Notes —

At the direction of the co-counsel for the Joint Legislative Committee on Compilation, Revision and Publication of Legislation, a typographical error in the third sentence of (4) was corrected by substituting “…used for the first day of an employee’s illness…” for “…used for the first day of an employees illness…”

Laws of 2014, ch. 495, § 1 provides:

“SECTION 1. This act shall be known and cited as the ‘Gale Stauffer, Jr., and Joseph Maher Law Enforcement Appreciation Act of 2014’.”

Amendment Notes —

The first 2005 amendment (ch. 341) substituted “and employees of the public universities who do not contribute to the Mississippi Public Employees’ Retirement System or the State Institutions of Higher Learning Optional Retirement Program” for “temporary employees of the public universities who work less than twenty (20) hours per week for a period of less than five (5) months during a fiscal year and recipients of full-time educational leave while on such leave” in the second sentence of (1)(b); and deleted the former second paragraph of (6), which read: “This subsection shall stand repealed from and after July 1, 2005.”

The second 2005 amendment (ch. 411) deleted the former second paragraph of (6), which read: “This subsection shall stand repealed from and after July 1, 2005.”

The 2014 amendment, in (5), substituted “state law enforcement officer” for “officer of the Mississippi Highway Safety Patrol” in the first sentence and added the second sentence.

Cross References —

Payment to employee’s beneficiary of money earned and not paid if employee dies having accumulated annual leave to his credit, see §25-3-97.

Applicability of this section to the computation of creditable service of elected officials, see §25-11-109.

Eight public universities generally, see Title 37, Chapters 113 through 127.

Employment of agents of Mississippi Bureau of Narcotics as enforcement troopers, see §45-3-9.

JUDICIAL DECISIONS

1. No basis for termination.

Because an employee out on temporary total disability for a work-related injury was not on a leave of absence, a termination based on Miss. Code Ann. §25-3-93(2) was not supported by substantial evidence; moreover, an employer provided no written policy relating to terminating employees who had been absent for more than one year. Moeller v. Miss. Dep't of Human Servs., 955 So. 2d 956, 2007 Miss. App. LEXIS 281 (Miss. Ct. App. 2007).

OPINIONS OF THE ATTORNEY GENERAL

Municipal governing authorities have authority to adopt leave policy and provide for payment to terminated employees for unused personal leave up to maximum of thirty (30) days; if governing authorities have adopted such policy and employee upon termination has accumulated unused personal leave, he would be entitled to compensation within guidelines of adopted policy on same basis as other employees. Coats, March 15, 1990, A.G. Op. #90-0192.

No statute provides maternity leave benefits for state employees; natural childbirth mother may use annual leave for pregnancy and/or childbirth, and state employee may use annual leave while taking care of adopted infant. Ranck, July 2, 1992, A.G. Op. #92-0508.

If former community college president had 14 days of unused accumulated personal leave for which he could be paid under state law at time he left college, he would be entitled to payment for 14 days he took during paid leave of absence to conduct business on behalf of college. Bradley, Sept. 2, 1992, A.G. Op. #92-0637.

When employee is no longer performing any work for agency and has no plan or intention to return to work but is merely exhausting his or her personal leave before formally resigning position, termination of employment has effectively occurred as of date employee last worked; such employee would be entitled to receive payment for not more than thirty days accumulated leave, and all other leave is to be counted as creditable service for retirement purposes. Dyson, Sept. 2, 1992, A.G. Op. #92-0698.

Limitation placed on appointing authority in granting earned and accumulated personal leave to employee is that said appointing authority can grant no more personal leave than that which has been accumulated or earned by employee. Head, Nov. 29, 1993, A.G. Op. #93-0824.

If individual is employee occupying position in state service or non-state service, then individual will be eligible for personal and sick leave benefits. Ranck, Jan. 10, 1994, A.G. Op. #93-0949.

A judge would be entitled to additional creditable service for retirement purposes in accordance with the provisions of sections 25-3-93 and 25-3-95. Truly, March 10, 1995, A.G. Op. #95-0057.

The Governor or the appointing authority of the affected state agencies have the discretion, pursuant to Section 25-3-93(2)(b), to grant administrative leave to state employees previously placed in furlough status if federal funds have been made available to compensate such employees for the furlough period. Maher, November 29, 1995, A.G. Op. #95-0820.

If the assistant district attorney’s employment status with the state is being terminated in favor of an elected office, he is entitled to be paid for not more than thirty days of accumulated personal leave, with unused personal leave in excess of thirty days to be counted as creditable service for purposes of retirement, all as provided in Section 25-3-93(4). Ranck, February 8, 1996, A.G. Op. #95-0856.

Pursuant to Section 25-3-93(4) and 25-3-97(5) if the district attorneys have adopted leave policies identical to the state and those policies authorize the transfer of accumulated leave from one district attorney’s office to another, similar to a transfer between state agencies, then all such accumulated leave would be transferable. There would be no authority for the former employer to make a lump sum payment under these circumstances. Ranck, April 9, 1996, A.G. Op. #96-0170.

A break in service would not include the lapse of one non-work day, but would include the acceptance of a lump sum payment for personal leave. See Section 25-3-95. Ranck, April 9, 1996, A.G. Op. #96-0170.

An agent of the Bureau of Narcotics, though classified as an enforcement officer after training by the Mississippi Highway Safety Patrol, is not the equivalent of an officer of the Highway Patrol and, except for certain described individuals, is not an officer of the Highway Patrol and, unlike the latter, must use earned major medical leave or personal leave during the period of recovery from injury, wound or accident sustained in the line of duty. Jones, January 9, 1998, A.G. Op. #97-0768.

Bureau of Narcotics agents who have been designated as officers of the Mississippi Highway Safety Patrol do not have to expend earned major medical or personal leave while recuperating from on-duty injuries. Jones, March 13, 1998, A.G. Op. #98-0111.

The statute does not apply to employees of a county school district. Ball, Nov. 19, 2000, A.G. Op. #2000-0650.

Where an employee takes compensatory time for the last several weeks of his employment with a county prior to the effective date of his resignation, the employee is not eligible to continue to participate in State Retirement during such period. Yancey, Mar. 23, 2001, A.G. Op. #01-0102.

Section 25-11-103(i) authorizes a political subdivision to tailor a local personnel policy of its own, affording more or less leave benefits than those afforded state employees. However, if a political subdivision, such as a water and sewer district, affords more leave benefits to its employees such leave policies may not enlarge the benefits afforded to such employees in the state retirement system and such leave should not be reported to the PERS. Fonda, Feb. 27, 2004, A.G. Op. 04-0054.

§ 25-3-95. Major medical leave.

  1. All employees and appointed officers of the State of Mississippi, except employees of the public universities who do not contribute to the Mississippi Public Employees’ Retirement System or the State Institutions of Higher Learning Optional Retirement Program, shall accrue credits for major medical leave as follows:

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    Faculty members employed by the eight (8) public universities on a nine-month contract shall accrue credit for major medical leave as follows:

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    Part-time employees shall accrue major medical leave on a pro rata basis. There shall be no maximum limit to major medical leave accumulation. All unused major medical leave shall be counted as creditable service for the purposes of the retirement system as provided in Sections 25-11-103 and 25-13-5.

    1. Major medical leave may be used for the illness or injury of an employee or member of the employee’s immediate family as defined in subsection (3) of this section, only after the employee has used one (1) day of accrued personal or compensatory leave for each absence due to illness, or leave without pay if the employee has no accrued personal or compensatory leave; provided that faculty members employed by the eight (8) public universities on a nine-month basis may use major medical leave for the first day of absence due to illness. However, major medical leave may be used, without prior use of personal leave, to cover regularly scheduled visits to a doctor’s office or a hospital for the continuing treatment of a chronic disease, as certified in advance by a physician. For the purposes of this section, “physician” means a doctor of medicine, osteopathy, dental medicine, podiatry or chiropractic. For each absence due to illness of thirty-two (32) consecutive working hours (combined personal leave and major medical leave) major medical leave shall be authorized only when certified by their attending physician.
    2. When an employee’s absence is due to a work-related injury for which the employee is receiving temporary disability benefits under Section 71-3-17(b) or 71-3-21, the injured employee shall not use accrued personal and/or medical leave and receive workers’ compensation benefits simultaneously if the combined receipt of both benefits results in the employee being paid, while absent due to the work-related injury, a total amount that exceeds one hundred percent (100%) of his wages earned in state employment at the time of injury. In such cases, the injured employee may use only as much of his accrued personal and/or medical leave as necessary, which may be fewer than eight (8) hours of accrued personal and/or major medical leave in a day, to constitute the difference between the amount of temporary disability workers’ compensation benefits received and one hundred percent (100%) of his wages earned at the time of injury in state employment. It is the intent of the Legislature that no state employee who is absent and disabled from work due to a work-related injury shall receive more than one hundred percent (100%) of his wages earned in state employment at the time of injury through the use of accrued personal and/or medical leave combined with temporary disability benefits under the Workers’ Compensation Law. The procedure for implementing this paragraph (b) shall be as directed by the applicable appointing authority. The receipt or payment of benefits in compliance with this paragraph (b) shall be considered the employee’s exclusive remedy against the employer in accordance with Section 71-3-9.
  2. An employee may use up to three (3) days of earned major medical leave for each occurrence of death in the immediate family requiring the employee’s absence from work. No qualifying time or use of personal leave will be required prior to use of major medical leave for this purpose. For the purpose of this subsection (3), the immediate family is defined as spouse, parent, stepparent, sibling, child, stepchild, grandchild, grandparent, son- or daughter-in-law, mother- or father-in-law or brother- or sister-in-law. Child means a biological, adopted or foster child, or a child for whom the individual stands or stood in loco parentis.
  3. Employees and appointed officers of the State of Mississippi having unused, accumulated sick leave or annual leave earned prior to July 1, 1984, shall be credited with major medical leave and personal leave as follows: All unused annual leave shall be credited as personal leave.

    Unused sick leave shall be divided between major medical leave and personal leave at rates determined by the employee’s sick leave balance on June 30, 1984. The rates of conversion shall be as follows:

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  4. Upon retirement from active employment each faculty member of the state-supported public universities who is employed on a nine-month basis shall receive credit and be paid for not more than thirty (30) days of unused major medical leave for service as a state employee. Unused major medical leave in excess of thirty (30) days shall be counted as creditable service for the purposes of the retirement system as provided in Sections 25-11-103 and 25-13-5.
  5. Any state law enforcement officer who is injured by wound or accident in the line of duty shall not be required to use earned major medical leave during the period of recovery from such injury. As used in this subsection, the term “state law enforcement officer” means a person employed by a state agency who, as a condition of his or her employment, is required by law to complete a course of study at the Law Enforcement Officers Training Academy.
  6. For the purpose of Sections 25-3-91 through 25-3-99, the earned major medical leave of each employee shall be credited monthly after the completion of each calendar month, and the appointing authority shall not increase the amount of major medical leave to an employee’s credit. It shall be unlawful for an appointing authority to grant major medical leave in an amount greater than was earned and accumulated by the officer or employee.
  7. Any employee may donate a portion of his or her earned personal leave or major medical leave to another employee who is suffering from a catastrophic injury or illness, as defined in Section 25-3-91, or to another employee who has a member of his or her immediate family who is suffering from a catastrophic injury or illness, in accordance with the following:
    1. The employee donating the leave (the “donor employee”) shall designate the employee who is to receive the leave (the “recipient employee”) and the amount of earned personal leave and major medical leave that is to be donated, and shall notify the donor employee’s appointing authority or supervisor of his or her designation. The donor employee’s appointing authority or supervisor then shall notify the recipient employee’s appointing authority or supervisor of the amount of leave that has been donated by the donor employee to the recipient employee.
    2. The maximum amount of earned personal leave that an employee may donate to any other employee may not exceed a number of days that would leave the donor employee with fewer than seven (7) days of personal leave left, and the maximum amount of earned major medical leave that an employee may donate to any other employee may not exceed fifty percent (50%) of the earned major medical leave of the donor employee. All donated leave shall be in increments of not less than twenty-four (24) hours.
    3. An employee must have exhausted all of his or her earned personal leave and major medical leave before he or she will be eligible to receive any leave donated by another employee.
    4. Before an employee may receive donated leave, he or she must provide his or her appointing authority or supervisor with a physician’s statement that states the beginning date of the catastrophic injury or illness, a description of the injury or illness, and a prognosis for recovery and the anticipated date that the recipient employee will be able to return to work.
    5. If an employee is aggrieved by the decision of his or her appointing authority that the employee is not eligible to receive donated leave because the injury or illness of the employee or member of the employee’s immediate family is not, in the appointing authority’s determination, a catastrophic injury or illness, the employee may appeal the decision to the employee appeals board.
    6. Beginning on March 25, 2003, the maximum period of time that an employee may use donated leave without resuming work at his or her place of employment is ninety (90) days, which commences on the first day that the recipient employee uses donated leave. Donated leave that is not used because a recipient employee has used the maximum amount of donated leave authorized under this paragraph shall be returned to the donor employees in the manner provided under paragraph (g) of this subsection.
    7. If the total amount of leave that is donated to any employee is not used by the recipient employee, the donated leave shall be returned to the donor employees on a pro rata basis, based on the ratio of the number of days of leave donated by each donor employee to the total number of days of leave donated by all donor employees.
    8. The failure of any appointing authority or supervisor of any employee to properly deduct an employee’s donation of leave to another employee from the donor employee’s earned personal leave or major medical leave shall constitute just cause for the dismissal of the appointing authority or supervisor.
    9. No person through the use of coercion, threats or intimidation shall require or attempt to require any employee to donate his or her leave to another employee. Any person who alleges a violation of this paragraph shall report the violation to the executive head of the agency by whom he or she is employed or, if the alleged violator is the executive head of the agency, then the employee shall report the violation to the State Personnel Board. Any person found to have violated this paragraph shall be subject to removal from office or termination of employment.
    10. No employee can donate leave after tendering notice of separation for any reason or after termination.
    11. Recipient employees of agencies with more than five hundred (500) employees as of March 25, 2003, may receive donated leave only from donor employees within the same agency. A recipient employee in an agency with five hundred (500) or fewer employees as of March 25, 2003, may receive donated leave from any donor employee.
    12. In order for an employee to be eligible to receive donated leave, the employee must:
      1. Have been employed for a total of at least twelve (12) months by the employer on the date on which the leave is donated; and
      2. Have been employed for at least one thousand two hundred fifty (1,250) hours of service with such employer during the previous twelve-month period from the date on which the leave is donated.
    13. Donated leave shall not be used in lieu of disability retirement.
    14. For the purposes of this subsection, “immediate family” means spouse, parent, stepparent, sibling, child or stepchild.
  8. An employee may use up to six (6) weeks of earned major medical leave for the placement with the employee of a child for adoption or foster care and to care for the newly placed child within one (1) year of placement.

Continuous Accrual Rate Accrual Rate Service (Monthly) (Annually) 1 month to 3 years 8 hours per month 12 days per year 37 months to 8 years 7 hours per month 10.5 days per year 97 months to 15 years 6 hours per month 9 days per year Over 15 years 5 hours per month 7.5 days per year

Continuous Accrual Rate Accrual Rate Service (Per Month) (Per Academic Year) 1 month to 3 years 13-1/3 hours per month 15 days per academic year 37 months to 8 years 14-/ hours per month 1 5 16 days per academic year 97 months to 15 years 15-/ hours per month 2 5 17 days per academic year Over 15 years 16 hours per month 18 days per academic year

Sick Leave Percentage Percentage Balance as of Converted to Converted to June 30, 1984 Personal Leave Major Medical Leave 1 – 200 hours 20% 80% 201 – 400 hours 25% 75% 401 – 600 hours 30% 70% 601 or more hours 35% 65%

HISTORY: Laws, 1976, ch. 490, § 3; Laws, 1981, ch. 5; Laws, 1982, ch. 390, § 2; Laws, 1983, ch. 343, § 2; Laws, 1984, ch. 307, §§ 3, 4; Laws, 1988, ch. 553, § 2; Laws, 1991, ch. 364, § 2; Laws, 1993, ch. 451, § 1; Laws, 1994, ch. 428, § 4; Laws, 1996, ch. 348, § 2; Laws, 1997, ch. 519, § 2; reenacted and amended, Laws, 1999, ch. 557, § 2; Laws, 2003, ch. 472, § 2; Laws, 2005, ch. 341, § 2; Laws, 2005, ch. 411, § 2; Laws, 2008, ch. 501, § 1; Laws, 2014, ch. 342, § 1; Laws, 2014, ch. 495, § 3, eff from and after passage (approved April 16, 2014).

Joint Legislative Committee Note —

Section 2 of ch. 341, Laws of 2005, effective from and after July 1, 2005, amended this section. Section 2 of ch. 411, Laws of 2005, effective from and after passage (approved March 16, 2005), also amended this section. As set out above, this section reflects the language of Section 2 of ch. 341, Laws of 2005, pursuant to Section 1-3-79 which provides that whenever the same section of law is amended by different bills during the same legislative session, the amendment with the latest effective date shall supersede all other amendments to the same section taken effect earlier.

Section 1 of ch. 342, Laws of 2014, effective from and after July 1, 2014 (approved March 14, 2014), amended this section. Section 3 of ch. 495, Laws of 2014, effective from and after passage (approved April 16, 2014), also amended this section. As set out above, this section reflects the language of both amendments pursuant to Section 1-1-109 which gives the Joint Legislative Committee on Compilation, Revision, and Publication of Legislation authority to integrate amendments so that all versions of the same code section enacted within the same legislative session may become effective. The Joint Committee on Compilation, Revision, and Publication of Legislation ratified the integration of these amendments as consistent with the legislative intent at the July 24, 2014, meeting of the Committee.

Editor's Notes —

Laws of 2014, ch. 495, § 1 provides:

“SECTION 1. This act shall be known and cited as the 'Gale Stauffer, Jr., and Joseph Maher Law Enforcement Appreciation Act of 2014'.”

Amendment Notes —

The first 2005 amendment (ch. 341) rewrote the first paragraph of (1); substituted “March 25, 2003” for “the effective date of Senate Bill No. 2317, 2003 Regular Session” in (8)(f) and (8)(k); and deleted former (8)(o) which read: “This subsection shall stand repealed from and after July 1, 2005.”

The second 2005 amendment (ch. 411) substituted “March 25, 2003” for “the effective date of Senate Bill No. 2317 2003 Regular Session” once in (8)(f) and twice in (8)(k); and repealed former (8)(o), which contained a repealer for (8).

The 2008 amendment added (2)(b); and made a minor stylistic change.

The first 2014 amendment (ch. 342) added (9).

The second 2014 amendment (ch. 495), in (6), substituted “state law enforcement officer” for “officer of the Mississippi Highway Safety Patrol” in the first sentence and added the second sentence.

Cross References —

Use of personal leave for the first day an employee’s illness, and for an illness in the employee’s immediate family, see §25-3-93.

Applicability of this section to the computation of creditable service of elected officials, see §25-11-109.

Eight public Universities generally, see Title 37, chapters 113 through 127.

Employment of agents of Mississippi Bureau of Narcotics as enforcement troopers, see §45-3-9.

Worker’s Compensation Law, see §§71-3-1 et seq.

OPINIONS OF THE ATTORNEY GENERAL

Municipalities may adopt leave policies which exceed the benefits available to state employees via statute. Ramsay, June 3, 1992, A.G. Op. #92-0361.

No statute provides maternity leave benefits for state employees; natural childbirth mother may use major medical leave for pregnancy and/or childbirth. Ranck, July 2, 1992, A.G. Op. #92-0508.

A judge would be entitled to additional creditable service for retirement purposes in accordance with the provisions of sections 25-3-93 and 25-3-95. Truly, March 10, 1995, A.G. Op. #95-0057.

A break in service would not include the lapse of one non-work day, but would include the acceptance of a lump sum payment for personal leave. See Section 25-3-93 Ranck, April 9, 1996, A.G. Op. #96-0170.

Although Miss. Code Sections 25-3-91 and 25-3-95, which permit state employees to donate a certain portion of their earned personal leave or major medical leave to another employee under some circumstances, do not apply to municipal employees, municipalities may adopt ordinances or resolutions providing for a similar program in a municipality in the absence of a state statute governing a similar municipal employee leave program. Stark, July 18, 1997, A.G. Op. #97-0361.

An agent of the Bureau of Narcotics, though classified as an enforcement officer after training by the Mississippi Highway Safety Patrol, is not the equivalent of an officer of the Highway Patrol and, except for certain described individuals, is not an officer of the Highway Patrol and, unlike the latter, must use earned major medical leave or personal leave during the period of recovery from injury, wound or accident sustained in the line of duty. Jones, January 9, 1998, A.G. Op. #97-0768.

Bureau of Narcotics agents who have been designated as officers of the Mississippi Highway Safety Patrol do not have to expend earned major medical or personal leave while recuperating from on-duty injuries. Jones, March 13, 1998, A.G. Op. #98-0111.

Provided a leave policy has been lawfully adopted, and if such policy tracks the language as found in the statute, the medical evidence required must be such as to support the employer's finding that the employee's physical or mental condition is such that the employee can no longer work in such a capacity for state government or its equivalent under the adopted policy; such evidence may include certification by a medical doctor of such in capacity. Ranck, August 14, 1998, A.G. Op. #98-0313.

In the absence of any provision under state law for a municipal leave donation program, a municipality under the authority of home rule may adopt or enact a program similar to the one applicable to state employees under subsection (8) of this section. Mitchell, August 6, 1999, A.G. Op. #99-0372.

The phrase “hours of service” as used in subdivision (8)( l )(ii) of this section includes actual hours worked in addition to any paid time off using accrued vacation or medical leave. The phrase does not include any unpaid leave. Horhn, July 18, 2003, A.G. Op. 03-0308.

Section 25-11-103(i) authorizes a political subdivision to tailor a local personnel policy of its own, affording more or less leave benefits than those afforded state employees. However, if a political subdivision, such as a water and sewer district, affords more leave benefits to its employees such leave policies may not enlarge the benefits afforded to such employees in the state retirement system and such leave should not be reported to the PERS. Fonda, Feb. 27, 2004, A.G. Op. 04-0054.

§ 25-3-97. Records; final payments upon leaving state employment; affidavits as to absences; transfer of accrued leave; employee’s death.

  1. All organizations shall keep accurate records of the leave accumulated and used by the officers and employees thereof.
  2. The appointing authority in nonstate service agencies within the meaning of Section 25-9-107 will develop rules for proper maintenance of leave records. The rules shall include provisions which shall keep the employee informed on a monthly basis as to his accumulated leave balances. For accounting purposes an employee’s anniversary date is the date of employment to full-time permanent or provisional service in state government.
  3. The appointing authority in nonstate service agencies, in conjunction with the State Fiscal Officer, will develop rules for the final payment of accrued leave at such time that an employee leaves state employment. At no time will an employee be paid for accrued leave while still employed in state service, except that major medical leave pay may be made as heretofore provided. No payment will be made for accrued major medical leave except that an employee who presents medical evidence that his physical condition is such that he can no longer work in a capacity of state government may be paid for not more than one hundred twenty (120) days of earned major medical leave.
  4. The State Fiscal Officer, before issuing a warrant to any of said employees for the payment of his salary, shall be furnished by each appointing authority any reports as required by the State Fiscal Officer as to absences in the department. The appointing authority shall make the required deduction from the salary as indicated on the affidavit in submitting their payroll requisitions to the Department of Finance and Administration, or if the State Fiscal Officer learns of such excessive absence from some other source, he is empowered to make such deduction, unless such absence shall have been for official business, personal leave, or by the permission of the Governor previously obtained. The State Fiscal Officer may promulgate rules on reporting absences in the agencies.
  5. All accrued leave, both major medical and personal leave, earned by employees shall be transferrable between or among any and all state agencies, junior colleges and senior colleges. Each appointing authority shall be furnished a statement of accrued leave at the time of transfer by an employee.
  6. Should an employee die having accumulated personal leave as provided in Section 25-3-93, the wages or salary which would have been paid to such employee during his leave shall be paid to the person designated by such employee for this purpose or, in the absence of such designation, to the beneficiary of such employee as recorded with the Public Employees’ Retirement System. Accumulated leave shall be considered for the purpose of Sections 25-3-91 through 25-3-99 as wages or salary earned and not paid.

HISTORY: Laws, 1976, ch. 490, § 4; Laws, 1977, ch. 473, § 3; Laws, 1981, ch. 504, § 6; Laws, 1984, ch. 307, § 5, eff from and after July 1, 1984; Laws, 1996, ch. 348, § 3; Laws, 1998, ch. 366, § 1, eff from and after July 1, 1998.

Editor's Notes —

Section 7-7-2 provides that the words “State Auditor of Public Accounts,” “State Auditor,” and “Auditor” appearing in the laws of this state in connection with the performance of Auditor's functions shall mean the State Fiscal Officer.

Section 27-104-6 provides that whenever the term “State Fiscal Officer” appears in any law it shall mean “Executive Director of the Department of Finance and Administration”.

OPINIONS OF THE ATTORNEY GENERAL

State law and regulations governing the Statewide Personnel System do not reflect a right of state employees classified as exempt under the Federal Labor Standards Act to payment for accumulated compensatory time. Head, June 25, 1992, A.G. Op. #92-0444.

Limitation placed on appointing authority in granting earned and accumulated personal leave to employee is that said appointing authority can grant no more personal leave than that which has been accumulated or earned by employee. Head Nov. 29, 1993, A.G. Op. #93-0824.

Pursuant to Section 25-3-93(4) and 25-3-97(5) if the district attorneys have adopted leave policies identical to the state and those policies authorize the transfer of accumulated leave from one district attorney's office to another, similar to a transfer between state agencies, then all such accumulated leave would be transferable. There would be no authority for the former employer to make a lump sum payment under these circumstances. Ranck, April 9, 1996, A.G. Op. #96-0170.

Section 25-3-97 refers to persons appointed to a position in state service or non-state service as defined in Section 25-9-107. Ranck, August 14, 1998, A.G. Op. #98-0313.

The statute authorizes the transfer of leave when a state employee transfers from one state agency to another, but does not provide for the transfer of leave accrued by employees who are not state service or nonstate service. Ranck, August 18, 1998, A.G. Op. #98-0314.

Consistent with and pursuant to IRS Revenue Ruling 86-109, neither federal nor state income taxes would be deducted from payments of accrued wages or vacation pay issued to a deceased state employee's designee or successor. Ranck, June 18, 1999, A.G. Op. #99-0230.

An employee who transferred between community colleges prior to July 1, 1998, is not entitled to leave that accumulated at the first community college; further, the employee could not have transferred leave under the pre-1998 statutory language, which allowed transfer of accumulated leave between state agencies. Michael, Apr. 27, 2001, A.G. Op. #01-0260.

Community and junior colleges are not covered by the state's leave law, but retain the authority to adopt their own leave policies so long as provisions therein for retirement credit do not exceed the state law provisions. Ready, Oct. 31, 2003, A.G. Op. 03-0331.

§ 25-3-99. Prior payment of leave earned unaffected.

Nothing in Sections 25-3-91 through 25-3-99 shall be construed to deny the payment of leave earned prior to July 1, 1976.

HISTORY: Laws, 1976, ch. 490, § 5, eff from and after July 1, 1976.

§ 25-3-101. Promulgation of rules.

The state personnel board shall promulgate rules for the administration of Sections 25-3-91 through 25-3-99, which shall be binding upon state service agencies within the meaning of Section 25-9-107.

HISTORY: Laws, 1981, ch. 504, § 7, eff from and after July 1, 1981.

§ 25-3-103. Mississippi Organ Donor Leave Law; legislative intent; definitions; paid leave; number of days of leave allowed; approval required; adoption of rules governing organ donation leave.

  1. This section may be cited as the “Mississippi Organ Donor Leave Act.”
  2. This section is intended to provide time off with pay for state employees who donate an organ, bone marrow, blood or blood platelets.
  3. As used in this section:
    1. “Agency” means any branch, department, board, committee or commission of state government, but does not include units of local government or school districts.
    2. “Department” means the Mississippi Department of Finance and Administration.
    3. “Participating employee” means a permanent full-time or part-time employee who has been employed by an agency for a period of six (6) months or more and who donates an organ, bone marrow, blood or blood platelets.
    1. On request, a participating employee subject to this section may be entitled to organ donation leave with pay.
    2. An employee may use (i) up to thirty (30) days of organ donation leave in any twelve-month period to serve as a bone marrow donor, (ii) up to thirty (30) days of organ donation leave in any twelve-month period to serve as an organ donor, (iii) up to one (1) hour to donate blood every fifty-six (56) days, and (iv) up to two (2) hours to donate blood platelets in accordance with appropriate medical standards established by the American Red Cross or other nationally recognized standards. Leave under subparagraph (iv) may not be granted more than twenty-four (24) times in a twelve-month period.
    3. An employee may use organ donation leave or other leave authorized in paragraph (b) of this section only after obtaining approval from the employee’s agency.
    4. An employee shall not be required to use accumulated sick or vacation leave time before being eligible for organ donor leave.
    5. The department must adopt rules governing organ donation leave, including rules that (i) establish conditions and procedures for requesting and approving leave, and (ii) require medical documentation of the proposed organ or bone marrow donation before leave is approved by the employing agency.

HISTORY: Laws, 2004, ch. 336, § 1, eff from and after July 1, 2004.

Chapter 4. Ethics in Government

Article 1. Mississippi Ethics Commission.

§ 25-4-1. Legislative purpose.

The Legislature hereby declares it essential to the proper operation of democratic government that public officials and employees be independent and impartial; that governmental decisions and policy be made in the proper channels of the governmental structure; that public office not be used for private gain other than the remuneration provided by law; that there be public confidence in the integrity of government; and that public officials be assisted in determinations of conflicts of interest.

HISTORY: Laws, 1979, ch. 508, § 1; reenacted, Laws, 1982, ch. 488, § 1; reenacted, Laws, 1986, ch. 348, § 1, reenacted, Laws, 1990, ch. 491, § 1; Laws, 1995, ch. 360, § 1; reenacted without change, Laws, 1998, ch. 350, § 1, eff from and after June 8, 1998 (the date the United States Attorney General interposed no objection under Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 to the reenactment of this section).

Editor’s Notes —

The United States Attorney General, by letter dated August 25, 1995, interposed no objection, under Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act of 1965, to the amendment to this section by Laws of 1995, ch. 360, § 1.

Laws of 1995, ch. 360, § 20, provided for the repeal of this section effective from and after December 31, 1998. Subsequently, Laws of 1998, ch. 350, § 18, effective from and after the date it is effectuated under the Voting Rights Act of 1965, amended Laws of 1995, ch. 360, § 20, so as to delete the repealer provision.

RESEARCH REFERENCES

Law Reviews.

Legislator Guilty of Misdemeanor if He Has Direct Interest in Contract Authorized by Legislature. 52 Miss. L. J. 659, September 1982.

§ 25-4-3. Definitions.

As used in this chapter, unless the context requires otherwise:

“Advisory boards or commissions” means committees created solely to provide technical or professional knowledge or expertise to a parent organization, and whose members exercise no direct authority to expend public funds other than reimbursement for personal expenses incurred as a result of a member’s service on the advisory board;

“Business” means any corporation, partnership, sole proprietorship, firm, enterprise, franchise, association, organization, holding company, self-employed individual, joint-stock company, receivership, trust or other legal entity or undertaking organized for economic gain or a nonprofit corporation or other such entity, association or organization receiving public funds;

“Candidate for public office” means an individual who has filed the necessary documents or papers to appear as a candidate for nomination for election or election to any elective office existing under the laws of the State of Mississippi, including primary, special or general elections. The term “candidate” does not include any person within the meaning of Section 301(b) of the Federal Election Campaign Act of 1971;

“Commission” means the Mississippi Ethics Commission;

“Compensation” means money or thing of value received, or to be received, from any person for services rendered or to be rendered;

“Household member” means:

The spouse of the public servant; or

Any person over the age of twenty-one (21) who resided in the public servant’s household during the entire reporting period.

“Income” means money or thing of value received, or to be received, from any source, including, but not limited to, any salary, wage, advance, payment, dividend, interest, rent, forgiveness of debt, fee, royalty or any combination thereof;

“Person” means any individual, firm, business, corporation, association, partnership, union or other legal entity;

“Public employee” means any individual who receives a salary, per diem or expenses paid in whole or in part out of funds authorized to be expended by the Mississippi State Legislature or by the governing body of any political subdivision thereof, or any other body politic within the State of Mississippi;

“Public funds” means all monies, whether federal, state, district or local;

“Public official” means:

Any elected official of the State of Mississippi or any political subdivision thereof or any other body politic within the State of Mississippi; or

Any member, officer, director, commissioner, supervisor, chief, head, agent or employee of the State of Mississippi, or any agency thereof, of any political subdivision of the State of Mississippi, of any body politic within the State of Mississippi, or of any public entity created by or under the laws of the State of Mississippi or by executive order of the Governor of the state, any of which is funded by public funds or which expends, authorizes or recommends the use of public funds;

“Public servant” means:

Any elected or appointed official of the government;

Any officer, director, commissioner, supervisor, chief, head, agent or employee of the government or any agency thereof, or of any public entity created by or under the laws of the State of Mississippi or created by an agency or governmental entity thereof, any of which is funded by public funds or which expends, authorizes or recommends the use of public funds; or

Any individual who receives a salary, per diem or expenses paid in whole or in part out of funds authorized to be expended by the government.

HISTORY: Laws, 1979, ch. 508, § 2; reenacted and amended, Laws, 1982, ch. 488, § 2; reenacted, Laws, 1986, ch. 348, § 2; reenacted, Laws, 1990, ch. 491, § 2; Laws, 1995, ch. 360, § 2; reenacted without change, Laws, 1998, ch. 350, § 2; Laws, 2008, ch. 562, § 1, eff August 5, 2008 (the date the United States Attorney General interposed no objection under Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act of 1965, to the amendment of this section).

Editor’s Notes —

Laws of 1995, ch. 360, § 20, provided for the repeal of this section effective from and after December 31, 1998. Subsequently, Laws of 1998, ch. 350, § 18, effective from and after the date it is effectuated under the Voting Rights Act of 1965, amended Laws of 1995, ch. 360, § 20, so as to delete the repealer provision.

The United States Attorney General, by letter dated August 25, 1995, interposed no objection, under Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act of 1965, to the amendment to this section by Laws of 1995, ch. 360, § 2.

On August 5, 2008, the United States Attorney General interposed no objection under Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 to the amendment of this section by Laws of 2008, ch. 562, § 1.

Amendment Notes —

The 2008 amendment added “or a nonprofit corporation or other such entity, association or organization receiving public funds” at the end of (b); added (f) and redesignated former (f) through (j) as present (g) through (k); added ( l ); and made minor stylistic changes.

Federal Aspects—

Section 301 of the Federal Election Campaign Act of 1971 is codified in 2 USCS § 431.

§ 25-4-5. Creation of commission; composition; appointment of members; terms of office; successors; appointment of member by Chief Justice of Supreme Court.

  1. There is hereby created the Mississippi Ethics Commission which shall be composed of eight (8) members, each of whom shall be a qualified elector of the State of Mississippi, of good moral character and integrity.
  2. Two (2) members of the commission shall be appointed by each of the following officers in strict accordance with the above standards: the Governor, the Lieutenant Governor, the Speaker of the House of Representatives and the Chief Justice of the Mississippi Supreme Court. Not more than one (1) person appointed by each appointing authority shall be an elected official.
  3. The members of the initial commission shall be appointed for terms of office expiring one (1), two (2), three (3) and four (4) years, respectively, from November 15, 1979, the members appointed by the Governor having a one-year term and a four-year term, the members appointed by the Lieutenant Governor having a two-year term and a three-year term, the members appointed by the Speaker having a three-year term and a two-year term, and the members appointed by the Chief Justice having a four-year term and a one-year term.
  4. Successors to the members of the initial commission shall each be appointed for terms of four (4) years and until their successors are appointed and have been duly qualified.
  5. If any of the above-listed appointing authorities should fail to make his appointment to the initial commission within forty-five (45) days after November 15, 1979, fail to fill a vacancy within forty-five (45) days after such vacancy occurs, or fail to make his appointment for a full term to the commission, then the Chief Justice of the Mississippi Supreme Court shall make such appointment; provided, however, that the term of such appointee shall be for the period prescribed for the appointment by the authority who was to have made the appointment but who failed to do so. If at any time there should be a vacancy on the commission, a successor member to serve for the unexpired term applicable to such vacancy shall be appointed by the same appointing authority as the member whose unexpired term such successor is to fill.
  6. Any member of the commission who is indicted for any felony may be suspended by the commission from service on the commission. A commission member who is convicted of a misdemeanor involving moral turpitude or convicted of any felony shall be ineligible to serve and the member’s position on the commission shall be vacant and subject to reappointment as for other vacancies.

HISTORY: Laws, 1979, ch. 508, § 3(1)-(5); reenacted, Laws, 1982, ch. 488, § 3; reenacted, Laws, 1986, ch. 348, § 3; reenacted, Laws, 1990, ch. 491, § 3; Laws, 1995, ch. 360, § 3; reenacted without change, Laws, 1998, ch. 350, § 3; Laws, 2008, ch. 562, § 2, eff August 5, 2008 (the date the United States Attorney General interposed no objection under Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act of 1965, to the amendment of this section).

Editor’s Notes —

Laws of 1995, ch. 360, § 20, provided for the repeal of this section effective from and after December 31, 1998. Subsequently, Laws of 1998, ch. 350, § 18, effective from and after the date it is effectuated under the Voting Rights Act of 1965, amended Laws of 1995, ch. 360, § 20, so as to delete the repealer provision.

The United States Attorney General, by letter dated August 25, 1995, interposed no objection, under Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act of 1965, to the amendment to this section by Laws of 1995, ch. 360, § 3.

On August 5, 2008, the United States Attorney General interposed no objection under Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 to the amendment of this section by Laws of 2008, ch. 562, § 2.

Amendment Notes —

The 2008 amendment added (6).

JUDICIAL DECISIONS

1. In general.

Step-son of asphalt company owner, who was also a governmental board member, bid on public construction project, and the step-son was awarded the project; the Mississippi Ethics Commission erred in determining that step-son was a relative because Miss. Code Ann. §25-4-103(q) was plain, clear, and unambiguous, and “step-son” was not included in the statutory definition of relative. Miss. Ethics Comm'n v. Grisham, 957 So. 2d 997, 2007 Miss. LEXIS 328 (Miss. 2007).

Statute providing that proceedings and records of state Ethics Commission were to be kept confidential, would not authorize Commission to disobey properly ordered subpoena from state Supreme Court, issued at behest of Committee on Professional Responsibility; Commission is a statutory commission subordinate to Supreme Court and its agencies. Mississippi Ethics Comm'n v. Committee on Professional Responsibility of the Miss. Bar, 672 So. 2d 1222, 1996 Miss. LEXIS 145 (Miss. 1996).

In declaratory judgment action brought by State Ethics Commission regarding conflicts of interest involving public officials, collateral attack upon Commission’s membership, alleging unconstitutional and illegal appointment, could not be allowed. Frazier v. State, 504 So. 2d 675, 1987 Miss. LEXIS 2394 (Miss. 1987).

§ 25-4-7. Organizational meeting of commission.

As soon as all of the initial members of the commission have been appointed, the Chief Justice of the Mississippi Supreme Court shall call and provide for the holding of an organizational meeting of the commission; provided, however, in no instance shall such meeting be set for less than forty-five (45) days nor more than sixty (60) days after November 15, 1979.

HISTORY: Laws, 1979, ch. 508, § 3(6); reenacted, Laws, 1982, ch. 488, § 4; reenacted, Laws, 1986, ch. 348, § 4; reenacted, Laws, 1990, ch. 491, § 4; Laws, 1995, ch. 360, § 4; reenacted without change, Laws, 1998, ch. 350, § 4, eff from and after June 8, 1998 (date the United States Attorney General interposed no objection under Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 to the reenactment of this section).

Editor’s Notes —

The United States Attorney General, by letter dated August 25, 1995, interposed no objection, under Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act of 1965, to the amendment to this section by Laws of 1995, ch. 360, § 4.

Laws of 1995, ch. 360, § 20, provided for the repeal of this section effective from and after December 31, 1998. Subsequently, Laws of 1998, ch. 350, § 18, effective from and after the date it is effectuated under the Voting Rights Act of 1965, amended Laws of 1995, ch. 360, § 20, so as to delete the repealer provision.

At the direction of the co-counsel for the Joint Legislative Committee on Compilation, Revision and Publication of Legislation, an error in the text of the section was corrected by substituting “…nor more than sixty (60) days after November 15, 1979…” for “…nor more than sixty (60) days after the effective date of this chapter…”

§ 25-4-9. Chairman and vice-chairman of commission.

The commission shall annually elect one (1) member to serve as chairman of the commission and one (1) member to serve as vice chairman. The vice chairman shall act as chairman in the absence or upon the disability of the chairman or in the event of a vacancy of the office of the chairman.

HISTORY: Laws, 1979, ch. 508, § 3(7); reenacted, Laws, 1982, ch. 488, § 5; reenacted, Laws, 1986, ch. 348, § 5; reenacted, Laws, 1990, ch. 491; Laws, 1995, ch. 360, § 5; reenacted without change, Laws, 1998, ch. 350, § 5, eff from and after June 8, 1998 (date the United States Attorney General interposed no objection under Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 to the reenactment of this section).

Editor’s Notes —

The United States Attorney General, by letter dated August 25, 1995, interposed no objection, under Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act of 1965, to the amendment to this section by Laws of 1995, ch. 360, § 5.

Laws of 1995, ch. 360, § 20, provided for the repeal of this section effective from and after December 31, 1998. Subsequently, Laws of 1998, ch. 350, § 18, effective from and after the date it is effectuated under the Voting Rights Act of 1965, amended Laws of 1995, ch. 360, § 20, so as to delete the repealer provision.

§ 25-4-11. Quorum; vacancy in commission.

  1. Five (5) members of the commission shall constitute a quorum. Five (5) members of the commission shall vote in the affirmative before any official action can be taken by the commission. Execution of such official action may be delegated to the chairman or executive director of the commission.
  2. A vacancy in the commission shall not impair the right of the remaining members to exercise all the powers of the commission subject to the requirements of subsection (1) of this section.

HISTORY: Laws, 1979, ch. 508, § 3(8)(9); reenacted, Laws, 1982, ch. 488, § 6; reenacted, Laws, 1986, ch. 348, § 6; reenacted, Laws, 1990, ch. 491; Laws, 1995, ch. 360, § 6; reenacted without change, Laws, 1998, ch. 350, § 6, eff from and after June 8, 1998 (date the United States Attorney General interposed no objection under Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 to the reenactment of this section).

Editor’s Notes —

The United States Attorney General, by letter dated August 25, 1995, interposed no objection, under Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act of 1965, to the amendment to this section by Laws of 1995, ch. 360, § 6.

Laws of 1995, ch. 360, § 20, provided for the repeal of this section effective from and after December 31, 1998. Subsequently, Laws of 1998, ch. 350, § 18, effective from and after the date it is effectuated under the Voting Rights Act of 1965, amended Laws of 1995, ch. 360, § 20, so as to delete the repealer provision.

§ 25-4-13. Compensation.

Members of the Mississippi Ethics Commission shall, while serving on business of the commission, be entitled to receive as compensation a per diem, as is provided by law, not to exceed Three Thousand One Hundred Twenty-five Dollars ($3,125.00) annually, in addition to any actual and necessary expenses incurred in the performance of the official duties of the commission.

HISTORY: Laws, 1979, ch. 508, § 3(10); Laws, 1980, ch. 560, § 6; reenacted, Laws, 1982, ch. 488, § 7; reenacted, Laws, 1986, ch. 348, § 7; reenacted, Laws, 1990, ch. 491; Laws, 1995, ch. 360, § 7; reenacted without change, Laws, 1998, ch. 350, § 7, eff from and after June 8, 1998 (date the United States Attorney General interposed no objection under Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 to the reenactment of this section).

Editor’s Notes —

The United States Attorney General, by letter dated August 25, 1995, interposed no objection, under Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act of 1965, to the amendment to this section by Laws of 1995, ch. 360, § 7.

Laws of 1995, ch. 360, § 20, provided for the repeal of this section effective from and after December 31, 1998. Subsequently, Laws of 1998, ch. 350, § 18, effective from and after the date it is effectuated under the Voting Rights Act of 1965, amended Laws of 1995, ch. 360, § 20, so as to delete the repealer provision.

Cross References —

Provision authorizing uniform per diem compensation for officers and employees of state boards, commissions and agencies, see §25-3-69.

§ 25-4-15. Executive director; employees.

  1. The commission shall appoint an executive director to serve at the pleasure of the commission. The executive director shall possess a high degree of professional competence and integrity. The executive director shall be responsible for the administrative operations of the commission and shall perform other such duties within its powers as may be delegated or assigned from time to time by regulations or orders of the commission. The commission, by and through its executive director, may employ the personnel necessary to properly discharge the duties and responsibilities of the commission, subject to budgetary limitations. Such personnel shall possess a high degree of professional competence and integrity in the area in which employed.
  2. All employees of the commission shall be excluded from the provisions of Section 25-9-101 et seq., relating to the State Personnel System.

HISTORY: Laws, 1979, ch. 508, § 3(11)(12); reenacted, Laws, 1982, ch. 488, § 8; reenacted, Laws, 1986, ch. 348, § 8; reenacted, Laws, 1990, ch. 491; Laws, 1995, ch. 360, § 8; reenacted without change, Laws, 1998, ch. 350, § 8; Laws, 2008, ch. 562, § 3, eff August 5, 2008 (the date the United States Attorney General interposed no objection under Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act of 1965, to the amendment of this section).

Editor’s Notes —

The United States Attorney General, by letter dated August 25, 1995, interposed no objection, under Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act of 1965, to the amendment to this section by Laws of 1995, ch. 360, § 8.

On August 5, 2008, the United States Attorney General interposed no objection under Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 to the amendment of this section by Laws of 2008, ch. 562, § 3.

Laws of 1995, ch. 360, § 20, provided for the repeal of this section effective from and after December 31, 1998. Subsequently, Laws of 1998, ch. 350, § 18, effective from and after the date it is effectuated under the Voting Rights Act of 1965, amended Laws of 1995, ch. 360, § 20, so as to delete the repealer provision.

Amendment Notes —

The 2008 amendment deleted the former second paragraph of (1), which prohibited reimbursement for meals, lodging, and travel expenses while attending functions not directly related to commission business.

OPINIONS OF THE ATTORNEY GENERAL

Section 25-4-15 is sufficient authority for the Mississippi Ethics Commission to delegate its authority to issue subpoenas to its executive director once an official investigation in the matter has been initiated by the Commission. Crowe, December 6, 1996, A.G. Op. #96-0800.

§ 25-4-17. Duties of commission.

The commission shall, in addition to any other duties prescribed by law:

Prepare and publish a manual setting forth recommended uniform methods of accounting and reporting for use by persons required to file statements of economic interest pursuant to the provisions of this chapter;

Prescribe forms for statements of economic interest required to be filed pursuant to this chapter and furnish such forms to persons required to file such statements of economic interest pursuant to this chapter;

Accept and file any statements or information voluntarily supplied by persons required to file statements of economic interest under this chapter that exceeds the requirements of this chapter;

Develop and maintain a filing, coding and cross-indexing system of statements of economic interest, complaints, responses and other actions undertaken by the commission pursuant to this chapter;

Make statements of economic interest which are required to be filed by this chapter available by means of the commission’s Internet Web site on or before January 1, 2010, as well as at the physical office location of the commission for public inspection and copying during regular business hours;

Preserve such statements of economic interest for a period of seven (7) years from the date of their receipt;

Establish rules and regulations in furtherance of the purposes of this chapter and to insure and maintain the confidentiality and integrity of the commission, its proceedings, investigations and findings, it being the intent of this chapter to promote high standards of competence and conduct by the commission and its staff, and to insure that all matters designated as confidential shall remain confidential; provided, however, that nothing in this chapter shall be construed to prohibit the commission, in its discretion, from releasing information to the public relating to its findings, proceedings, or investigations, or from holding open meetings on nonconfidential matters;

Study the body of Mississippi criminal law pertaining to public officials and report its findings and recommendations in summary form to each regular session of the Legislature;

(i) Have the authority, in its discretion, to issue advisory opinions with regard to any of such standards of conduct set forth in Article 3 of this chapter. When any public official requests in writing such an advisory opinion and has stated all the facts to govern such opinion, and the commission has prepared and delivered such opinion with references thereto, there shall be no civil or criminal liability accruing to or against any such public official who, in good faith, follows the direction of such opinion and acts in accordance therewith unless a court of competent jurisdiction, after a full hearing, shall judicially declare that such opinion is manifestly wrong and without any substantial support. No opinion shall be given or considered if said opinion would be given after judicial proceedings are commenced.

All advisory opinions issued pursuant to the provisions of this paragraph shall be made public and shall be issued within ninety (90) days of written request. The request for an advisory opinion shall be confidential as to the identity of the individual making the request. The commission shall, so far as practicable and before making public, an advisory opinion issued under the provisions of this paragraph, make such deletions and changes thereto as may be necessary to ensure the anonymity of the public official and any other person named in the opinion;

Have the authority, in its discretion, to authorize the executive director to issue written opinions in regard to any standards of conduct set forth in Article 3 of this chapter.

1. Any written opinion of the executive director shall be based upon prior opinions issued by the commission or reported court decisions of Mississippi courts, is not binding on the commission, shall not be published, and shall be ratified or rejected by the commission at the next subsequent meeting of the commission.

2. If the commission ratifies the opinion, the requestor shall not be liable for funds described in the request for opinion, and the requestor shall enjoy the immunity from liability set forth in subparagraph (i).

3. If the commission rejects the opinion, the requestor shall not be liable for funds described in the request for opinion that are paid before receipt of notice that the opinion had been rejected by the commission.

Within ninety (90) days, issue advisory opinions, upon written request by any individual required to file a statement of economic interest under the provisions of Section 25-4-25, pertaining to the content of the statement of economic interest which such individual is required to file under the provisions of Section 25-4-27. When such an advisory opinion is issued pursuant to a complete and accurate request, then there shall be no liability, civil or criminal, accruing to or against the individual requesting such opinion who, in good faith, follows the direction of the opinion and makes disclosure in accordance therewith unless a court of competent jurisdiction, after a full hearing, shall judicially declare that such opinion is manifestly wrong and without substantial support. No opinion shall be given or considered if such opinion is given after suit is filed or prosecution begun. All requests for advisory opinions and all advisory opinions issued pursuant to the provisions of this paragraph shall be confidential and the commission shall not publicly disclose any advisory opinion issued or the fact that an advisory opinion has been requested or issued unless the individual requesting the opinion gives his permission, in writing, to the commission; and

Maintain an Internet Web site capable of supporting the public information access and filing capabilities required under this chapter.

HISTORY: Laws, 1979, ch. 508, § 4; reenacted and amended, Laws, 1982, ch. 488, § 9; reenacted, Laws, 1986, ch. 348, § 9; Laws, 1988, ch. 546, § 1; reenacted, Laws, 1990, ch. 491, § 9; Laws, 1995, ch. 360, § 9; reenacted and amended, Laws, 1998, ch. 350, § 9; Laws, 2008, ch. 562, § 4, August 5, 2008 (the date the United States Attorney General interposed no objection under Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act of 1965, to the amendment of this section).

Editor’s Notes —

The United States Attorney General, by letter dated August 25, 1995, interposed no objection, under Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act of 1965, to the amendment to this section by Laws of 1995, ch. 360, § 9.

On August 5, 2008, the United States Attorney General interposed no objection under Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 to the amendment of this section by Laws of 2008, ch. 562, § 4.

Laws of 1995, ch. 360, § 20, provided for the repeal of this section effective from and after December 31, 1998. Subsequently, Laws of 1998, ch. 350, § 18, effective from and after the date it is effectuated under the Voting Rights Act of 1965, amended Laws of 1995, ch. 360, § 20, so as to delete the repealer provision.

At the direction of the co-counsel for the Joint Legislative Committee on Compilation, Revision and Publication of Legislation, errors in this section were corrected as follows: in (i)(i), “…set forth in Article 3 of this chapter…” was substituted for “…set forth in Article 3, Chapter 4, Title 25, Mississippi Code of 1972…,” and in (i)(ii), “Any written opinion of the executive director…is not binding…” was substituted for “Any written opinion of the executive director…are not binding…”

Amendment Notes —

The 2008 amendment, rewrote (e); substituted “in furtherance of the purposes of this chapter and to” for “which shall” near the beginning of (g); rewrote (h); added (i)(ii) and (k); and made minor stylistic changes.

JUDICIAL DECISIONS

1. In general.

If Attorney General declines to file suit referred to him by state agency such as State Ethics Commission, where matter is of serious concern to state government, then that agency, if it determines its duties and responsibilities to so require, is at least entitled to have some court pass upon whether it should have its full day in court; if court determines that subject matter of litigation is one which agency is called upon to protect and enforce, agency should have full day in court, including right to legal representation; Attorney General’s refusal to represent agency does not deprive court of authority to keep jurisdiction and entertain action; in event of disagreement, court and not Attorney General should make final determination as to whether or not agency is carrying out lawful functions for which it was created. Frazier v. State, 504 So. 2d 675, 1987 Miss. LEXIS 2394 (Miss. 1987).

§ 25-4-18. Opinions of Attorney General as to ethical situations concerning individual legislators.

  1. The appropriate committee designated by the Senate or the House of Representatives of the State of Mississippi to deal with ethical matters of their respective body may request, in writing, an opinion from the Attorney General as to real or hypothetical situations concerning a member of their respective body, but only upon request of such member. The Attorney General shall issue his opinion, in writing, in response to such request.
  2. When a request pursuant to subsection (1) of this section shall have stated all the facts to govern such opinion and an opinion shall have been prepared and delivered with reference thereto, there shall be no liability, civil or criminal, accruing to or against the member requesting the opinion who, in good faith, follows the direction of the opinion and acts in accordance therewith unless a court of competent jurisdiction, after a full hearing, shall judicially declare that such opinion is manifestly wrong and without substantial support. No opinion shall be given or considered if such opinion is requested after suit is filed or prosecution begun.
  3. All requests for opinions and all opinions issued pursuant to the provisions of this section shall be confidential and neither the Attorney General nor the committee shall publicly disclose any opinion issued or the fact that an opinion has been requested or issued unless the member requesting the opinion gives his permission, in writing, to the appropriate committee of his respective house.
  4. The provisions of this section shall be supplemental and in addition to any other statute.

HISTORY: Laws, 1982, ch. 488, § 10; reenacted, Laws, 1986, ch. 348, § 10; reenacted, Laws, 1990, ch. 491; Laws, 1995, ch. 360, § 10; reenacted without change, Laws, 1998, ch. 350, § 10, effective from and after June 8, 1998 (date the United States Attorney General interposed no objection under Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 to the reenactment of this section).

Editor’s Notes —

The United States Attorney General, by letter dated August 25, 1995, interposed no objection, under Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act of 1965, to the amendment to this section by Laws of 1995, ch. 360, § 10.

Laws of 1995, ch. 360, § 20, provided for the repeal of this section effective from and after December 31, 1998. Subsequently, Laws, 1998, ch. 350, § 18, effective from and after the date it is effectuated under the Voting Rights Act of 1965, amended Laws, 1995, ch. 360, § 20, so as to delete the repealer provision.

Cross References —

Duty of Attorney General to give written opinions, generally, see §7-5-25.

§ 25-4-19. Powers of commission.

The commission shall have the authority to do the following:

(i) Make investigations, as provided in Section 25-4-21, with respect to statements of economic interest filed pursuant to this chapter and with respect to alleged failures to file any statement of economic interest as required pursuant to this chapter;

Administratively impose a civil penalty as provided in Sections 25-4-29 and 25-4-109;

Request the assistance of the Attorney General, the Performance Evaluation and Expenditure Review Committee, the Department of Audit and any other governmental agency or political subdivision in the conduct of any investigation in which a particular resource of an agency may be needed;

Administer oaths and issue and serve subpoenas upon any witness or for the production of documents before the commission, and such subpoenas may include a protective order requiring confidentiality of the subpoena, the subject matter, and any documents subpoenaed, and such subpoenas shall be enforced by the courts of this state;

Report when necessary, as provided in Section 25-4-21(e), to the Attorney General and appropriate district attorney;

Upon a complaint signed under oath by any person, including any member of the commission or its staff or referred to the commission by the Joint Legislative Committee on Performance Evaluation and Expenditure Review, investigate, as provided in Section 25-4-21, any alleged violation of law by public officials or public employees;

Seek, in the name of and for the use and benefit of the State of Mississippi, or a political subdivision thereof, restitution or other equitable or legal remedies in civil law to recover public funds or property unlawfully taken, as well as any unjust enrichment, although not public funds, and to recover on bonds where the state or a political subdivision thereof is the beneficiary;

Employ an attorney or attorneys to:

Serve as a special prosecutor to assist the Attorney General or a district attorney; and

File actions to seek restitution or other remedies to recover funds as provided in paragraph (f) of this section;

Publish notices for posting in governmental offices that outline the jurisdiction and authority of the commission and the procedure for filing complaints and requesting opinions.

HISTORY: Laws, 1979, ch. 508, § 5; reenacted and amended, Laws, 1982, ch. 488, § 11; reenacted, Laws, 1986, ch. 348, § 11; Laws, 1988, ch. 546, § 2; reenacted, Laws, 1990, ch. 491, § 11; Laws, 1995, ch. 360, § 11; reenacted without change, Laws, 1998, ch. 350, § 11; Laws, 2008, ch. 562, § 5, eff August 5, 2008 (the date the United States Attorney General interposed no objection under Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act of 1965, to the amendment of this section).

Editor’s Notes —

The United States Attorney General, by letter dated August 25, 1995, interposed no objection, under Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act of 1965, to the amendment to this section by Laws of 1995, ch. 360, § 11.

On August 5, 2008, the United States Attorney General interposed no objection under Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 to the amendment of this section by Laws of 2008, ch. 562, § 5.

Laws of 1995, ch. 360, § 20, provided for the repeal of this section effective from and after December 31, 1998. Subsequently, Laws of 1998, ch. 350, § 18, effective from and after the date it is effectuated under the Voting Rights Act of 1965, amended Laws of 1995, ch. 360, § 20, so as to delete the repealer provision.

Amendment Notes —

The 2008 amendment added (a)(ii), inserted “when necessary” in (d); inserted “or referred to the commission by the Joint Legislative Committee on Performance Evaluation and Expenditure Review” in (e); substituted “paragraph (f)” for “item (f)” in (g)(ii); and added (h).

Cross References —

Exemption of commission, in certain instances, from requirements of confidentiality, see §25-4-23.

JUDICIAL DECISIONS

1. Construction with other sections.

In the context of standing, while any person may file a complaint with the Mississippi Ethics Commission under Mississippi law, only local district attorneys, the Mississippi Attorney General, or the Commission itself may file direct actions in court challenging the ethical conduct of public officials. As a result, where the parents sought reversal of the confirmations of two school board members by the city council, alleging that certain council members were required to have recused themselves due to conflicts of interest, the parents were not “persons aggrieved” for purposes of Miss. Code Ann. §11-51-75, and they did not meet the statutory requirements to file a bill of exceptions under the facts presented; their sole remedy was to file a complaint with the Commission. City of Jackson v. Greene, 869 So. 2d 1020, 2004 Miss. LEXIS 337 (Miss. 2004).

§ 25-4-21. Proceedings upon complaints.

  1. Upon receipt of a complaint that complies with Section 25-4-19, the commission shall authorize a confidential investigation of the complaint. Upon completion of the investigation, the commission shall proceed as follows:
    1. If the complaint concerns a public official in the legislative branch, the commission shall refer the complaint, confidentially, to the public official and to the appropriate committee of the House of Representatives or the Senate having jurisdiction over the ethical conduct of its members and employees.
    2. If the complaint concerns a public official in the judicial branch, the commission shall refer the complaint, confidentially, to the public official and to the Commission on Judicial Performance or the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court.
    3. If the complaint concerns a public official in the executive branch or persons not covered in paragraph (a) or (b) of this subsection, then the commission shall refer the complaint, confidentially, to the public official and to the head of the department or agency, if the person is in the executive branch, or, for other public officials, to the person about whom the complaint is filed.
    4. The persons, committees or commission receiving complaints referred in paragraph (a), (b) or (c) shall have thirty (30) days within which to respond to the complaint.
    5. After receiving the response to the complaint or, if no response is received after thirty (30) days from the notice of referral, the commission may, in its discretion, terminate the matter or proceed with an investigation as follows:
      1. The commission may terminate any and all proceedings at any stage of its procedure upon a determination that an appropriate disposition of the matter has occurred.
      2. If the investigation indicates probable cause for belief that a violation of law has occurred, the commission may set a hearing of the matter to be held in accordance with the Mississippi Rules of Civil Procedure and the Mississippi Rules of Evidence. After the hearing, the commission may order penalties as prescribed in this chapter. The commission may enroll its order as a civil judgment with the circuit clerk in the county of residence of the judgment debtor. The commission may enforce the judgment on behalf of the State General Fund in the same manner as prescribed for other civil judgments, after complying with subsection (2) of this section.
      3. The commission may refer the complaint with any evidence gathered during the investigation to the Attorney General and to the district attorney having jurisdiction, with a recommendation that it be considered for presentation to the grand jury. The Attorney General and the district attorney shall report back to the commission within ninety (90) days as to what action was taken following receipt of the complaint and recommendations of the commission, including the intent of the Attorney General to seek further civil remedies and the intent of the district attorney to present such matter to the grand jury.
  2. Any person aggrieved by a decision of the commission made pursuant to its hearing procedures may appeal de novo to the Circuit Court for Hinds County and execution of the commission’s decision shall be stayed upon the filing of a notice of appeal.
  3. Civil actions taken by the commission shall not bar prosecutions for violations of the criminal law.

HISTORY: Laws, 1979, ch. 508, § 6; reenacted, Laws, 1982, ch. 488, § 12; Laws, 1983, ch. 499, § 24; reenacted, Laws, 1986, ch. 348, § 12; Laws, 1988, ch. 546; Laws, 1995, ch. 360, § 12; reenacted without change, Laws, 1998, ch. 350, § 12; Laws, 2008, ch. 562, § 6, eff August 5, 2008 (the date the United States Attorney General interposed no objection under Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act of 1965, to the amendment of this section).

Editor’s Notes —

The United States Attorney General, by letter dated August 25, 1995, interposed no objection, under Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act of 1965, to the amendment to this section by Laws of 1995, ch. 360, § 12.

On August 5, 2008, the United States Attorney General interposed no objection under Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 to the amendment of this section by Laws of 2008, ch. 562, § 6.

Laws of 1995, ch. 360, § 20, provided for the repeal of this section effective from and after December 31, 1998. Subsequently, Laws of 1998, ch. 350, § 18, effective from and after the date it is effectuated under the Voting Rights Act of 1965, amended Laws of 1995, ch. 360, § 20, so as to delete the repealer provision.

At the direction of the co-counsel for the Joint Legislative Committee on Compilation, Revision and Publication of Legislation, an error in a statutory reference in (1)(c) was corrected by substituting “…covered in paragraph (a) or (b) of this subsection (1)…” for “…covered in paragraph (a) or (b) of this section…”

Amendment Notes —

The 2008 amendment, rewrote (1); and added (2) and (3).

Cross References —

Powers of commission, generally, see §25-4-19.

Exemption of commission, in certain instances, from requirements of confidentiality, see §25-4-23.

RESEARCH REFERENCES

Law Reviews.

Ray, Constitutional and statutory authority of the Attorney General to prosecute actions. 59 Miss. L. J. 165, Spring, 1989.

§ 25-4-23. Confidentiality of proceedings and records.

All commission proceedings and records relating to any investigation shall be kept confidential, except this requirement shall not be construed to interfere with the commission’s authority, pursuant to paragraph (g) of Section 25-4-17, paragraphs (d) and (f) of Section 25-4-19, and pursuant to Section 25-4-21, or when necessary for prosecutions of violations under Section 25-4-31.

HISTORY: Laws, 1979, ch. 508, § 7; reenacted, Laws, 1982, ch. 488, § 13; reenacted, Laws, 1986, ch. 348, § 13; reenacted, Laws, 1990, ch. 491; Laws, 1995, ch. 360, § 13; reenacted and amended, Laws, 1998, ch. 350, § 13, eff from and after June 8, 1998 (date the United States Attorney General interposed no objection under Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 to the reenactment of this section).

Editor’s Notes —

The United States Attorney General, by letter dated August 25, 1995, interposed no objection, under Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act of 1965, to the amendment to this section by Laws of 1995, ch. 360, § 13.

Laws of 1995, ch. 360, § 20, provided for the repeal of this section effective from and after December 31, 1998. Subsequently, Laws of 1998, ch. 350, § 18, effective from and after the date it is effectuated under the Voting Rights Act of 1965, amended Laws of 1995, ch. 360, § 20, so as to delete the repealer provision.

Cross References —

Penalty for violating confidentiality of commission’s proceedings, see §25-4-31(1).

JUDICIAL DECISIONS

1. In general.

Statute providing that proceedings and records of state Ethics Commission were to be kept confidential, would not authorize Commission to disobey properly ordered subpoena from state Supreme Court, issued at behest of Committee on Professional Responsibility; Commission is a statutory commission subordinate to Supreme Court and its agencies. Mississippi Ethics Comm'n v. Committee on Professional Responsibility of the Miss. Bar, 672 So. 2d 1222, 1996 Miss. LEXIS 145 (Miss. 1996).

Privilege of confidentiality protecting state Ethics Commission’s investigations extends to material in public domain, even if information has been publicly disclosed. Mississippi Ethics Comm'n v. Committee on Professional Responsibility of the Miss. Bar, 672 So. 2d 1222, 1996 Miss. LEXIS 145 (Miss. 1996).

§ 25-4-25. Persons required to file statement of economic interest.

Each of the following individuals shall file a statement of economic interest with the commission in accordance with the provisions of this chapter:

Persons elected by popular vote, excluding United States Senators and United States Representatives, to any office, whether it be legislative, executive or judicial, and whether it be statewide, district, county, municipal or any other political subdivision, with the exception of members of boards of levee commissioners and election commissioners;

Members of local school boards that administer public funds, regardless of whether such members are elected or appointed;

Persons who are candidates for public office or who are appointed to fill a vacancy in an office who, if elected, would be required to file under paragraph (a) of this section;

Executive directors or heads of state agencies, by whatever name they are designated, who are paid in part or in whole, directly or indirectly, from funds appropriated or authorized to be expended by the Legislature, and the presidents and trustees of all state-supported colleges, universities and junior colleges;

Members of any state board, commission or agency, including the Mississippi Ethics Commission, charged with the administration or expenditure of public funds, with the exception of advisory boards or commissions; provided, however, in order to fulfill the legislative purposes of this chapter, the commission may require, upon a majority vote, the filing of a statement of economic interest by members of an advisory board or commission;

Executive directors, heads, or members of any board, committee, commission or council of any of the following entities, by whatever name designated:

An economic development district established pursuant to Title 19, Chapter 5, Mississippi Code of 1972;

Any entity created pursuant to the Regional Economic Development Act, Title 57, Chapter 64, Mississippi Code of 1972;

Any county development commission established pursuant to Title 59, Chapter 9, Mississippi Code of 1972;

Any industrial council established pursuant to Title 57, Chapter 32, Mississippi Code of 1972; or

An airport authority established pursuant to statute or other legislative act.

HISTORY: Laws, 1979, ch. 508, § 8; reenacted and amended, Laws, 1982, ch. 488, § 14; reenacted, Laws, 1986, ch. 348, § 14; reenacted, Laws, 1990, ch. 491; Laws, 1995, ch. 360, § 14; reenacted without change, Laws, 1998, ch. 350, § 14; Laws, 2008, ch. 562, § 7, eff August 5, 2008 (the date the United States Attorney General interposed no objection under Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act of 1965, to the amendment of this section).

Editor’s Notes —

The United States Attorney General, by letter dated August 25, 1995, interposed no objection, under Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act of 1965, to the amendment to this section by Laws of 1995, ch. 360, § 14.

On August 5, 2008, the United States Attorney General interposed no objection under Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 to the amendment of this section by Laws of 2008, ch. 562, § 7.

Laws of 1995, ch. 360, § 20, provided for the repeal of this section effective from and after December 31, 1998. Subsequently, Laws of 1998, ch. 350, § 18, effective from and after the date it is effectuated under the Voting Rights Act of 1965, amended Laws of 1995, ch. 360, § 20, so as to delete the repealer provision.

Amendment Notes —

The 2008 amendment substituted “paragraph (a)” for “item (a)” in (c); and added (f).

Cross References —

Duty of commission to issue advisory opinions upon written request, see §25-4-17.

Contents of statement of economic interest, see §25-4-27.

Time for filing of statement, see §25-4-29.

Penalty for willful filing of false statement, see §25-4-31(2).

Penalty for willful failure to file statement, see §25-4-31(3).

§ 25-4-27. Contents of statement of economic interest.

Each person specified under Section 25-4-25 shall file a statement in accordance with the provisions of this chapter in the manner and format prescribed by the commission which shall be certified as to the accuracy and completeness of the information set forth to the best knowledge of the person submitting the statement. The commission shall develop a system of electronic filing for use by persons required to file a statement of economic interest. The commission shall implement the electronic filing system on or before January 1, 2010. Any person required to file with the commission shall file electronically on and after January 1, 2010. The statement shall include the following information for the preceding calendar year:

The name and mailing address of the filer;

The title, position and offices whereby the person is required to file;

All other occupations of the filer and his household members;

The names and addresses of all businesses in which the filer or a household member held a position, and the name of the position, if the person or a household member:

Receives more than Two Thousand Five Hundred Dollars ($2,500.00) per year in income from the business;

Owns ten percent (10%) or more of the fair market value in the business;

Owns an ownership interest in the business, the fair market value of which exceeds Five Thousand Dollars ($5,000.00); or

Is an employee, director or officer of the business;

Any representation or intervention for compensation by a person specified under Section 25-4-25(a) and (d) for any person or business before any authority of state or local government, excluding the courts; provided, however, that this provision shall not apply where the representation involves only uncontested or routine matters. The statement shall identify the person represented and the nature of the business involved; and

The filing party shall list all public bodies from which he or a household member received compensation in excess of One Thousand Dollars ($1,000.00).

HISTORY: Laws, 1979, ch. 508, § 9; reenacted and amended, Laws, 1982, ch. 488, § 15; Laws, 1984, ch. 488, § 170; reenacted, Laws, 1986, ch. 348, § 15; reenacted, Laws, 1990, ch. 491; Laws, 1995, ch. 360, § 15; reenacted without change, Laws, 1998, ch. 350, § 15; Laws, 2008, ch. 562, § 8, eff August 5, 2008 (the date the United States Attorney General interposed no objection under Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act of 1965, to the amendment of this section).

Editor’s Notes —

The United States Attorney General, by letter dated August 25, 1995, interposed no objection, under Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act of 1965, to the amendment to this section by Laws of 1995, ch. 360, § 15.

On August 5, 2008, the United States Attorney General interposed no objection under Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 to the amendment of this section by Laws of 2008, ch. 562, § 8.

Laws of 1995, ch. 360, § 20, provided for the repeal of this section effective from and after December 31, 1998. Subsequently, Laws of 1998, ch. 350, § 18, effective from and after the date it is effectuated under the Voting Rights Act of 1965, amended Laws of 1995, ch. 360, § 20, so as to delete the repealer provision.

Amendment Notes —

The 2008 amendment rewrote the section.

Cross References —

Duty of commission to issue advisory opinions upon written request, see §25-4-17.

Penalty for willful filing of false statement, see §25-4-31(2).

Penalty for willful failure to file statement, see §25-4-31(3).

§ 25-4-28. Disclosure of holdings of certain blind trusts not required under certain circumstances.

  1. A public official or public employee who has an interest in a blind trust which meets the standards set forth in this section is not required to disclose the holdings of the blind trust, if those holdings are acquired by the trustee after the trust complies with subsection (2).
  2. A blind trust shall comply with the following conditions:
    1. The trustee of a blind trust shall be:
      1. A bank, trust or brokerage company authorized to exercise fiduciary powers, an individual who is an employee of any such bank, trust or brokerage company, a law firm or an attorney;
      2. A disinterested party other than the public official or employee’s spouse, child, parent, grandparent, grandchild, brother, sister, parent-in-law, brother-in-law, sister-in-law, aunt, uncle, first cousin, or the spouse of any such person;
      3. Someone who is not a public official or public employee; and
      4. Someone who has not been appointed to a public entity by the public official or public employee, or by a public official or public employee supervised by the filer.
    2. The trustee shall be given complete discretion to manage the trust, including, but not limited to, the power to dispose of and acquire trust holdings without consulting or notifying the filer.
    3. The trustee is prohibited from disclosing to the filer any information concerning the replacement holdings except for information required under this subsection or the minimum tax information which lists only the totals of taxable items from the trust and does not describe the source of individual items of income.
    4. A copy of the trust agreement shall be filed with the commission within five (5) business days after execution, including an identification of the holdings placed in trust, a statement detailing the date of its creation, and the name and address of the trustee.
    5. The trustee annually shall file with the commission a signed statement, under penalty of perjury, stating that he or she has not revealed any information to the filer other than as permitted under this section and that, to the best of the trustee’s knowledge, the trust is in compliance with this section.
    6. The trustee and the public official or public employee shall not communicate about the blind trust, directly or indirectly, except in writing, and a copy of all such written communications shall be transmitted to the commission.
    7. The blind trust may be revocable or irrevocable. If the trust is revoked during the period of the public official’s or public employee’s tenure in office, then the public official or public employee, within ten (10) business days, shall file a statement in accordance with Section 25-4-25 disclosing all of the assets of the trust at the time of its revocation.
    8. A public official or public employee who had a blind trust prior to August 5, 2008, shall amend the terms of such trust if any of its terms fail to comply with this section. A public official or public employee who had a preexisting blind trust shall also comply with the disclosure requirements of paragraph (d). Nothing in this section shall be construed to require the disclosure of assets held in a preexisting blind trust except for the assets placed into the trust at the time of its creation.

HISTORY: Laws, 2008, ch. 562, § 9, August 5, 2008 (the date the United States Attorney General interposed no objection under Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act of 1965, to the addition of this section).

Editor’s Notes —

On August 5, 2008, the United States Attorney General interposed no objection under Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 to the amendment of this section by Laws of 2008, ch. 562, § 9.

§ 25-4-29. Filing dates for statements.

  1. Required statements hereunder shall be filed as follows:
    1. Every incumbent public official required by paragraphs (a), (b), (d) and (e) of Section 25-4-25 to file a statement of economic interest shall file such statement with the commission on or before May 1 of each year that such official holds office, regardless of duration;
    2. Candidates for office required to file a statement hereunder shall file such statement within fifteen (15) days after the deadline for qualification for that public office;
    3. Persons who are required to file a statement because of appointment to fill a vacancy in an office or required to file under Section 25-4-25(d) and (e) shall file such statement within thirty (30) days of their appointment;
    4. No person by reason of successful candidacy or assuming additional offices shall be required to file more than one (1) statement of economic interest in any calendar year, except such official shall notify the commission as soon as practicable of additional offices not previously reported; and
    5. The commission may, on an individual case basis, provide for additional time to file a statement upon a showing that compliance with a filing date set out under paragraph (a), (b), (c) or (d) above would work an unreasonable hardship.
  2. Any person who fails to file a statement of economic interest within thirty (30) days of the date the statement is due shall be deemed delinquent by the commission. The commission shall give written notice of the delinquency to the person by United States mail or by personal service of process. If within fifteen (15) days of receiving written notice of delinquency the delinquent filer has not filed the statement of economic interest, a fine of Fifty Dollars ($50.00) per day, not to exceed a total fine of One Thousand Dollars ($1,000.00), shall be assessed against the delinquent filer for each day thereafter in which the statement of economic interest is not properly filed. The commission shall enroll such assessment as a civil judgment with the circuit clerk in the delinquent filer’s county of residence. The commission may enforce the judgment for the benefit of the State General Fund for the support of the Mississippi Adequate Education Program in the same manner as is prescribed for other civil judgments.

HISTORY: Laws, 1979, ch. 508, § 10; reenacted and amended, Laws, 1982, ch. 488, § 16; reenacted, Laws, 1986, ch. 348, § 16; reenacted, Laws, 1990, ch. 491; Laws, 1995, ch. 360, § 16; reenacted without change, Laws, 1998, ch. 350, § 16; Laws, 2008, ch. 562, § 10; Laws, 2011, ch. 488, § 1, eff from and after July 1, 2011.

Editor’s Notes —

The United States Attorney General, by letter dated August 25, 1995, interposed no objection, under Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act of 1965, to the amendment to this section by Laws of 1995, ch. 360, § 16.

On August 5, 2008, the United States Attorney General interposed no objection under Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 to the amendment of this section by Laws of 2008, ch. 562, § 10.

Laws of 1995, ch. 360, § 20, provided for the repeal of this section effective from and after December 31, 1998. Subsequently, Laws of 1998, ch. 350, § 18, eff from and after the date it is effectuated under the Voting Rights Act of 1965, amended Laws of 1995, ch. 360, § 20, so as to delete the repealer provision.

At the direction of the co-counsel for the Joint Legislative Committee on Compilation, Revision and Publication of Legislation, an error in a statutory reference in (1)(a) was corrected by substituting “…paragraphs (a), (b), (c) and (e) of Section 25-4-25…” for “…items (a), (b), (c) and (e) of Section 25-4-25…”

Amendment Notes —

The 2008 amendment substituted “paragraph (a)” for “item (a)” near the end of (1)(e); and added (2).

The 2011 amendment substituted “deadline for qualification for that” for “time that such person becomes a candidate for” preceding “public office” in (1)(b); in (2), deleted “restricted delivery” following “United States mail” in the second sentence, substituted “Fifty Dollars ($50.00)” for “Ten Dollars ($10.00)” and inserted “not to exceed a total fine of One Thousand Dollars ($1,000.00)” in the third sentence; and inserted “for the support of the Mississippi Adequate Education Program” following “State General Fund” in the last sentence.

Cross References —

Mississippi Adequate Education Program, see §§37-151-1 et seq.

§ 25-4-31. Fines and penalties.

  1. Any person who violates the confidentiality of a commission proceeding pursuant to this chapter is guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction, shall be fined not more than One Thousand Dollars ($1,000.00) or imprisoned not more than one (1) year, or be both fined and imprisoned.
  2. Any person who willfully and knowingly files a false complaint with the commission or who willfully affirms, reports or swears falsely in regard to any material matter before a commission proceeding is guilty of a felony, and, upon conviction, shall be punished by a fine of not less than One Thousand Dollars ($1,000.00) nor more than Ten Thousand Dollars ($10,000.00), or committed to the custody of the Department of Corrections for not more than five (5) years, or by both such fine and imprisonment.
  3. Any person who, having been served with written notice of delinquency, shall fail to file a disclosure statement as required by this chapter within one (1) year of the date the statement is due, or who shall, although filing such statement, knowingly fail to disclose information required by this chapter, is guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction, shall be punished by a fine of not more than Ten Thousand Dollars ($10,000.00).

HISTORY: Laws, 1979, ch. 508, §§ 11, 12; reenacted, Laws, 1982, ch. 488, § 17; reenacted, Laws, 1986, ch. 348, § 17; reenacted, Laws, 1990, ch. 491; Laws, 1995, ch. 360, § 17; reenacted without change, Laws, 1998, ch. 350, § 17; Laws, 2008, ch. 562, § 11, effective August 5, 2008 (the date the United States Attorney General interposed no objection under Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act of 1965, to the amendment of this section).

Editor’s Notes —

The United States Attorney General, by letter dated August 25, 1995, interposed no objection, under Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act of 1965, to the amendment to this section by Laws of 1995, ch. 360, § 17.

On August 5, 2008, the United States Attorney General interposed no objection under Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 to the amendment of this section by Laws of 2008, ch. 562, § 11.

Laws of 1995, ch. 360, § 20, provided for the repeal of this section effective from and after December 31, 1998. Subsequently, Laws of 1998, ch. 350, § 18, eff from and after the date it is effectuated under the Voting Rights Act of 1965, amended Laws of 1995, ch. 360, § 20, so as to delete the repealer provision.

Amendment Notes —

The 2008 amendment substituted “Ten Thousand Dollars ($10,000.00)” for “Five Thousand Dollars ($5,000.00)” in (2); and rewrote (3).

Cross References —

Confidentiality of commission proceedings, see §25-4-23.

Persons required to file a statement of economic interest, see §25-4-25.

Contents of statement of economic interest, see §25-4-27.

Imposition of standard state assessment in addition to all court imposed fines or other penalties for any misdemeanor or felony violation, see §99-19-73.

Article 3. Conflict of Interest; Improper Use of Office.

§ 25-4-101. Declaration of public policy.

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.

HISTORY: Laws, 1983, ch. 469, § 1, eff from and after July 1, 1983.

Cross References —

Authority of the ethics commission to issue advisory opinions with regard to any standard of conduct set forth in this section, see §25-4-17.

Public officials not to derive income from issuance of bonds by Mississippi Home Corporation, see §43-33-763.

JUDICIAL DECISIONS

1. In general.

Step-son of asphalt company owner, who was also a governmental board member, bid on public construction project, and the step-son was awarded the project; the Mississippi Ethics Commission erred in determining that step-son was a relative because Miss. Code Ann. §25-4-103(q) was plain, clear, and unambiguous, and “step-son” was not included in the statutory definition of relative. Miss. Ethics Comm'n v. Grisham, 957 So. 2d 997, 2007 Miss. LEXIS 328 (Miss. 2007).

A public servant with purely ministerial duties and with no power to vote on matters considered by the governmental entity with which he or she is associated is not considered a “member” of that entity as the term is applied in §§25-4-101 et seq of the Ethics in Government laws. Moore ex rel. Chickasaw County v. McCullough, 633 So. 2d 421, 1993 Miss. LEXIS 505 (Miss. 1993).

ETHICS OPINIONS

It is against the public policy set forth in §25-4-101 for a state agency’s district officer to serve simultaneously as the president of a board of directors of a facility that is under his and his staff’s jurisdiction regarding issuance of a certain permit that the facility is required to have in order to operate. Op. of Miss. Ethics Comm. Op. No. 97-051-E.

An alderman who is also a member of a community college’s faculty should recuse himself from any matter coming before the municipal governing authority that involves his community college employer in order to avoid an appearance of impropriety and to avoid using his official position to obtain a pecuniary benefit for himself. Op. of Miss. Ethics Comm. Op. No. 97-144-E.

A municipal council member, who is an employee of the municipal school district, is always advised to totally and completely recuse himself or herself from matters involving the appointment of municipal school board members in order to comply with the public policy set forth in §25-4-101 and to avoid a potential violation of §25-4-105(1). Op. of Miss. Ethics Comm. Op. No. 98-013-E.

A municipal council member, who is an employee of the municipal separate school district, must always totally and completely recuse himself or herself from matters involving the appointment of members to the municipal separate school board of trustees in order to comply with the public policy set forth in this section and to avoid a potential violation of §25-4-105 (1). Op. of Miss. Ethics Comm. Op. No. 98-023-E.

An attorney who is serving as counsel to the city’s port commission may not simultaneously be employed by casino developers that are seeking casino site approval from the city port commission. Op. of Miss. Ethics Comm. Op. No. 98-064-E.

It is not a violation of the state conflict of interest laws for a housing authority employee/manager to employ in his or her private business a resident of the housing authority site he or she manages. Op. of Miss. Ethics Comm. Op. No. 98-074-E.

An alderman’s participation in discussions and/or action with regard to a water and sewer extension to undeveloped real property belonging to the firm’s owners, when the alderman in question is employed by the firm, has the potential of creating suspicion among the public and reflecting unfavorably upon the city; and, therefore, the alderman should recuse himself. Op. of Miss. Ethics Comm. Op. No. 98-088-E.

A state commission may not temporarily hire an attorney to serve as its staff attorney and to represent it in court or before other state or federal agencies when other members of the attorney’s law firm will represent clients before the state commission, even if the attorney has no duties in regard to the proceedings in which his law firm is participating before the state commission. Op. of Miss. Ethics Comm. Op. No. 98-095-E.

The city’s contracting with a construction company when it is owned by an individual who is also the employer of an alderman has the potential of creating suspicion among the public and reflecting unfavorably upon the city; therefore, the city should not authorize the contract with the construction company in order to comply with the public policy underlying this section. Op. of Miss. Ethics Comm. Op. No. 98-100-E.

A state employee may coauthor publications that pertain to subjects in the state employee’s area of expertise where the publications’ topics are unrelated to the current research with the state agency, the work on the publications will be performed during personal time and will not involve the use of the state agency’s facilities, equipment, research and/or personnel, the employee will receive no pecuniary benefit for the work on the publications, and the employee’s coauthoring the publications will comply with all of the state agency’s policies and procedures. Op. of Miss. Ethics Comm. Op. No. 99-040-E.

A municipal police officer may be a private process server during his off-duty hours, but may not act as a private process server in any cause of action before the Municipal Court of the municipality employing him as a police officer. Op. of Miss. Ethics Comm. Op. No. 99-041-E.

The state conflict of interest laws do not prohibit an executive director of a state agency from attending night and/or weekend real estate classes in an effort to obtain a realtor’s license, from entering into consulting contracts with firms, institutions, associations, organizations and individuals, or from working in the real estate business; however, the executive director should absolutely avoid contracts with private entities to do consultant and/or real estate work when those private entities are directly or indirectly involved with the state agency or are subject to the state agency’s authority since such would create suspicion among the public and reflect unfavorably upon the state and the state agency. Op. of Miss. Ethics Comm. Op. No. 99-042-E.

A state legislator’s company may not continue to manage an office building owned by a state corporation that is established by state law as a governmental instrumentality when the state legislator’s company managed the building prior to the state legislator’s election. Op. of Miss. Ethics Comm. Op. No. 99-072-E.

The statute precludes a bail bonding company owned by a constable’s spouse or a bail bonding company owned by a police officer’s spouse from writing bail bonds for the release of defendants confined in the county or city jails respectively as such actions are contrary to public policy and a breach of the public trust. Op. of Miss. Ethics. Comm. Op. No. 99-092-E.

Although a city council member may be employed at a casino located in the council member’s city and owned by a gaming corporation that has no contracts, rental agreements or otherwise, with the city under §24-5-105, such employment is prohibited by this section as contrary to public policy and conflicting with the public trust obligations required of a council member. Op. of Miss. Ethics Comm. Op. No. 99-095-E.

A bail bonding company using a soliciting agent to write bail bonds in a county in which its soliciting agent’s spouse is a county constable or a bail bonding company using a soliciting agent to write bail bonds in a city in which its soliciting agent’s spouse is a city police officer constitute circumstances with the potential to create suspicion among the public and reflect unfavorably upon the county or city and, therefore, the county and/or city law enforcement entities must establish rules and procedures to prevent the constable/police officer from violating the conflict of interest laws; without the establishment of such rules and procedures, the use by a bail bonding company of a soliciting agent to write bail bonds for the release of defendants confined in the jail of a law enforcement entity in which the soliciting agent’s spouse serves as a law enforcement officer is contrary to public policy and should be avoided. Op. of Miss. Ethics. Comm. Op. No. 99-106-E.

A board member of a county port authority is prohibited from entering into a memorandum of understanding with the county port authority as a property owner agreeing to acquire county port authority water and sewer services which may become available through a proposed water and sewer extension and a port authority entering into such a memorandum of understanding has the potential to create suspicion among the public and this would reflect unfavorably upon the port authority. Op. of Miss. Ethics. Comm. Op. No. 99-110-E.

A school district may not sell property to a rural water association when the president of the school board is also the president of the rural water association as such a sale could be expected to create public suspicion and reflect unfavorably on the school district. Op. of Miss. Ethics. Comm. Op. No. 99-111-E.

Although it is not as such a violation of the conflict of interest laws for a town to purchase land from the mayor’s father-in-law at its appraised value when the land has been designated essential for water facility expansion, the mayor should totally and completely recuse himself from all matters concerning the town’s purchase of the mayor’s father-in-law’s land in order to comply with public policy and prevent any appearance of impropriety. Op. of Miss. Ethics. Comm. Op. No. 99-113-E.

Although it is not as such a violation of the state conflict of interest laws for a legislator to be employed by a casino or for a legislator’s father to carry a key gaming license from a casino, the legislator would be required to totally and completely recuse himself from any action that concerned the gaming industry. Op. of Miss. Ethics. Comm. Op. No. 99-114-E.

The state’s public policy on elective and public office as public trusts is sufficient to prohibit an individual from simultaneously serving as chancery clerk and as trustee of a community college. Op. of Miss. Ethics. Comm. Op. No. 99-116E.

Members of a state board should totally and completely recuse themselves from matters coming before the state board that have even the appearance of perpetuating specific advantages or disadvantages that could benefit facilities with which the board members are associated. Op. of Miss. Ethics. Comm. Op. No. 99-121-E.

The state’s public policy on public service as a public trust prohibited the trustees of a community hospital from serving on and appointing themselves to serve on the board of directors of a nonprofit corporation which sought to lease the community hospital from the county board of supervisors. Op. of Miss. Ethics. Comm. Op. No. 99-123-E.

The appointment of a planning and development district employee to a community college board of trustees had the potential to create public suspicion and reflect unfavorably on the planning and development district and the community college by preventing the community college from having access to the services and expertise available throughout the planning and development district. Op. of Miss. Ethics. Comm. Op. No. 99-124-E.

The employment of an alderman by the tax assessor/collector’s office within the county in which the alderman’s municipality was located had the potential to create public suspicion and reflect unfavorably on the county tax assessor/collector’s office and the municipality as this circumstance removed from the municipality the option to enter into an interlocal agreement with the county and benefit from the services that the county tax assessor/collector’s office can provide the municipality. Op. of Miss. Ethics. Comm. Op. No. 99-125-E.

Although a company could maintain an existing sixteenth section land lease, even though the principal owner of the company had been elected to serve on the county board of supervisors, the owner/board member would be required to recuse himself from any matter concerning sixteenth section land leases once he was sworn into office. Op. of Miss. Ethics. Comm. Op. No. 99-126-E.

The service of a community hospital’s president on the board of directors of the community hospital’s depository has the potential to create public suspicion and reflect unfavorably upon the community hospital and, therefore, the community hospital’s president should not accept the position on the bank’s board of directors in compliance with the public policy mandate set forth in the statute. Op. of Miss. Ethics. Comm. Op. No. 99-129-E.

A senior planner for a regional planning commission that served as the metropolitan planning commission for the region within which a city was located could not simultaneously serve on the city’s planning commission as to do otherwise would not comply fully with the public policy mandate set forth in the statute. Op. of Miss. Ethics. Comm. Op. No. 99-130-E.

The appointment of a county supervisor’s spouse to a county planning commission when the planning commission’s administrative decisions are appealable to the board of supervisors constitutes a circumstance that can be expected to create public suspicion and reflect unfavorably upon the county and the planning commission and, therefore, in order to comply fully with the mandate set forth in the statute, the board of supervisors should avoid appointing a supervisor’s spouse to the planning commission. Op. of Miss. Ethics. Comm. Op. No. 00-001-E.

An individual serving as a member of a board of levee commissioners who also was an officer and part owner of a corporation holding a long-term lease with the board of levee commissioners constituted a circumstance that had the potential to create public suspicion and reflect unfavorably on the board of levee commissioners and the individual could not continue to seek election to the board of levee commissioners if his corporation intended to maintain its lease with the board of levee commissioners; to do otherwise would be contrary to the state’s public policy set forth in the statute. Op. of Miss. Ethics. Comm. Op. No. 00-003-E.

A board attorney for a school district who is also serving on the board of directors of the school district’s depository is in a situation that creaes a potential for creating public suspicion and reflects unfavorably upon the school district and, therefore, such a circumstance should be avoided in order to comply with the public policy mandate set forth in the statute. Op. of Miss. Ethics. Comm. Op. No. 00-005-E.

A district attorney using his own personal law office for district attorney office duties and paying the utilities and/or ad valorem taxes of the office out of the district attorney’s bad check unit funds is in a circumstance that has the potential to create public suspicion and reflect unfavorably on the district attorney’s office and, therefore, such a circumstance should be avoided for full compliance with the public policy mandate set forth in the statute. Op. of Miss. Ethics. Comm. Op. No. 00-006-E.

Service by a state department employee as a corporate officer or member of the board of directors of a nonprofit corporation whose purpose is to promote cooperation between public and private entities regarding the area of responsibility under the jurisdiction of the state department is clearly a circumstance that has the potential to create public suspicion and reflect unfavorably upon the state department and, therefore, such a circumstance should be avoided for full compliance with the public policy mandate set forth in the statute. Op. of Miss. Ethics. Comm. Op. No. 00-007-E.

A state university employee’s travel agency making travel arrangements for state university employees, to be paid for by the state university with public funds, is a circumstance that has the potential to create public suspicion and reflect unfavorably upon the district attorney’s office and, therefore, such a circumstance should be avoided for full compliance with the public policy mandate set forth in the statute. Op. of Miss. Ethics. Comm. Op. No. 00-008-E.

A former legislator contracting under any circumstances with a state university within one year of the end of the former legislator’s term of office is a circumstance that can be expected to create public suspicion and reflect unfavorably on the state university and the legislature and should be avoided in order for the university and the former legislator to fully comply with the public policy and public trust mandates set forth in the statute. Op. of Miss. Ethics. Comm. Op. No. 00-010-E.

For a Department of Education employee, including a school attendance officer, to be employed and/or compensated by a public school district has the potential to create public suspicion and reflect unfavorably on the Department of Education and the public school district and this circumstance should be avoided. Op. of Miss. Ethics. Comm. Op. No. 00-011-E.

The public policy set forth in the statute is sufficient to preclude a former county supervisor from being compensated by a planning and development district to perform services for a solid waste authority when he had formerly served as a planning and development district board member and served as a member of the county board of supervisors which had entered into a 20-year contract with the solid waste authority to provide the county landfill operation services. Op. of Miss. Ethics. Comm. Op. No. 00-013-E.

The contracting of a county supervisor with Keep America Beautiful, Inc. to assist it with implementing its programs when Keep America Beautiful, Inc. is given the discretion to fund local entities, including counties, to implement local litter prevention projects results in a circumstance that can be expected to create public suspicion and reflect unfavorably upon the county and this circumstance should be avoided in order for the county to fully comply with the state’s public policy mandate set forth in the statute. Op. of Miss. Ethics. Comm. Op. No. 00-017-E.

A newly elected supervisor’s spouse is prohibited from continuing her employment, or from contracting in any other way with a county-owned hospital after the county board of supervisors of which the supervisor is a member approves the first budget submitted by the county-owned hospital, and a recusal or abstention by the supervisor will not alter the result. Op. of Miss. Ethics. Comm. Op. No. 00-019-E.

The employment of an alderman’s stepchild by the city has the potential to create public suspicion and reflect unfavorably upon the city. Op. of Miss. Ethics. Comm. Op. No. 00-021-E.

The employment of a supervisor’s child by the county has the potential to create public suspicion and reflect unfavorably on the county and, such a circumstance should be avoided when possible; the supervisor must totally and completely recuse himself from all discussions, actions, and decisions concerning his child’s employment contract with the county when such circumstances cannot be avoided. Op. of Miss. Ethics. Comm. Op. No. 00-033-E.

An independent contractor with a levee district who is directly or indirectly involved with matters concerning the levee district that are before a joint water management district of which he is a board member has the potential to create public suspicion and reflect unfavorably on both governmental entities and, therefore, such a board member should completely recuse himself from any matter coming before the joint water management district board that concerns a levee district with which the board member is a current independent contractor. Op. of Miss. Ethics. Comm. Op. No. 00-035-E.

Although a waterway district was not prohibited from contracting with a county supervisor’s corporation in the event that the waterway district’s board determined that the county supervisor’s corporation’s was the lowest and best bid for the construction of the 20 cabins, since the state bond issue and its monies to fund the contract to build the 20 cabins were independent and separate from the waterway district’s normal indebtedness/liabilities, contracts, and county funding, the county supervisor would be required to recuse himself from any matter coming before the board of supervisors that concerned the waterway district, any appointment to the waterway district board, and/or the county’s funding of the waterway district during the existence of the construction contract should the waterway district board award the contract to the supervisor’s corporation. Op. of Miss. Ethics. Comm. Op. No. 00-037-E.

The state conflict of interest laws will not require an individual to resign as the city’s street superintendent should he or she qualify as a candidate for the office of mayor of the city; however, the individual would not be permitted to campaign, directly or indirectly, during the hours he was being compensated by the city as its street commissioner and would not be permitted to use his employment position with the city, the city’s equipment, or any other city resources to benefit his campaign for mayor. Op. of Miss. Ethics. Comm. Op. No. 00-038-E.

The executive director of a nonprofit corporation having as its primary purpose the provision of local human services, and who also serves on a county human resource agency’s board, because the nonprofit corporation is expected to seek funding or other support from the county human resource agency and enter contractual arrangements with this agency, is in a circumstance having the potential to create public suspicion and reflect unfavorably on the county human resource agency; such a circumstance should be avoided for full compliance with the public policy mandate set forth in the statute. Op. of Miss. Ethics. Comm. Op. No. 00-040-E.

The employment of a county supervisor’s spouse by the county-owned hospital is a circumstance that has the potential to create public suspicion and reflect unfavorably on the county and the county-owned hospital, especially with regard to the board of supervisors’ authority to approve the county-owned hospital’s budget, to fund or not to fund the county-owned hospital by means of a tax levy, and to determine whether or when to lease or sell the county-owned hospital, such a circumstance should be avoided for full compliance with the public policy mandate set forth in the statute. Op. of Miss. Ethics. Comm. Op. No. 00-042-E.

A law firm where one of the partners is a legislator cannot be employed and compensated by a private foundation that is funded by community/junior college foundations with undesignated, nonpublic funds. Op. of Miss. Ethics. Comm. Op. No. 00-044-E.

A legislator’s participation in legislative matters concerning community/junior colleges when the legislator is a partner in a law firm whose attorney is being paid by a private foundation to pursue litigation on behalf of the community/junior college’s interests has the potential to create public suspicion and reflect unfavorably upon the legislature and the community college, and the legislator must totally and complete recuse himself from any matters before the legislature or its committees that concern community/junior colleges should his law firm’s attorney be retained by the private foundation. Op. of Miss. Ethics. Comm. Op. No. 00-044-E.

A county supervisor may donate real property to the county for the purpose of establishing a rubbish site within the county; however, the section would be violated should the transfer of the real property from the supervisor to the county not be a true donation or should there be an interest or benefit accruing to the supervisor. Op. of Miss. Ethics. Comm. Op. No. 00-045-E.

A public servant supervising the work of a relative, such as a county road manager supervising his child or a county building and grounds supervisor supervising his spouse, has the potential of creating suspicion among the public and reflecting unfavorably upon the county and, therefore, such a circumstance should be avoided in order for the county and the public servant to fully comply with the state’s public policy mandate set forth in the statute. Op. of Miss. Ethics. Comm. Op. No. 00-046-E.

A county employee’s direct or indirect involvement with matters concerning his employing county that were before the board of aldermen of which he was also a member had the potential of creating suspicion among the public and reflecting unfavorably upon the city and the county and, therefore, he would be required to totally and completely recuse himself from any matter concerning his county employer coming before the board of aldermen should he be elected to the board of aldermen. Op. of Miss. Ethics. Comm. Op. No. 00-048-E.

A school district’s employment of the brother and half-brother of one of its board members has the potential to create public suspicion and reflect unfavorably upon the school district and, therefore, the board member should totally and completely recuse himself from any matter coming before the school board concerning the employment and/or re-employment of his brother or half-brother and decisions concerning their respective compensation and benefits in order to fully comply with the public policy mandate set forth in the statute. Op. of Miss. Ethics. Comm. Op. No. 00-053-E.

A district attorney’s office contracting with the son of the business administrator of the district attorney’s office may create public suspicion and reflect unfavorably upon the school district and, therefore, this circumstance should be avoided for full compliance with the public policy mandate set forth in the statute. Op. of Miss. Ethics. Comm. Op. No. 00-054-E.

Where one spouse has supervision and administrative authority over a payroll signed by the other spouse the potential exists for creating public suspicion and reflecting unfavorably upon the county and there is a public trust responsibility that checks and balances be provided to assure that proper oversight and controls exist in the expenditure of the public’s monies and; therefore, the county board of supervisors and the emergency management council, with the assistance of the State Department of Audit, need to be certain that the checks and balances in place circumstances in of this type are sufficient to alleviate public suspicion and unfavorable reflections upon the county and the emergency management council. Op. of Miss. Ethics. Comm. Op. No. 00-055-E.

Where one spouse is a facility manager for a fair commission and has supervisory authority and responsibility over the other spouse who is a facility secretary for the commission, a circumstance exists that can be expected to create public suspicion and reflect unfavorably on the fair commission; such a circumstance should be avoided in order for there to be full compliance with the public policy mandate and public trust obligation imposed by the statute. Op. of Miss. Ethics. Comm. Op. No. 00-056-E.

Where a state superintendent of education’s spouse is a contractor or subcontractor with public school districts, a circumstance having the potential to create public suspicion and reflect unfavorably upon the state department of education exists and the superintendent is required to totally and completely recuse himself from any matter coming before his department or his board that concerns the spouse’s contracts with public school districts and/or an educational consulting group’s contracts with public school districts in which the spouse is a subcontractor. Op. of Miss. Ethics. Comm. Op. No. 00-058-E.

Where the duties that an individual performed for a state agency regarding the restructuring of legislation that allowed the issuance of general obligation bonds by the state to support an energy project and the negotiation of a power purchase agreement with the utility provider were not directly related to the industrial complex, the individual, upon retiring from the state agency, would not be prohibited from being compensated by a consulting engineering firm as its employee in the management and operation of the industrial complex and in the recruitment of tenants for the industrial complex. Op. of Miss. Ethics. Comm. Op. No. 00-061-E.

A former state employee accepting employment with a consulting engineering firm is in a situation that has the potential to create public suspicion and reflect unfavorably upon the state agency where this former state employee had the same specified duties and responsibilities. Op. of Miss. Ethics. Comm. Op. No. 00-061-E.

A former state employee accepting employment with a consulting engineering firm has the potential of creating suspicion among the public and reflecting unfavorably upon the state agency and, therefore, the former state employee and his future consulting engineering firm employer would be required to remain keenly aware of the public policy mandate set forth in the statute in determining his future duties. Op. of Miss. Ethics. Comm. Op. No. 00-063-E.

An individual serving simultaneously as a county supervisor and a state employee has the potential of creating suspicion among the public and reflecting unfavorably upon the state agency and the county, should the individual become involved, either directly or indirectly, with his county board of supervisors by way of his duties and responsibilities as a state employee or become involved, directly or indirectly, with his state agency by way of his duties and responsibilities as a county supervisor and, therefore, the individual as a county supervisor must totally and completely recuse himself from any matter coming before his board of supervisors that concerns his state agency employer or the individual as a state employee must totally and completely recuse himself from any programs or services of his state agency employer that concern the county he serves as a supervisor. Op. of Miss. Ethics. Comm. Op. No. 00-068-E.

The public policy mandate set forth in the statute precludes a city council member from writing bail bonds for the release of a defendant held in the custody of the law enforcement entity of the city he or she is elected to serve. Op. of Miss. Ethics. Comm. Op. No. 00-067-E.

A former district attorney serving as a criminal defense counsel on a case that was reviewed in his office by his assistant district attorneys prior to the end of his term has the potential of creating suspicion among the public and reflecting unfavorably upon the district attorney’s office and, therefore the mandate set forth in the statute precludes a former district attorney from serving as a criminal defense counsel on a case that was reviewed in his office by his assistant district attorneys prior to the end of his term. Op. of Miss. Ethics. Comm. Op. No. 00-069-E.

An employee of the county sheriff’s department serving as an E-911 commissioner when the E-911 commission and the county sheriff’s department have a contractual agreement for dispatching services has the potential of creating suspicion among the public and reflecting unfavorably upon the county sheriff’s department and the E-911 commission and therefore, such a circumstance should be avoided to comply with the public policy mandates set forth in the statute. Op. of Miss. Ethics. Comm. Op. No. 00-074-E.

The state’s public policy of public service being a public trust prohibited individual from serving as the director of the Building, Grounds and Real Property Management when his consulting firm’s contract with the state university to provide an Americans with Disability Act Compliance Implementation Plan remained in effect. Op. of Miss. Ethics. Comm. Op. No. 00-076-E.

The employment of an alderman’s son-in-law by the city has the potential of creating suspicion among the public and reflecting unfavorably upon the city and, therefore, such circumstances should be avoided when possible; further, the alderman must totally and completely recuse himself from all discussions, actions, and decisions concerning his son-in-law’s employment contract with the city when such circumstances cannot be avoided. Op. of Miss. Ethics. Comm. Op. No. 00-077-E.

A nonemergency transportation company contracting with a state agency can operate within a region under the supervision of a coordinator with the state agency where the coordinator has direct involvement as to which nonemergency transportation company in his region will be utilized for transports and where the company is owned by the coordinator’s father and formally employed the coordinator’s spouse; however, the coordinator would be required to totally and completely recuse himself from any decision to utilize the transportation company. Op. of Miss. Ethics. Comm. Op. No. 00-079-E.

An alderman who is an attorney having a contract with the Attorney General’s office to do legal research when the city is receiving grant funds and/or expects to pursue grant funds from the Attorney General’s office certainly has the potential of creating suspicion among the public and reflecting unfavorably upon the state and city and, therefore, the alderman must totally and completely recuse himself from any matter coming before the city board that involves the Attorney General’s office, especially grants from the Attorney General’s office. Op. of Miss. Ethics. Comm. Op. No. 00-082-E.

The state public policy set forth in the statute will require a legislator, who is employed by a not-for-profit corporation that receives state legislative appropriated funds that do not result in payments under contracts in which the legislator would be interested, directly or indirectly, to totally and completely recuse himself from all state legislative considerations concerning the entity receiving the state legislative appropriated funds and the state agency program providing the funding to the entity. Op. of Miss. Ethics. Comm. Op. No. 00-086-E.

A legislator participating in matters before the legislature concerning the waste management industry where the legislator was employed in the waste management industry, had the potential of creating suspicion among the public and reflecting unfavorably upon the legislature, and therefore, the state public policy set forth in the state required that the legislator totally and completely recuse himself from any matter coming before the legislature concerning the waste management industry. Op. of Miss. Ethics. Comm. Op. No. 00-088-E.

A city council member being employed by the county in which his city is located has the potential of creating suspicion among the public and reflecting unfavorably upon the county and the city and, therefore, a city council member should totally and completely recuse himself from all matters coming before the city council that concern his county employer. Op. of Miss. Ethics. Comm. Op. No. 00-089-E.

The employment of an E-911 commissioner’s daughter-in-law by the commission has the potential of creating suspicion among the public and reflecting unfavorably upon the city and, therefore, such circumstances should be avoided when possible; further, an E-911 commissioner must totally and completely recuse himself from all discussions, actions, and decisions concerning his daughter-in-law’s employment contract with the commission when such circumstances cannot be avoided. Op. of Miss. Ethics. Comm. Op. No. 00-092-E.

An executive of a telephone corporation is prohibited from serving on the E-911 commission when the county’s E-911 equipment is leased from the telephone corporation employing him. Op. of Miss. Ethics. Comm. Op. No. 00-092-E.

A county employee’s direct or indirect involvement with matters concerning his employing county that are before the board of aldermen of which he is also a member has the potential of creating suspicion among the public and reflecting unfavorably upon the city and the county and, therefore, a deputy sheriff must totally and completely recuse himself from any matter concerning his county employer coming before the board of aldermen should he be elected to the board of aldermen. Op. of Miss. Ethics. Comm. Op. No. 00-094-E.

An individual serving as both a city police officer and a part-time deputy sheriff has the potential of creating suspicion among the public and reflecting unfavorably upon both the county and city when the city employing him is located within the county employing him, especially where the county sheriff’s department has concurrent jurisdiction with the city police departments to provide law enforcement inside the city limits of the municipalities located within the county, and therefore, such a circumstance should be avoided whenever possible. Op. of Miss. Ethics. Comm. Op. No. 00-096-E.

To fully and completely comply with the public policy mandate set forth in the statute, a company owned by a state employee should not do business with any companies that are expected to do business with the state whereby they will be subject to the employee’s authority as the director of a state bureau; an engineering firm with which his company had a subconsultant contract were perfect examples of the state employee’s company doing business with another company that should be avoided if the engineering firm was expected to be doing business with the state whereby it would be subject to the state employee’s authority as the director of the state bureau. Op. of Miss. Ethics. Comm. Op. No. 00-098-E.

To fully and completely comply with the public policy mandate set forth in the statute, a company owned by a state employee should not do business with any companies that are expected to do business with the state whereby they will be subject to the state employee’s authority as the director of the state bureau; two other companies with which his company had a subconsultant role with the city were perfect examples of the the state employee’s company doing business with other companies that should be avoided if the other two companies were expected to be doing business with the state whereby they would be subject to the state employee’s authority as the director of the state bureau. Op. of Miss. Ethics. Comm. Op. No. 00-099-E.

One individual serving in dual capacities for the county government has the potential of creating suspicion among the public and reflecting unfavorably upon the county government and, therefore, where a deputy chancery clerk simultaneously serves as a part-time E-911 dispatcher for the same county, the clerk should not perform any chancery clerk duties in regard to the E-911 commission’s funding, payroll and budget, especially those related to auditing and reporting. Op. of Miss. Ethics. Comm. Op. No. 00-100-E.

An attorney/spouse or others in the attorney/spouse’s law firm being compensated to do a closing on a Mississippi Home Corporation (MHC) bond-funded mortgage loan or a MHC second mortgage loan under MHC’s down-payment assistance program when the new appointee is a member of the MHC board of directors which authorized the related contracts to the mortgage loan or second mortgage loan is a circumstance that can be expected to create public suspicion and reflect unfavorably upon the MHC and, therefore, to fully comply with the public policy mandate set forth in the statute, the attorney/spouse or others in the attorney/spouse’s law firm should not do the closing on an MHC bond-funded mortgage loan or an MHC second mortgage loan under MHC’s down-payment assistance program during the new appointee’s term as a member of the MHC board of directors. Op. of Miss. Ethics. Comm. Op. No. 00-101-E.

A member of a city council serving as an advisory board member of one of the city’s depositories has the potential of creating public suspicion and reflecting unfavorably upon the city and the city council and such a circumstance should be avoided for full compliance with the public policy mandate set forth in the statute. Op. of Miss. Ethics. Comm. Op. No. 00-107-E.

The employment of a sheriff’s son at a regional jail facility where he serves as the chief corrections officer is a circumstance that can be expected to create public suspicion and reflect unfavorably upon the counties and the regional jail facility and such a circumstance should be avoided for full compliance with the public policy mandate and public trust obligation imposed by the statute. Op. of Miss. Ethics. Comm. Op. No. 00-108-E.

Although it is not a violation of the state conflict of interest laws for a state employee to develop, patent, and market equipment in the industry that his or her state agency regulates, in order to fully and completely comply with the public policy mandate set forth in the statute, neither the state employee nor the state agency’s staff under his direction would be allowed to evaluate or review industry equipment which the state employee developed, patented, and marketed in the industry. Op. of Miss. Ethics. Comm. Op. No. 00-111-E.

An individual serving simultaneously as a city council member in the city where the state port authority is located and as an employee with the state port authority certainly has the potential of creating suspicion among the public and reflecting unfavorably upon the state port authority and the city, should the individual become involved, either directly or indirectly, with his city by way of his duties and responsibilities as a state employee or become involved, directly or indirectly, with his state agency by way of his duties and responsibilities as a city council member and, therefore the individual as a city council member should he be elected must totally and completely recuse himself from any matter coming before the city council that concerns his state agency employer and the individual as a state employee must totally and completely recuse himself from any programs or services of his state agency employer that concerns the city. Op. of Miss. Ethics. Comm. Op. No. 00-112-E.

An employee of the county board of supervisors serving as a member of the county election commission has the potential of creating suspicion among the public and reflecting unfavorably upon the county election commission and, therefore, the assistant road manager, as a county election commissioner, would be required to totally and completely recuse himself from all discussions, actions, and decisions of the county election commission concerning the board of supervisors and/or any member thereof. Op. of Miss. Ethics. Comm. Op. No. 00-113-E.

An employee of the county tax assessor/collector serving as a member of the county election commission has the potential of creating suspicion among the public and reflecting unfavorably upon the county election commission and, therefore, the deputy tax assessor, as a county election commissioner, would be required to totally and completely recuse himself from all discussions, actions, and decisions of the county election commission concerning the county tax assessor/collector. Op. of Miss. Ethics. Comm. Op. No. 00-113-E.

A bail bonding company writing bail bonds in a city when the person writing the bail bonds is a parent or child of an employee of the city police department is certainly in a circumstance having the potential of creating suspicion among the public and reflecting unfavorably upon the city and, therefore, a city must establish rules and regulations that absolutely preclude police department employees’ involvement in the bail bond process when those employees are the parents or children of bail bond company employees or agents. Op. of Miss. Ethics. Comm. Op. No. 00-114-E.

A state employee serving as a county school board member is in a circumstance that has the potential of creating suspicion among the public and reflecting unfavorably upon the state agency and the county school district if the state employee does not totally and completely recuse himself from matters concerning his state agency that come before the county school board of trustees. Op. of Miss. Ethics. Comm. Op. No. 00-116E.

A mayor’s employment by the city’s engineering firm, even without compensation, has the potential of creating suspicion among the public and reflecting unfavorably upon the city. Op. of Miss. Ethics. Comm. Op. No. 00-119-E.

One individual serving in dual capacities for separate authorities of a governmental entity is in a circumstance that has the potential of creating suspicion among the public and reflecting unfavorably upon the governmental entity and, therefore, the governmental entity must review such circumstances of dual employment with the intent of reducing or eliminating the public’s suspicion by being able to demonstrate to the public that such dual employment is both financially and functionally beneficial to the public. Op. of Miss. Ethics. Comm. Op. No. 00-123-E.

One individual serving in dual capacities for separate authorities of a governmental entity results in a circumstance that has the potential of creating suspicion among the public and reflecting unfavorably upon the governmental entity and, therefore, the governmental entity must review such circumstances of dual employment with the intent of reducing or eliminating the public’s suspicion by being able to demonstrate to the public that such dual employment is both financially and functionally beneficial to the public. Op. of Miss. Ethics. Comm. Op. No. 00-124-E.

A legislator who is employed by a Mississippi nonprofit corporation will be required to totally and completely recuse himself from all state legislative considerations concerning the Mississippi nonprofit corporation and its members. Op. of Miss. Ethics. Comm. Op. No. 00-126-E.

A city council member employed by the county-owned community hospital located within the city the council member serves has the potential of creating suspicion among the public and reflecting unfavorably upon the city and the county-owned community hospital and, therefore, the city council member would be required to totally and completely recuse him or herself from all matters coming before the city council that concern the county-owned community hospital employing the council member. Op. of Miss. Ethics. Comm. Op. No. 00-127-E.

Sale by a school board member of services of any kind through the school district’s cafeteria plan to the school district employees who pay for the services through payroll deductions approved by the school board is a circumstance that creates suspicion among the public and reflects unfavorably upon the school district and, therefore, a school board member must refrain from selling services to the school district’s employees in such a circumstance to comply with the state public policy mandate set forth in the statute. Op. of Miss. Ethics. Comm. Op. No. 00-130-E.

A municipality must avoid a contract with a church to lease a facility to be paid for with grant funds when an employee in the state agency that administers the grant and under whose general supervision the grant falls is a member of the church and is a member of the church’s board of trustees because the state employee’s inability to perform his supervisory duties over the municipality’s grant because of his church’s leasing of a facility to the municipality in relation to the grant is a circumstance that could be expected to create suspicion among the public and reflect unfavorably upon the state agency. Op. of Miss. Ethics. Comm. Op. No. 00-133-E.

The employment of a county supervisor’s daughter-in-law by the county tax assessor/collector’s office has the potential of creating suspicion among the public and reflecting unfavorably upon the county and, therefore, such a circumstance should be avoided whenever possible in order to fully comply with the state’s public policy mandate set forth in the statute. Op. of Miss. Ethics. Comm. Op. No. 00-135-E.

An employee of the office of the city clerk serving as a member of the city election commission has the potential of creating suspicion among the public and reflecting unfavorably upon the city election commission and, therefore, the administrative assistant in the office of the city clerk must resign that position before accepting the mayor’s appointment as a member of the city election commission. Op. of Miss. Ethics. Comm. Op. No. 00-138-E.

A member of the state public body having broad authority and power over the state’s airports should not be associated with an individual airport, even as an advisory board member, as such association could be expected to create suspicion among the public and reflect unfavorably upon the public body in which the member is elected to serve. Op. of Miss. Ethics. Comm. Op. No. 01-001-E.

A public servant, including a school district employee, may perform statutorily prescribed notary public duties and be paid the statutorily allowed fee for such notary public duties rendered to the public servant’s employing governmental entity if the employee qualified as a notary public paid his or her own expenses necessary to qualify as a notary public and those expenses were not repaid or reimbursed, either directly or indirectly, by the employing governmental entity. Op. of Miss. Ethics. Comm. Op. No. 01-002-E.

A spouse of an individual who is a newly appointed school board member remaining employed with the school district during the remaining period of the spouse’s current employment contract with the school district after the newly appointed school board member has been sworn into office has the potential of creating suspicion among the public and reflecting unfavorably upon the school district and, therefore, a newly appointed school board member must totally and completely recuse himself from any matter coming before the school board concerning his spouse during the remaining period of the spouse’s current employment contract with the municipal school district. Op. of Miss. Ethics. Comm. Op. No. 01-006-E.

Where an individual simultaneously served as the county prosecuting attorney and as mayor of a municipality located within the county the individual served as prosecutor, he would be required to totally and completely recuse himself from any matters coming before the town’s governing authority that concerned the board of supervisors that appointed him to the position of county prosecuting attorney. Op. of Miss. Ethics. Comm. Op. No. 01-009-E.

An individual would not be prohibited from continuing to serve as mayor should he be employed by the county sheriff’s department where there were no contracts existing between the municipality and the county as the municipality and the county were separate governmental entities; however a violation of the section would arise in the event of a contract between the municipality and the county in which the individual, as an employee of the sheriff’s department and as the mayor of the city, would have a private pecuniary interest. Op. of Miss. Ethics. Comm. Op. No. 01-010-E.

Although an individual could continue to serve as mayor should he be employed by the county sheriff’s department, he would be required to totally and completely recuse himself from all matters coming before the municipality’s governing authority that concerned the county. Op. of Miss. Ethics. Comm. Op. No. 01-010-E.

A spouse of an individual who is a newly appointed school board member remaining employed with the school district during the remaining period of the spouse’s current employment contract with the school district after the newly appointed school board member has been sworn into office has the potential of creating suspicion among the public and reflecting unfavorably upon the school district and, therefore, the school board member would be required to totally and completely recuse himself from any matter coming before the school board concerning his spouse during the remaining period of the spouse’s current employment contract. Op. of Miss. Ethics. Comm. Op. No. 01-011-E.

A city’s purchase of a historical property from an estate in which an alderman’s child had an interest as an heir had the potential of creating suspicion among the public and reflecting unfavorably upon the city and, therefore, the alderman would be required to totally and completely recuse herself from all discussions, actions, and decisions concerning city’s purchase of the historical property from the estate. Op. of Miss. Ethics. Comm. Op. No. 01-013-E.

Although it was not a violation of the state conflict of interest laws for an employee in a supervisory position with a state department to serve on the board of directors of a service organization’s nonprofit family center without compensation where the family center had a grant issued by the state department and provided services to clients of the state, the state employee would be required to totally and completely recuse herself from all matters concerning the nonprofit service organization and the service organization’s nonprofit family center, especially with regard to current and future grants issued by the state department to the nonprofit service organization and/or the service organization’s nonprofit family center and state department clients under her supervision that were receiving services from the family center. Op. of Miss. Ethics. Comm. Op. No. 01-014-E.

An alderman serving as an advisory board member of one of the city’s depositories has the potential of creating suspicion among the public and reflecting unfavorably upon the city and the board of aldermen and, therefore, such a circumstance should be avoided to fully comply with the public policy mandate set forth in the statute. Op. of Miss. Ethics. Comm. Op. No. 01-023-E.

The public policy mandated set forth in the statute is sufficient to prohibit a body shop owned by justice court judge from repairing vehicles owned by the Mississippi Department of Public Safety and to prohibit the Mississippi Department of Public Safety from having its vehicles repaired at the body shop. Op. of Miss. Ethics. Comm. Op. No. 01-027-E.

A state employee contracting with divisions of the federal government or municipalities that the state employee is directly or indirectly involved with through his state employment has the potential of creating suspicion among the public and reflecting unfavorably upon his state employer and, therefore, a state employee should avoid contracting with any division of the federal government or a municipality that he is directly or indirectly involved with through his state employment in order to fully comply with the public policy mandate set forth in the statute. Op. of Miss. Ethics. Comm. Op. No. 01-028-E.

A community hospital contracting with a business owned in whole or in part by one of its employees provides a circumstance having the potential of creating suspicion among the public and reflecting unfavorably upon the community hospital and, therefore, a community hospital must whenever possible avoid such a circumstance so as to fully and completely comply with the public policy mandate set forth in the statute. Op. of Miss. Ethics. Comm. Op. No. 01-029-E.

A deputy chancery clerk entering into a separate employment contract with the county board of supervisors as computer support personnel violates the statute. Op. of Miss. Ethics. Comm. Op. No. 01-030-E.

A board of supervisors contracting with a deputy chancery clerk as computer support personnel produces a circumstance having the potential of creating suspicion among the public and reflecting unfavorably upon the county and, therefore, such a circumstance whenever possible should be avoided in order to fully and completely comply with the public policy mandate set forth in the statute. Op. of Miss. Ethics. Comm. Op. No. 01-030-E.

A community mental health center contracting with a construction company owned by a supervisor who is a member of a board of supervisors that appropriates funding to the community mental health center presents a circumstance that can be expected to create suspicion among the public and reflect unfavorably upon the community health center and the county and, therefore, such a circumstance should be avoided in order to fully and completely comply with the public policy mandate set forth in the statute. Op. of Miss. Ethics. Comm. Op. No. 01-032-E.

A city’s mayor being employed by a nonprofit corporation when the city transferred a health agency to the nonprofit corporation presents a circumstance that will create suspicion among the public and reflect unfavorably upon the city and, therefore, the mayor is prohibited from being employed, being compensated, or otherwise receiving a pecuniary or personal benefit from the nonprofit corporation that received the transfer of the health agency from the city. Op. of Miss. Ethics. Comm. Op. No. 01-034-E.

One spouse being a manager for a fair commission and thereby having supervisory authority and responsibility over the other spouse as an employee of the fair commission presents a circumstance that can be expected to create suspicion among the public and reflect unfavorably upon the fair commission and, therefore, such a circumstance should be avoided in order for full compliance with the public policy mandate and public trust obligation imposed by the statute to be achieved. Op. of Miss. Ethics. Comm. Op. No. 01-036-E.

A city contracting with the spouse of its mayor presents a circumstance that can be expected to create suspicion among the public and reflect unfavorably upon the city and, therefore, such a circumstance must be avoided in order for full and complete compliance with the public policy mandate set forth in the statute to be achieved. Op. of Miss. Ethics. Comm. Op. No. 01-039-E.

A Department of Human Services employee being involved in an adoption proceeding on a personal basis when the Department of Human Services must approve all adoptions coming into the state is a circumstance having the potential of creating suspicion among the public and reflecting unfavorably upon the Department of Human Services and, therefore, such a circumstance should be avoided for full compliance with the public policy mandate set forth in the statute. Op. of Miss. Ethics. Comm. Op. No. 01-040-E.

A correctional officer employed by the county writing bail bonds for the release of a defendant held in the custody of the county sheriff’s department is a circumstance that can be expected to create suspicion among the public and reflect unfavorably upon the county and, therefore, such a circumstance should be avoided for full compliance with the public policy mandate set forth in the statute. Op. of Miss. Ethics. Comm. Op. No. 01-041-E.

The state conflict of interest laws do not require an elected chief of police to resign in order to qualify as a candidate for the office of sheriff; however, he would be prohibited from campaigning while on duty as chief of police and from using city equipment, supplies, and resources to benefit his campaign for sheriff. Op. of Miss. Ethics. Comm. Op. No. 01-044-E.

An elected police chief being compensated to perform coroner duties within the boundaries of the city he is elected to serve is in a circumstance that can be expected to create suspicion among the public and reflect unfavorably upon the city and county and, therefore, such a circumstance must be avoided in order to fully comply with the public policy mandate set forth in the statute. Op. of Miss. Ethics. Comm. Op. No. 01-045-E.

A city police officer being compensated for performing coroner duties within the boundaries of the city that employs him is in a circumstance that can be expected to create suspicion among the public and reflect unfavorably upon the city and county and, therefore, such a circumstance must be avoided in order to fully comply with the public policy mandate set forth in the statute. Op. of Miss. Ethics. Comm. Op. No. 01-045-E.

A county board of supervisors and/or the board of trustees of the county economic development district should avoid purchasing land from a former trustee of the county economic development district in order to fully and completely comply with the public policy mandate set forth in the statute. Op. of Miss. Ethics. Comm. Op. No. 01-046-E.

A mayor participating in matters before the mayor and board of aldermen concerning a regional housing authority employing the mayor can be expected to raise suspicion among the public and reflect unfavorably upon the town and the regional housing authority and, therefore, the mayor would be required to totally and completely recuse himself from matters involving the regional housing authority. Op. of Miss. Ethics. Comm. Op. No. 01-048-E.

A county employee’s direct or indirect involvement with matters concerning his employing county that are before the board of aldermen of which he is also a member has the potential of creating suspicion among the public and reflecting unfavorably upon the city and the county and, therefore, a deputy sheriff who also serves as an alderman must totally and completely recuse himself from any matter concerning his county employer coming before the board of aldermen. Op. of Miss. Ethics. Comm. Op. No. 01-049-E.

One spouse having supervisory authority and responsibility over the other spouse as employees of a governmental entity such as a school district constitute a circumstance that can be expected to create suspicion among the public and reflect unfavorably upon the school district and, therefore, such a circumstance should be avoided in order to fully comply with the public policy mandate and public trust obligation imposed by the statute. Op. of Miss. Ethics. Comm. Op. No. 01-053-E.

A former state employee accepting employment with a contractor of his former state agency is certainly a circumstance with the potential of creating suspicion among the public and reflecting unfavorably upon the state agency, especially when the former state employee had supervisory authority or personal responsibility over the state agency’s contract with the contractor, and, therefore, the state employee was required to totally and completely avoid participating in any discretionary decisions or actions by the state department that could provide a benefit to any company the state employee was considering accepting employment with after terminating employment with the state department in order to fully and completely comply with the public policy mandate set forth in the statute. Op. of Miss. Ethics. Comm. Op. No. 01-054-E.

The appointment of an individual to a community hospital’s board of trustees when the individual’s child is an employee of the community hospital has the potential of creating suspicion among the public and reflecting unfavorably upon the county and, therefore, such a circumstance should be avoided whenever possible; a potential hospital trustee is required to totally and completely recuse himself from all discussions, actions, and decisions concerning his child’s employment with the county hospital when such circumstances cannot be avoided. Op. of Miss. Ethics. Comm. Op. No. 01-056-E.

A legislator being employed by a county as its director of office of planning and development is in a circumstance that has the potential of creating suspicion among the public and reflecting unfavorably upon the legislature and the county as a position as director of a local planning and development office can be expected to be heavily involved in matters such as planning, building, housing, and development over which the legislature has significant control not only in the passage of laws that affect these highly regulated areas but also in the appropriation of funds for use by local governments and subgrantees in these areas; thus, such a circumstance should be avoided whenever possible for full and complete compliance with the public policy mandate set forth in the statute to be achieved. Op. of Miss. Ethics. Comm. Op. No. 01-057-E.

A municipality’s police department, including a police officer’s wrecker service on the rotation list of wrecker businesses the police contacts to remove a disabled vehicle during an accident investigation presents a circumstance that has the potential of creating suspicion among the public and reflecting unfavorably upon the municipality and, therefore, to avoid violating the public policy mandate set forth in the statute, the municipality must either decline to include the police officer’s wrecker service on the rotation list or establish a system that eliminates the creation of public suspicion and the unfavorable reflection upon the municipality. Op. of Miss. Ethics. Comm. Op. No. 01-059-E.

It is not a violation of the state conflict of interest laws for a city’s utility commissioner to complete his current term on the city’s utility commission after his son-in-law is elected to the city’s board of aldermen or for a city’s utility commissioner to be reappointed by the board of aldermen on which his son-in-law serves as a father-in-law of a public servant is not a relative for purposes of the statute. Op. of Miss. Ethics. Comm. Op. No. 01-061-E.

An alderman participating in the appointment of a city’s utility commissioner, who is the alderman’s father-in-law, presents a circumstance that has the potential of creating suspicion among the public and reflecting unfavorably upon the city and the city’s utility commission and, therefore, in order to fully comply with the public policy mandate set forth the statute, the alderman must completely recuse himself from the board of aldermen’s consideration of his father-in-law’s reappointment to the city’s utility commission. Op. of Miss. Ethics. Comm. Op. No. 01-061-E.

A former executive director of a state agency being compensated for providing consulting services to a business or other governmental agency that received funding from the state agency during the former executive director’s tenure constitutes a circumstance with the potential to create suspicion among the public and reflect unfavorably upon the state agency and, therefore, the executive director and the agency would be required to demonstrate that the consulting service contract would not violate the public trust by being a natural consequence of the requestor having been the department’s executive director during a period when the department provided funding to the agency. Op. of Miss. Ethics. Comm. Op. No. 01-066-E.

A county supervisor being employed by a not-for-profit corporation when the county has a 10-year lease contract with the not-for-profit corporation is a circumstance that will create suspicion among the public and reflect unfavorably upon the county and, therefore, such a circumstance should be avoided for full compliance with the public policy mandate set forth in the statute. Op. of Miss. Ethics. Comm. Op. No. 01-067-E.

The employment of a county engineer who represents the county on a wastewater and solid waste management district’s technical review committee by a company to manage its public works contract with a city would result in an appearance of impropriety and a violation of the public trust if the company remained a contractor with the wastewater and solid waste management district and if the county engineer’s compensation from the company results in a material financial interest in the company. Op. of Miss. Ethics. Comm. Op. No. 01-068-E.

A school board member’s direct or indirect involvement with matters concerning a municipality, which he serves as mayor, that are before the school board, and vice versa, has the potential to create suspicion among the public and reflect unfavorably on the school district and the municipality and, therefore, the individual would be required to totally and completely recuse himself from any matter concerning the municipality he serves as mayor that come before the school board and from any matters concerning the school district he serves as a board member that comes before the municipal governing authority. Op. of Miss. Ethics. Comm. Op. No. 01-071-E.

A mayor and a city clerk of a code-chartered municipality being parent and child raises serious public policy concerns as it is a circumstance that will create suspicion among the public and reflect unfavorably upon the municipality, especially as a mayor and city clerk of a code-chartered municipality being parent and child greatly weakens the built in checks and balances provided for in state law; thus, in order to fully and completely comply with the public policy mandate set forth in the statute, the town board should not reappoint/re-employ as the city clerk the child of a new mayor. Op. of Miss. Ethics. Comm. Op. No. 01-073-E.

A school board member’s employing a company doing business with a tire company has the potential of creating suspicion among the public and reflecting unfavorably upon a school district if the school board member participates in the school board’s decision to award the tire company the contract to provide the school district with its school bus tires and, therefore, the public policy mandate set forth in the statute requires that the school board member totally and completely recuse himself from the school board’s actions and decisions concerning the awarding of the bid and the related contract for the purchase of school bus tires. Op. of Miss. Ethics. Comm. Op. No. 01-074-E.

A state department’s acceptance of advertising for placement in its state publications from for-profit training schools that certify that individuals are qualified to hold certain licenses issued by the department is a circumstance that has the potential of creating suspicion among the public and reflecting unfavorably upon the department and, therefore, the department should not accept advertising for placement in its state publications from such for-profit training schools in order to fully and completely comply with the public policy mandate set forth in the statute. Op. of Miss. Ethics. Comm. Op. No. 01-076-E.

A city’s contracting with a hardware store owned by an alderman’s son-in-law has the potential of creating suspicion among the public and reflecting unfavorably upon the city and, therefore, the alderman must totally and completely recuse himself from all discussions, actions, and decisions concerning the city’s contracts to purchase from the son-in-law’s hardware store. Op. of Miss. Ethics. Comm. Op. No. 01-079-E.

A department head employee of a city having supervisory authority and responsibility over his stepchild as an employee of the city is a circumstance that can be expected to create suspicion among the public and reflecting unfavorably upon the fair commission and, therefore, such a circumstance should be avoided by the city in order to fully comply with the public policy mandate and public trust obligation imposed by the statute. Op. of Miss. Ethics. Comm. Op. No. 01-083-E.

The serious public policy issues and public trust concerns arising from the statute due to one spouse serving as the president of a community college and the other simultaneously being employed by the community college as a teacher are not alleviated by the fact that an interim president made the recommendation to the community college board of trustees to employ the president’s spouse and that the interim president signed the employment contract for the president’s spouse prior to the appointment of the president and, therefore, the employment of the president’s spouse was contrary to public policy. Op. of Miss. Ethics. Comm. Op. No. 01-085-E.

A state trooper working part-time as a county coroner presents a circumstance that has the potential of creating suspicion among the public and reflecting unfavorably upon the department and the county and, therefore, a county coroner should avoid appointing a state trooper as a deputy coroner and/or a state trooper should not accept an appointment as a deputy coroner as either situation would be contrary to the public policy mandate set forth in the statute. Op. of Miss. Ethics. Comm. Op. No. 01-087-E.

A city council member should avoid participation as a landlord in a Section 8 Housing Voucher Program administered through the city housing authority and thus fully and completely comply with the public policy mandate set forth in the statute. Op. of Miss. Ethics. Comm. Op. No. 01-088-E.

The public policy and public trust mandates set forth in the statute are sufficient to prohibit a community college from offering employment to a current county supervisor serving a county that funds the community college and to prohibit a current county supervisor serving a county that funds the community college from accepting employment with the community college. Op. of Miss. Ethics. Comm. Op. No. 01-089-E.

A county employee’s direct or indirect involvement with matters concerning his employing county that are before the county school board of which the county employee is a member has the potential of creating suspicion among the public and reflecting unfavorably upon the county school district and the county and, therefore, the county school board member must recuse himself from all matters coming before the county school board that concern the county should he accept employment with the county. Op. of Miss. Ethics. Comm. Op. No. 01-089-E.

An assistant fire chief who is an agent of a city having supervisory authority and responsibility over his child as a full-time fire fighter employed by the city is in a circumstance that can be expected to create suspicion among the public and reflecting unfavorably upon the city and, therefore, such a circumstance should be avoided by the city and the fire department in order to fully comply with the public policy mandate and public trust obligation imposed by the statute. Op. of Miss. Ethics. Comm. Op. No. 01-0-93E.

The stepchild of a chief of police or the niece of a municipal court clerk acting as a bail bond soliciting agent for defendants held in the custody of the municipal police department or appearing before the municipal court are circumstances that certainly can be expected to create suspicion among the public and reflect unfavorably upon the city and the city’s municipal court and, therefore, both circumstances must be avoided by the municipality, the municipal court, the chief of police and the municipal court clerk in order for them to fully and completely comply with the state’s public policy mandate set forth in the statute. Op. of Miss. Ethics. Comm. Op. No. 01-094-E.

An alderman’s father being employed by the municipality which the alderman serves has the potential of creating suspicion among the public and reflecting unfavorably upon the county and, therefore, such a circumstance should be avoided whenever possible. Op. of Miss. Ethics. Comm. Op. No. 01-095-E.

A spouse of an individual who is a newly appointed state agency board member remaining employed with the state agency during the remaining period of the current budget year after the newly appointed state agency board member has been sworn into office has the potential of creating suspicion among the public and reflecting unfavorably upon the state agency, and the newly appointed state agency board member’s recusing himself from employee matters due to his spouse’s employment with the state agency for the remaining period of the current budget year is contrary to the public trust and public policy mandates set forth the statute, and, therefore, the spouse should immediately resign as an employee of the state agency so as to fully and completely comply with the public trust and public policy mandates set forth in statute. Op. of Miss. Ethics. Comm. Op. No. 01-098-E.

The administrative officers of the commission, while on official commission business, are prohibited from renting lodging from a “bed and breakfast” that is owned by a property management limited liability company in which one of its commissioners is a principal. Op. of Miss. Ethics. Comm. Op. No. 01-099-E.

Commission employees or agents renting lodging from a business in which one of its commissioners has an interest when the lodging expenses will be paid for, either directly or by reimbursement, by the commission with public funds is a circumstance that has the potential of creating suspicion among the public and reflecting unfavorably upon the commission and, therefore, such a circumstance should be avoided in order for all involved to fully comply with the public policy mandate set forth in the statute. Op. of Miss. Ethics. Comm. Op. No. 01-099-E.

A mayor voting to break a tie in a city council vote to give himself a raise to take effect during his current term of office clearly violates the public trust as the raise the mayor will receive is a natural consequence of his own action as mayor to vote to break the tie vote on the authorization of the raise. Op. of Miss. Ethics. Comm. Op. No. 01-103-E.

An owner of a solid waste company serving on the solid waste management authority board presents a circumstance that can be expected to create suspicion among the public and reflect unfavorably upon the authority and its members because the public cannot be certain as to whether the board member’s decisions are made in the authority’s interest, and therefore the public’s interest, rather than his company’s interest. Op. of Miss. Ethics. Comm. Op. No. 01-105-E.

An employee of a state board that makes home loans acting as the real estate agent for a client seeking a loan through the board is in a circumstance that can be expected to create suspicion among the public and reflect unfavorably upon the board and, therefore, the board employee should not act as the real estate agent for a client seeking a loan through the board but rather fully and completely comply with the state’s public policy mandate set forth in the statute. Op. of Miss. Ethics. Comm. Op. No. 01-110-E.

An alderman voting on an action to amend the city’s beer ordinance to extend the hours during which beer may be sold when the alderman’s son-in-law is an owner of a restaurant that will benefit from the extended hours gives rise to a circumstance that has the potential of creating suspicion among the public and reflecting unfavorably upon the city, and therefore, the public policy mandate set forth in the statute requires that the alderman recuse himself from the city board’s actions pertaining to the proposed amendment to the beer ordinance. Op. of Miss. Ethics. Comm. Op. No. 01-115-E.

A city council member’s participation and vote in the selection of a municipal school board trustee when the council member’s spouse is an employee of the municipal school district is a circumstance that has the potential of creating suspicion among the public and reflecting unfavorably upon the city and the municipal school district and, therefore, the city council member should totally and completely recuse himself from the consideration and vote to fully comply with the public policy mandate set forth in the statute. Op. of Miss. Ethics. Comm. Op. No. 01-117-E.

A legislator/attorney could form a law firm that would be a limited-liability corporation that would enter into a contractual agreement for legal services with another law firm that was representing or would represent in the future certain state agencies where, under the proposed contractual agreement, the limited-liability corporation will be hired to work on specific, nongovernmental files as the vast majority of the other firm’s clients and the work performed by the firm involved legal matters which were not pursuant to a state contract or funded with state dollars and the the legislator/attorney’s incorporated law firm would not be providing legal services exclusively for the other firm and, therefore, the legislator/attorney’s firm would not be interested, directly or indirectly, in the other firm’s limited number of state or state funded contracts under the proposed contractual agreement. Op. of Miss. Ethics. Comm. Op. No. 01-119-E.

No violation of the statute occurs when the mayor and board of aldermen employ the parent of a current employee of a city department, such as the police or fire department, as the head of that city department; however, the parent’s later actions as a department head that provide a pecuniary benefit to the child/employee, such as a recommendation for promotion, will result in a violation of the statute. Op. of Miss. Ethics. Comm. Op. No. 01-122-E.

A city department head having supervisory authority and responsibility over his child as an employee of the city is part of a circumstance that can be expected to create suspicion among the public and reflect unfavorably upon the city and, therefore, such a circumstance should be avoided by the city in order to fully and completely comply with the public policy mandate and public trust obligation imposed by the statute. Op. of Miss. Ethics. Comm. Op. No. 01-122-E.

A deputy sheriff may not have a material financial interest in a bail bonding company that writes bail bonds for the release of defendants in the custody of the county sheriff, and, therefore, a bail bonding company is prohibited from writing bail bonds for the release of defendants confined in the county detention center of the county the deputy sheriff serves if the bail bonding company is owned by the deputy sheriff’s spouse, parent, or child. Op. of Miss. Ethics. Comm. Op. No. 01-124-E.

A state trooper may also be employed part-time as a county civil defense director, but should avoid contracting with any division of a county government that he is directly or indirectly involved with through his state employment. Op. of Miss. Ethics. Comm. Op. No. 02-014-E.

A city alderman must recuse himself from all city discussions and actions related to a developer subdividing lots within the alderman’s neighborhood. Op. of Miss. Ethics. Comm. Op. No. 02-023-E.

A county supervisor’s direct or indirect involvement with matters concerning his employing community college or the community college with which he contracts that are before the board of supervisors has the potential of creating suspicion among the public and reflecting unfavorably upon the community college and the county; this is a reason why the requestor is advised to recuse himself from all matters coming before the board that concern the community college. Op. of Miss. Ethics Comm. Op. No. 02-072-E.

The public policy mandate set forth in §25-4-101 is a sufficient reason for a city to avoid contracting or subcontracting with a business that employs its alderman. Op. of Miss. Ethics Comm. Op. No. 02-073-E.

A mayor benefitting from the city’s historic preservation district tax abatement program, in order to comply with the state’s public policy mandate set forth in §25-4-101, must totally and completely recuse himself from all matters related to the city approving tax abatement on the improvements to his building. Op. of Miss. Ethics Comm. Op. No. 02-075-E.

A member of the state board overseeing state-sponsored savings plans who is also a registered investment broker employed by an investment company must recuse himself from all matters coming before the board related to his investment company employer and its other broker/dealers brokering state savings plans to its customers, including the approval of the third party advisor plan, to fully and completely comply with the public policy mandate set forth in §25-4-101. Op. of Miss. Ethics Comm. Op. No. 02-076-E.

A governmental entity’s board member should recuse himself or herself from any action that comes before his or her board that concerns a request of a quasi-governmental board on which he or she also serves. Op. of Miss. Ethics Comm. Op. No. 02-079-E.

Because employment of an alderman’s daughter by the city as city prosecutor has the potential of creating suspicion among the public and reflecting unfavorably upon the city, the alderman must totally and completely recuse himself from all discussions, actions and decisions concerning his daughter’s employment contract with the city. Op. of Miss. Ethics Comm. Op. No. 02-081-E.

Where a commission member holds a leadership role in a trade association that represents licensees which the commission is charged with regulating, the potential of creating suspicion among the public and reflecting unfavorably upon the state exists and the member must totally and completely recuse himself from all discussions, actions and decisions concerning the trade association. Op. of Miss. Ethics Comm. Op. No. 02-083-E.

A city police officer serving as a constable for the county in which the city police officer’s employing city is located has the potential of creating suspicion among the public and reflecting unfavorably upon his city employer, therefore, the officer should avoid performing his constable duties in circumstances where he as a police officer would be directly or indirectly involved in such circumstances by way of his city law enforcement authority so as to fully comply with the public policy mandate set forth in §25-4-101. Op. of Miss. Ethics Comm. Op. No. 02-088-E.

A legislator being the attorney of record for a business receiving a state grant has the potential of creating suspicion among the public and reflecting unfavorably upon the state, therefore, the legislator must totally and completely recuse himself from all discussions, actions and decisions of the Legislature concerning the business. Op. of Miss. Ethics Comm. Op. No. 02-089-E.

Representation by a legislator or his law firm of a business in an action brought under the state’s Public Records Act to prevent the release of grant information to the public, especially where the grant funding was appropriated by the Legislature, is a circumstance that will appear suspicious to the public and cause the state and Legislature to appear in an unfavorable light, therefore, neither the legislator nor his law firm should represent the business in the action. Op. of Miss. Ethics Comm. Op. No. 02-089-E.

A teacher’s participation in a booster club that also sells pre-game meals to a school presents a circumstance having the potential of creating suspicion among the public and reflecting unfavorably upon the school district, therefore, the teachers must be careful to avoid any situations that would cause the public concern related to contracts between the booster club and the school district. Op. of Miss. Ethics Comm. Op. No. 02-091-E.

The state’s public policy of public service being a public trust forbids a state agency’s deputy administrator from serving in dual public positions when one position supervises the approval, issuance and regulation of a grant received by another governmental entity she serves as a board member. Op. of Miss. Ethics Comm. Op. No. 02-095-E.

A mayor may participate in a hearing to re-zone property from agricultural to residential use when the owners of the property may in the future request the property to be re-zoned commercial for a funeral home that would compete with the mayor’s business. Op. of Miss. Ethics Comm. Op. No. 02-100-E.

A legislator is prohibited from serving as a board member of a human resource agency. Op. of Miss. Ethics Comm. Op. No. 02-103-E.

A recreational authority’s executive director, is prohibited from serving a city/county sports officials organization as an officer when his position as the authority’s executive director is responsible for oversight of its contract with the organization. Op. of Miss. Ethics Comm. Op. No. 02-111-E.

A city board is not barred from authorizing a contract with an insurance company when such authorization occurs after an alderman’s and his spouse’s full divestiture of their interests in the insurance company; however, the alderman must be advised that he should totally and completely recuse himself from any decision of the city board to contract with the company. Op. of Miss. Ethics Comm. Op. No. 02-115-E.

Conflict of interest laws do not prohibit a mayor from reappointing his brother-in-law to serve on a housing authority board. Op. of Miss. Ethics Comm. Op. No. 02-117-E.

It is not as such a violation of the state conflict of interest laws for a state conservation officer to be employed as a patrol officer for a levee board. Op. of Miss. Ethics Comm. Op. No. 02-118-E.

If a county supervisor was a member of the board that authorized the levy of an emergency telephone service charge to fund the E-911 Commission, Mississippi Constitution Section 4-109 and Code Section 25-4-105(2) prohibit the supervisor’s spouse from remaining employed with the E-911 Commission after their marriage and this prohibition will apply until one year after the supervisor has left office. Op. of Miss. Ethics Comm. Op. No. 02-119-E.

It is not as such a violation of the conflict of interest laws for an attorney whose firm represents a municipality to simultaneously serve as a municipal school board member as the municipality and the school district are separate governmental authorities as defined in Code Section 25-4-103(g)(h). Op. of Miss. Ethics Comm. Op. No. 02-120-E.

A school board is prohibited by Mississippi Constitution Section 4-109 and Code Section 25-4-105(2) from hiring a prospective school board member’s law firm and/or an insurance company when the school district’s contract with the law firm or the insurance company was authorized by the school board during the prospective school board member’s term or within one year thereafter. Op. of Miss. Ethics Comm. Op. No. 02-120-E.

A county supervisor may not in any way be involved in the board of supervisors’ decision to appoint his stepchild to a community college board of trustees as his involvement would result in a violation of Code Section 25-4-105(1). Op. of Miss. Ethics Comm. Op. No. 02-121-E.

A community college may contract for energy savings services with Company C when that company and Company A, for which a college trustee serves as a member of the board of directors, are both subsidiaries of Company B, because the trustee’s interest in Company C’s energy savings agreement with the college by way of his directorship with Company A is outside the “edge of the target” necessary for violating Mississippi Constitution Section 4-109 and Code Section 25-4-105(2). Op. of Miss. Ethics Comm. Op. No. 02-122-E.

Conflict of interest laws do not prohibit a planning commission from contracting with a business whose past employee now works as executive director of the planning commission nor do the conflict of interest laws impose a waiting period before such a contract may occur. Op. of Miss. Ethics Comm. Op. No. 02-127-E.

Conflict of interest laws do not prohibit a prosecuting attorney from being employed by the state and a municipality; however the attorney is prohibited by Code Section 25-4-105(1) from using her official position to obtain a pecuniary benefit for herself or a business with which she is associated, and she must avoid involvement with any prosecution of a matter concerning the division of the state also employing her in order to fully comply with the public policy mandate set forth in Code Section 25-4-101. Op. of Miss. Ethics Comm. Op. No. 02-132-E.

City employees participating in a HUD loan program would not violate Code Section 25-4-105(3)(a) by receiving the down payment assistance administered by the city; however, to fully and completely comply with the public policy mandate set forth in Code Section 25-4-101, the city and employees should avoid situations related to the program if the employees appear to realize personal gain through official conduct. Op. of Miss. Ethics Comm. Op. No. 02-134-E.

Failure of an aldermen to totally and completely recuse himself from matters pertaining to a re-zoning issue that could affect the value of his property would result in his violating Code Section 25-4-105(1) should he receive a pecuniary benefit through an increase or avoidance of a decrease in the value of his property, in addition to his failing to comply with state public policy as mandated in Code Section 25-4-101. Op. of Miss. Ethics Comm. Op. No. 02-135-E.

Conflict of interest laws do not as such prohibit an individual from simultaneously holding the employment positions of county school resource officer, constable and county youth court compliance officer. Op. of Miss. Ethics Comm. Op. No. 02-136-E.

The conflict of interest laws do not prohibit a municipality from purchasing sports uniforms from an alderman’s son’s business as long as the alderman has no direct or indirect interest in the son’s business’s contract with the city to sell the uniforms. Op. of Miss. Ethics. Comm. Op. No. 03-001-E.

A school district would not be prohibited from continuing to furnish teachers to a city-operated community center employing a newly elected school board member as assistant director of the city community center. Op. of Miss. Ethics. Comm. Op. No. 03-002-E.

A member of the county board of supervisors would be prohibited from using his official position to approve his father’s employment as the county district’s road construction manager in a beat system county; to avoid a violation, the supervisor may not in any way be involved in the decision to employ his father with the county and, in addition, may not be involved in any decisions concerning pay raises or the increasing of other benefits that would benefit his father’s county employment. Op. of Miss. Ethics. Comm. Op. No. 03-003-E.

Conflict of interest laws do not prohibit an individual from simultaneously holding the employment position of constable while also employed as a Department of Transportation law enforcement officer, a president/fire chief of a volunteer fire department, an operator of a water association and a part-time campus police officer for a county school district. Op. of Miss. Ethics. Comm. Op. No. 03-004-E.

There is no specific time limit applicable to Code Section 25-4-101 that would automatically allow an alderman who previously had an interest in the insurance company to avoid the public policy issue when participating in a vote by his board related to the insurance company. Op. of Miss. Ethics. Comm. Op. No. 03-007-E.

It is not a violation of the conflict of interest laws for a city’s buildings and grounds director to simultaneously serve as a county supervisor when the employing city is located within the county he will serve. Op. of Miss. Ethics. Comm. Op. No. 03-009-E.

In order to avoid violating conflict of interest laws by contracting with a publishing company to develop material that could be approved as an educational curriculum, a part-time employee of a state university, who performs professional development and implementation of programs work under a contract between the university and the department of education to develop curriculum frameworks for the department of education, must recuse himself, in his university job, from all matters concerning the publishing company. Op. of Miss. Ethics. Comm. Op. No. 03-012-E.

Conflict of interest laws do not prohibit City A’s alderman from also serving as the board attorney of City B when City B’s alderman is employed by City A because the two municipalities are separate governmental entities as set forth in the definitions in Code Section 25-4-103(g)(ii) and (h). Op. of Miss. Ethics. Comm. Op. No. 03-013-E.

It is not a violation of the conflict of interest laws for a city firefighter to simultaneously serve as a county supervisor, even though the employing city is located within the county he will serve. Op. of Miss. Ethics. Comm. Op. No. 03-014-E.

Mississippi Constitution Section 4-109 and Code Section 25-4-105(2) would prohibit the son of a member of the city council from remaining employed with the city if the council member does, in fact, have an interest, direct or indirect, in the son’s employment contract; to avoid using his official position to obtain a pecuniary benefit for his son, the council member must totally and completely recuse himself from subject matters providing a pecuniary benefit to the son. Op. of Miss. Ethics. Comm. Op. No. 03-015-E.

It is not a violation of the conflict of interest laws for a school teacher to simultaneously serve as a county supervisor, even though the employing school district is located within the county he will serve. Op. of Miss. Ethics. Comm. Op. No. 03-018-E.

Code Section 25-4-105(1) would absolutely prohibit a county supervisor from participating in and voting on the issuance of Tax Increment Financing Bonds if a subsidiary corporation employing the supervisor’s daughter was developing the area or involved in any other way; the only way the supervisor could avoid a violation would be to totally and completely recuse himself from all discussions, actions and votes of the board of supervisors related to the authorization and issuance of the bonds. Op. of Miss. Ethics. Comm. Op. No. 03-019-E.

Conflict of interest laws do not prohibit an individual from serving as city judge when the individual’s sister or brother serves as an alderman for the same city. Op. of Miss. Ethics. Comm. Op. No. 03-021-E.

Conflict of interest laws will not prohibit a police chief, whose cousin also serves the same city as alderman, from serving a city, unless the alderman has a direct or indirect interest in the employment contract. Op. of Miss. Ethics. Comm. Op. No. 03-021-E.

It is not a violation of the conflict of interest laws for a board of supervisors to appoint an individual to the position of jury commissioner when the individual’s spouse serves the county as deputy circuit clerk. Op. of Miss. Ethics. Comm. Op. No. 03-026-E.

It is not a violation of the conflict of interest laws for a board of supervisors to appoint an individual to the position of jury commissioner when the individual’s spouse serves the county as deputy circuit clerk. Op. of Miss. Ethics. Comm. Op. No. 03-026-E.

Conflict of interest laws do not prohibit the mother of a state board executive director from assisting a state agency in an investigation, on a pro bono basis, when the mother has a specific medical condition conducive to helping in the conduct of an investigation of possible professional misconduct by individuals regulated by the state agency in question. Op. of Miss. Ethics. Comm. Op. No. 03-027-E.

Conflict of interest laws do not prohibit a municipal court judge from also serving as the county youth court prosecutor when the municipality is located within the county the youth court prosecutor serves. Op. of Miss. Ethics. Comm. Op. No. 03-028-E.

A state university instructor, if elected as a member of the Legislature, must resign from her position with the university prior to the Legislature appropriating funding for the university during her term of office. Op. of Miss. Ethics. Comm. Op. No. 03-033-E.

State conflict of interest laws do not prohibit a state university instructor from being a candidate for the Legislature; however, Code Sections 25-4-101 and 25-4-105(1) both prohibit a university instructor from campaigning for elected office during the hours when she is carrying out public duties and being compensated by the state, and from using state equipment, supplies or other resources in any campaign activity. Op. of Miss. Ethics. Comm. Op. No. 03-033-E.

The employment of a Legislator’s spouse as a university instructor compensated with funds appropriated by the Legislature would not violate Mississippi Constitution Section 4-109 and Code Section 25-4-105(2) due to the Supreme Court’s “large class rule”being applicable to the circumstance. Op. of Miss. Ethics. Comm. Op. No. 03-033-E.

Conflict of interest laws do not as such prohibit a Legislator’s spouse from serving as a county public defender. Op. of Miss. Ethics. Comm. Op. No. 03-033-E.

Conflict of interest laws do not as such prohibit a legislative candidate or an elected Legislator from serving on a city planning and zoning commission. Op. of Miss. Ethics. Comm. Op. No. 03-033-E.

It is not a violation of the conflict of interest laws for a city planning and zoning commissioner’s spouse to receive compensation from the same city related to city misdemeanor cases. Op. of Miss. Ethics. Comm. Op. No. 03-033-E.

Conflict of interest laws do not prohibit an individual from serving as a county constable while simultaneously employed by the Department of Human Services as a child support enforcement officer; however, the individual may not perform the duties and responsibilities of a constable when on duty with the state and being paid by the state or using state resources. Op. of Miss. Ethics. Comm. Op. No. 03-039-E.

A town may contract with the municipal court clerk’s spouse’s business to maintain the town’s cemetery without the clerk violating Code Section 25-4-105(3)(a), where the exception set forth in Code Section 25-4-103(k)(iv) is applicable. Op. of Miss. Ethics. Comm. Op. No. 03-040-E.

It is not a violation of the conflict of interest laws for the county to hire the county tax assessor/collector’s spouse as a road foreman. Op. of Miss. Ethics. Comm. Op. No. 03-042-E.

Where an employee of a planning and development district married executive director’s daughter, as the son-in-law’s supervisor and the district’s executive director, the director may not transfer, suspend, lay off, recall, promote, discharge, assign, reward or discipline the son-in-law as a district employee. Op. of Miss. Ethics. Comm. Op. No. 03-045-E.

OPINIONS OF THE ATTORNEY GENERAL

Member of Board of Directors for Mississippi Home Corporation could accept full time position as senior attorney for Mississippi Tort Claims Board; since both positions are in executive branch of state government, there is no violation of the separation of powers provisions of Article I, Sections 1 and 2, Mississippi Constitution of 1890 and there appears to be no violation of Mississippi Ethics in Government laws, Sections 25-4-101, et seq., since neither position has impact on appointment to or compensation of the other. Ketchins, March 9, 1994, A.G. Op. #93-1015.

Accepting as fact that no benefit will accrue to a board member/tenant by the installation of a culvert, and if the board finds on its minutes that the placement of the culvert would be of public benefit, under Section 25-4-101, there is no prohibition against a board member voting for the motion to install it. Blackwell, March 2, 1995, A.G. Op. #95-0069.

A municipality may not adopt ordinances that address the area of ethics, as this area has been preempted by state law. McKissack, Dec. 13, 2002, A.G. Op. #02-0119.

The Separation of Powers doctrine, Miss. Const., Art. 1, §§ 1-2, prohibits an individual from holding two offices in two different branches of government simultaneously. An individual may simultaneously serve as a member of a county school board and as county circuit clerk because both offices are within the executive branch of the government. Maples, February 16, 2007, A.G. Op. #07-00074, 2007 Miss. AG LEXIS 22.

§ 25-4-103. Definitions.

The following definitions apply in this article unless the context otherwise requires:

“Authority” means any component unit of a governmental entity.

“Benefit” means any gain or advantage to the beneficiary, including any gain or advantage to a third person pursuant to the desire or consent of the beneficiary.

“Business” means any corporation, partnership, sole proprietorship, firm, enterprise, franchise, association, organization, holding company, self-employed individual, joint-stock company, receivership, trust or other legal entity or undertaking organized for economic gain, a nonprofit corporation or other such entity, association or organization receiving public funds.

“Business with which he is associated” means any business of which a public servant or his relative is an officer, director, owner, partner, employee or is a holder of more than ten percent (10%) of the fair market value or from which he or his relative derives more than Two Thousand Five Hundred Dollars ($2,500.00) in annual income or over which such public servant or his relative exercises control.

“Compensation” means money or thing of value received, or to be received, from any person for services rendered.

“Contract” means:

Any agreement to which the government is a party; or

Any agreement on behalf of the government which involves the payment of public funds.

“Government” means the state and all political entities thereof, both collectively and separately, including, but not limited to:

Counties;

Municipalities;

All school districts;

All courts; and

Any department, agency, board, commission, institution, instrumentality, or legislative or administrative body of the state, counties or municipalities created by statute, ordinance or executive order including all units that expend public funds.

“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.

“Income” means money or thing of value received, or to be received, from any source derived, including, but not limited to, any salary, wage, advance, payment, dividend, interest, rent, forgiveness of debt, fee, royalty, commission or any combination thereof.

“Intellectual property” means any formula, pattern, compilation, program, device, method, technique or process created primarily as a result of the research effort of an employee or employees of an institution of higher learning of the State of Mississippi.

“Material financial interest” means a personal and pecuniary interest, direct or indirect, accruing to a public servant or spouse, either individually or in combination with each other. Notwithstanding the foregoing, the following shall not be deemed to be a material financial interest with respect to a business with which a public servant may be associated:

Ownership of any interest of less than ten percent (10%) in a business where the aggregate annual net income to the public servant therefrom is less than One Thousand Dollars ($1,000.00);

Ownership of any interest of less than two percent (2%) in a business where the aggregate annual net income to the public servant therefrom is less than Five Thousand Dollars ($5,000.00);

The income as an employee of a relative if neither the public servant or relative is an officer, director or partner in the business and any ownership interest would not be deemed material pursuant to subparagraph (i) or (ii) herein; or

The income of the spouse of a public servant when such spouse is a contractor, subcontractor or vendor with the governmental entity that employs the public servant and the public servant exercises no control, direct or indirect, over the contract between the spouse and such governmental entity.

“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.

“Person” means any individual, firm, business, corporation, association, partnership, union or other legal entity, and where appropriate a governmental entity.

“Property” means all real or personal property.

“Public funds” means money belonging to the government.

“Public servant” means:

Any elected or appointed official of the government;

Any officer, director, commissioner, supervisor, chief, head, agent or employee of the government or any agency thereof, or of any public entity created by or under the laws of the State of Mississippi or created by an agency or governmental entity thereof, any of which is funded by public funds or which expends, authorizes or recommends the use of public funds; or

Any individual who receives a salary, per diem or expenses paid in whole or in part out of funds authorized to be expended by the government.

“Relative” means:

The spouse of the public servant;

The child of the public servant;

The parent of the public servant;

The sibling of the public servant; and

The spouse of any of the relatives of the public servant specified in subparagraphs (ii) through (iv).

“Securities” means stocks, bonds, notes, convertible debentures, warrants, evidences of debts or property or other such documents.

HISTORY: Laws, 1983, ch. 469, § 2 [See Editor’s Note below]; Laws, 1991, ch. 572 § 1; Laws, 1992, ch. 530, § 9; Laws, 2008, ch. 562, § 12, eff August 5, 2008 (the date the United States Attorney General interposed no objection under Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act of 1965, to the amendment of this section).

Editor’s Notes —

On August 5, 2008, the United States Attorney General interposed no objection under Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 to the amendment of this section by Laws of 2008, ch. 562, § 12.

Section 2 of Chapter 482, Laws of 1984, proposed to amend §25-4-103, effective from and after the date Senate Concurrent Resolution No. 548 of the 1984 Regular Session of the Mississippi Legislature (Chapter 655, Laws, 1984) was ratified by the electorate in November 1984. Senate Concurrent Resolution No. 548 (Chapter 655, Laws, 1984) proposed to amend § 109 of the Mississippi Constitution, and to repeal §§ 107 and 210 of the Mississippi Constitution. The Senate Concurrent Resolution No. 548 was submitted to the electorate for ratification in November 1984, but was rejected; thus the proposed amendment to §25-4-103 never became effective.

Amendment Notes —

The 2008 amendment substituted “Two Thousand Five Hundred Dollars ($2,500.00)” for “One Thousand Dollars ($1,000.00)” in (d); and rewrote (q) to revise the definition of “Relative.”

Cross References —

Authority of the ethics commission to issue advisory opinions with regard to any standard of conduct set forth in this section, see §25-4-17.

Prohibition against public official deriving income from issuance of bonds under Mississippi Major Economic Impact Act, see §57-75-25.

Application of this section to prohibition against giving any pecuniary benefit to the public service commission, its staff or employees, see §77-1-11.

JUDICIAL DECISIONS

1. In general.

Step-son of an asphalt company owner, who was also a local governmental board member, bid on public construction project, and the step-son was awarded the project; the Mississippi Ethics Commission erred in determining that step-son was a relative because Miss. Code Ann. §25-4-103(q) was plain, clear, and unambiguous, and “step-son” was not included in the statutory definition of relative. Miss. Ethics Comm'n v. Grisham, 957 So. 2d 997, 2007 Miss. LEXIS 328 (Miss. 2007).

A public servant with purely ministerial duties and with no power to vote on matters considered by the governmental entity with which he or she is associated is not considered a “member” of that entity as the term is applied in §§25-4-101 et seq of the Ethics in Government laws. Moore ex rel. Chickasaw County v. McCullough, 633 So. 2d 421, 1993 Miss. LEXIS 505 (Miss. 1993).

ETHICS OPINIONS

A community college is not considered a “business” as defined subsection (c) of this section. Op. of Miss. Ethics Comm. Op. No. 97-144-E.

A community hospital is an authority of the political subdivision that owns it as defined in §25-4-103(a) and therefore is not a separate governmental entity as defined in §25-4-103(h). Op. of Miss. Ethics Comm. Op. No. 97-145-E.

A governmental board’s nonvoting member’s private nonprofit association is prohibited from contracting with the governmental board should it qualify as a business under the definition set forth in subsection (c) and should the nonvoting member have a material financial interest in the private nonprofit association as defined in paragraph (ii) of subsection (k). Op. of Miss. Ethics. Comm. Op. No. 97-155-E.

A county administrator may serve as an advisory board member of a bank and own stock in the bank, even though the bank does business with the county, as long as the administrator owns less than 2 percent of the bank and his income from the bank remains under the $5,000.00 aggregate annual net income threshold. Op. of Miss. Ethics Comm. Op. No. 98-002-E.

A community hospital’s chief executive officer and chief financial officer under the manager’s contract with the community hospital may simultaneously serve as uncompensated board members and officers of a nonprofit corporation organized and operated exclusively to promote health and healthcare in the community hospital’s service area even though the nonprofit corporation will receive financial assistance and grants from the community hospital. Op. of Miss. Ethics Comm. Op. No. 98-005-E.

An employee of a community hospital holding the position of vice president of clinical services may simultaneously serve as an uncompensated board member and officer of a nonprofit corporation organized and operated exclusively to promote health and healthcare in the community hospital’s service area even though the nonprofit corporation will receive financial assistance and grants from the community hospital. Op. of Miss. Ethics Comm. Op. No. 98-005-E.

It is not a violation of the state conflict of interest laws for a constable to do private investigative work for an indigent defendant in a capital murder case in a county other than the county the constable is elected to serve when appointed to do so by the Circuit Court. Op. of Miss. Ethics Comm. Op. No. 98-007-E.

A municipality may contract with an office supply store owned by the spouse of one of the municipality’s utilities clerks where the clerk exercises no control, direct or indirect, over the contract between the spouse and the municipality. Op. of Miss. Ethics Comm. Op. No. 98-029-E.

A state-appointed member of the Board of Registration for Professional Engineers and Land Surveyors may serve a political party as the county chairperson, as a district chairperson, and as the state secretary of the executive committee. Op. of Miss. Ethics Comm. Op. No. 98-072-E.

Water and sewer district commissioners are public servants within the meaning of this section. Op. of Miss. Ethics Comm. Op. No. 98-089-E.

A nonprofit corporation is a business and not a governmental entity for purposes of this section. Op. of Miss. Ethics Comm. Op. No. 99-061-E.

A nonprofit foundation met the definition of “government” as set forth in subsection (g)(v) where it was established by an order of a county board of supervisors to carry out the board of supervisors’ grant of public power to provide necessary and proper relief and support to the county’s poor and to expend public funds for treatment of the indigent sick and to promote public health in the county. Op. of Miss. Ethics. Comm. Op. No. 99-103-E.

A law enforcement officer’s spouse is not as such prohibited by the conflict of interest laws from writing bail bonds for the release of defendants confined in the jail of the law enforcement officer’s entity as a soliciting bail agent for a bail bond company if neither the law enforcement officer nor his spouse is an officer, director, or partner in the bail bond company and they have no ownership interest in the bail bond company; however, the law enforcement officer must totally and completely remove himself from the approval of any surety bail bond with which she or her bail bond company employer is associated. Op. of Miss. Ethics. Comm. Op. No. 99-106-E.

A state agency could contract with a company where the president of the company was the spouse of an employee of the state agency as the state agency employee was not in an employment position that allowed her to exercise control, direct or indirect, over the contract between her spouse’s company and the state agency and also had no personal or pecuniary interest in the company except through her spouse’s personal and pecuniary interest; however, the state agency would be required to establish rules and procedures to prevent the employee from discussing her spouse’s company’s bid, and, if applicable later, her spouse’s company’s contract with state agency staff or any other person including casual comments, as well as detailed discussions, made in person, by telephone or by any other means. Op. of Miss. Ethics. Comm. Op. No. 99-E.

It is not as such a violation of the conflict of interest laws for a town to purchase land from the mayor’s father-in-law for its appraised value when the land has been designated essential for water facility expansion, primarily because a father-in-law of a public servant is not a relative within the meaning of the statute. Op. of Miss. Ethics. Comm. Op. No. 99-113-E.

An attorney for a board of trustees of a public school district who is paid monthly based on an hourly rate, plus reimbursement of expenses, is a “public servant” of the school district for purposes of the statute. Op. of Miss. Ethics. Comm. Op. No. 00-005-E.

Mississippi Technology, Inc. is not a part of government for the purpose of the state’s conflict of interest laws, even though it does expend public funds, at it was not created by statute, ordinance, or executive order. Op. of Miss. Ethics. Comm. Op. No. 00-034-E.

Mississippi Technology, Inc. board members are not public servants for the purpose of the state’s conflict of interest laws. Op. of Miss. Ethics. Comm. Op. No. 00-034-E.

The county port authority could accept a bid from and contract with a towing company to do maintenance and repair work on the county port authority’s barge fleet area when the towing company was also the lessee of the county port authority’s barge fleet area as neither the towing company nor its owner were public servants. Op. of Miss. Ethics. Comm. Op. No. 00-071-E.

A school district can employ its business manager’s brother as assistant business manager and its business manager’s sister-in-law as assistant payroll clerk as a brother and a sister-in-law are not relatives for purposes of the statute. Op. of Miss. Ethics. Comm. Op. No. 01-053-E.

It is not a violation of the state conflict of interest laws for a city’s utility commissioner to complete his current term on the city’s utility commission after his son-in-law is elected to the city’s board of aldermen or for a city’s utility commissioner to be reappointed by the board of aldermen on which his son-in-law serves as a father-in-law of a public servant is not a relative for purposes of the statute. Op. of Miss. Ethics. Comm. Op. No. 01-061-E.

A board of aldermen can accept a bid to purchase a backhoe from a company that employs the brother of one of the aldermen as a brother is not a “relative” for purposes of the statute. Op. of Miss. Ethics. Comm. Op. No. 01-104-E.

A deputy chancery clerk is prohibited by §25-4-105(3)(a) from simultaneously holding a part-time position with the same county’s sheriff department/correctional facility as the chancery clerk’s office and the sheriff’s department are considered to be within the same county authority for purposes of conflict of interest laws. Op. of Miss. Ethics Comm. Op. No. 02-050-E.

An individual serving as the county public defender may also serve as a justice court judge appointed by the county board of supervisors to fill an unexpired justice court judge’s term. Op. of Miss. Ethics Comm. Op. No. 02-097-E.

County board of supervisors is not prohibited from assigning to the comptroller of a county additional job duties and responsibilities, including those of maintaining the records for the county’s fire commission, or setting the comptroller’s compensation for performing those duties. Op. of Miss. Ethics Comm. Op. No. 02-098-E.

It is not a violation of the conflict of interest laws for a city council member to simultaneously serve as director of the county emergency communications commission, created by the county board of supervisors, so long as no contracts exist between the two governmental entities, the county and the city, in which the city council member would have an inherent interest and/or a private pecuniary benefit. Op. of Miss. Ethics Comm. Op. No. 02-104-E.

A Department of Correction employee may also hold the position of county supervisor. Op. of Miss. Ethics Comm. Op. No. 02-105-E.

Conflict of interest laws do not prohibit a mayor from reappointing his brother-in-law to serve on a housing authority board. Op. of Miss. Ethics Comm. Op. No. 02-117-E.

It is not as such a violation of the state conflict of interest laws for a state conservation officer to be employed as a patrol officer for a levee board. Op. of Miss. Ethics Comm. Op. No. 02-118-E.

It is not as such a violation of the conflict of interest laws for an attorney whose firm represents a municipality to simultaneously serve as a municipal school board member, as the municipality and the school district are separate governmental authorities as defined in Code Section 25-4-103(g)(h). Op. of Miss. Ethics Comm. Op. No. 02-120-E.

A school board is prohibited by Mississippi Constitution Section 4-109 and Code Section 25-4-105(2) from hiring a prospective school board member’s law firm and/or an insurance company hiring the prospective school board member’s law firm when the school district’s contract with the law firm or the insurance company was authorized by the school board during the prospective school board member’s term or within one year thereafter. Op. of Miss. Ethics Comm. Op. No. 02-120-E.

A county supervisor may not in any way be involved in the board of supervisors’ decision to appoint his stepchild to a community college board of trustees as his involvement would result in a violation of Code Section 25-4-105(1). Op. of Miss. Ethics Comm. Op. No. 02-121-E.

An individual employed and compensated by a business that is a contractor with a regional correctional facility does not qualify as a public servant under Code Section 25-4-103(p)(i)(ii)(iii); therefore, the conflict of interest laws would not prohibit that individual from writing bail bonds for offenders held in the county jail. Op. of Miss. Ethics Comm. Op. No. 02-128-E.

A school district may contract with a school teacher’s spouse’s business to purchase sporting equipment without the school teacher violating Code Section 25-4-105(3)(a) if, in accord with the exception in Code Section 25-4-103(k)(iv), the teacher has no direct or indirect control over the contracts between the district and her spouse’s business. Op. of Miss. Ethics Comm. Op. No. 02-125-E.

An employee of the Mississippi Department of Health is not prevented from operating a daycare as the employee’s use of her official position is a necessary element to violate Code Section 25-4-105(1); however the employee must be careful to recuse herself from all matters coming before her state job related to the daycare with which she is associated to ensure she does not violate that section. Op. of Miss. Ethics Comm. Op. No. 02-126-E.

An employee of the Mississippi Department of Health is not prevented from operating a daycare as an employee’s use of her official position is a necessary element for violation of Code Section 25-4-105(1); however the employee must be careful to recuse herself from all matters coming before her state job related to the daycare with which she is associated to ensure she does not violate that section. Op. of Miss. Ethics Comm. Op. No. 02-126-E.

Because the executive director of a nonprofit organization, as a legislator, would be a public servant under Code Section 25-4-103(p)(i), if he had within his job duties as a compensated director of the organization the responsibility to attempt to persuade legislators to pass laws, he would be certain to violate Code Section 25-4-105(3)(d). Op. of Miss. Ethics Comm. Op. No. 02-130-E.

Code Section 25-4-105(3)(a) does not prohibit a chancellor, who does not have a primary office provided by the county, from using the per annum provided by the Administrative Office of the Courts under Code Section 9-1-36(8) to pay rent expense on office space owned and provided by the chancellor and used as his primary office; furthermore, Code Section 25-4-105(1), is not applicable as the authorized per annum is considered compensation provided for by law. Op. of Miss. Ethics. Comm. Op. No. 03-006-E.

The Office of State Aid Road Construction is not prohibited by the conflict of interest laws from employing the spouse of the Department of Transportation’s chief engineer. Op. of Miss. Ethics. Comm. Op. No. 03-008-E.

It is not a violation of the conflict of interest laws for a city’s buildings and grounds director to simultaneously serve as a county supervisor when the employing city is located within the county he will serve. Op. of Miss. Ethics. Comm. Op. No. 03-009-E.

Conflict of interest laws do not prohibit City A’s alderman from also serving as the board attorney of City B when City B’s alderman is employed by City A because the two municipalities are separate governmental entities as set forth in the definitions in Code Section 25-4-103(g)(ii) and (h). Op. of Miss. Ethics. Comm. Op. No. 03-013-E.

It is not a violation of the conflict of interest laws for a city firefighter to simultaneously serve as a county supervisor, even though the employing city is located within the county he will serve. Op. of Miss. Ethics. Comm. Op. No. 03-014-E.

Mississippi Constitution Section 4-109 and Code Section 25-4-105(2) would prohibit the son of a member of the city council from remaining employed with the city if the council member does, in fact, have an interest, direct or indirect, in the son’s employment contract; to avoid using his official position to obtain a pecuniary benefit for his son, the council member must totally and completely recuse himself from subject matters providing a pecuniary benefit to his son. Op. of Miss. Ethics. Comm. Op. No. 03-015-E.

A state employee is prohibited from having a material financial interest in an outsourcing business as a part owner if the business enters into a contract to provide services to any agencies, departments or commissions of the state. Op. of Miss. Ethics. Comm. Op. No. 03-016-E.

After purchasing a residential property from the county board of education, a town is prohibited from selling or lease the property to an alderman who currently resides in the property as the school’s principal. Comm. Op. No. 03-017-E.

After purchasing a residential property from the county board of education, a town is prohibited from leasing the property to the county board of education for use as the residence of the school’s principal who is also the town’s alderman. Comm. Op. No. 03-017-E.

It is not a violation of the conflict of interest laws for a school teacher to simultaneously serve as a county supervisor, even though the employing school district is located within the county he will serve. Op. of Miss. Ethics. Comm. Op. No. 03-018-E.

Code Section 25-4-105(1) would absolutely prohibit a county supervisor from participating in and voting on the in the issuance of Tax Increment Financing Bonds if a subsidiary corporation employing the supervisor’s daughter was developing the area or involved in any other way; the only way the supervisor could avoid a violation would be to totally and completely recuse himself from all discussions, actions and votes of the board of supervisors related to the authorization and issuance of the bonds. Op. of Miss. Ethics. Comm. Op. No. 03-019-E.

Code Section 25-4-105(3)(a) will prohibit a county planning commission member from being employed and compensated by the county sheriff’s department as a part-time deputy sheriff. Op. of Miss. Ethics. Comm. Op. No. 03-020-E.

Conflict of interest laws do not prohibit an individual from serving as city judge when the individual’s sister or brother serves as an alderman for the same city. Op. of Miss. Ethics. Comm. Op. No. 03-021-E.

Conflict of interest laws will not prohibit a police chief, whose cousin also serves the same city as alderman, from serving a city, unless the alderman has a direct or indirect interest in the employment contract. Op. of Miss. Ethics. Comm. Op. No. 03-021-E.

A town may contract with the municipal court clerk’s spouse’s business to maintain the town’s cemetery without the clerk violating Code Section 25-4-105(3)(a), where the exception set forth in Code Section 25-4-103(k)(iv) is applicable. Op. of Miss. Ethics. Comm. Op. No. 03-040-E.

OPINIONS OF THE ATTORNEY GENERAL

Campaign contributions legally received from regulated utility companies during a prior Mississippi House of Representatives campaign, that were not spent during that campaign, can be used in a prospective upcoming campaign for Public Service Commissioner even though they would otherwise be prohibited contributions, so long as they were made prior to any discussion or consideration of running for Public Service Commissioner and prior to becoming a candidate for the office, as described in Miss. Code Ann. §77-1-11. Ellington, February 9, 2007, A.G. Op. #07-00071, 2007 Miss. AG LEXIS 20.

§ 25-4-105. Certain actions, activities and business relationships prohibited or authorized; contracts in violation of section voidable; penalties.

  1. No public servant shall use his official position to obtain, or attempt to obtain, pecuniary benefit for himself other than that compensation provided for by law, or to obtain, or attempt to obtain, pecuniary benefit for any relative or any business with which he is associated.
  2. No public servant shall be interested, directly or indirectly, during the term for which he shall have been chosen, or within one (1) year after the expiration of such term, in any contract with the state, or any district, county, city or town thereof, authorized by any law passed or order made by any board of which he may be or may have been a member.
  3. No public servant shall:
    1. Be a contractor, subcontractor or vendor with the governmental entity of which he is a member, officer, employee or agent, other than in his contract of employment, or have a material financial interest in any business which is a contractor, subcontractor or vendor with the governmental entity of which he is a member, officer, employee or agent.
    2. Be a purchaser, direct or indirect, at any sale made by him in his official capacity or by the governmental entity of which he is an officer or employee, except in respect of the sale of goods or services when provided as public utilities or offered to the general public on a uniform price schedule.
    3. Be a purchaser, direct or indirect, of any claim, certificate, warrant or other security issued by or to be paid out of the treasury of the governmental entity of which he is an officer or employee.
    4. Perform any service for any compensation during his term of office or employment by which he attempts to influence a decision of the authority of the governmental entity of which he is a member.
    5. Perform any service for any compensation for any person or business after termination of his office or employment in relation to any case, decision, proceeding or application with respect to which he was directly concerned or in which he personally participated during the period of his service or employment.
  4. Notwithstanding the provisions of subsection (3) of this section, a public servant or his relative:
    1. May be an officer or stockholder of banks or savings and loan associations or other such financial institutions bidding for bonds, notes or other evidences of debt or for the privilege of keeping as depositories the public funds of a governmental entity thereof or the editor or employee of any newspaper in which legal notices are required to be published in respect to the publication of said legal notices.
    2. May be a contractor or vendor with any authority of the governmental entity other than the authority of the governmental entity of which he is a member, officer, employee or agent or have a material financial interest in a business which is a contractor or vendor with any authority of the governmental entity other than the authority of the governmental entity of which he is a member, officer, employee or agent where such contract is let to the lowest and best bidder after competitive bidding and three (3) or more legitimate bids are received or where the goods, services or property involved are reasonably available from two (2) or fewer commercial sources, provided such transactions comply with the public purchases laws.
    3. May be a subcontractor with any authority of the governmental entity other than the authority of the governmental entity of which he is a member, officer, employee or agent or have a material financial interest in a business which is a subcontractor with any authority of the governmental entity other than the authority of the governmental entity of which he is a member, officer, employee or agent where the primary contract is let to the lowest and best bidder after competitive bidding or where such goods or services involved are reasonably available from two (2) or fewer commercial sources, provided such transactions comply with the public purchases laws.
    4. May be a contractor, subcontractor or vendor with any authority of the governmental entity of which he is a member, officer, employee or agent or have a material financial interest in a business which is a contractor, subcontractor or vendor with any authority of the governmental entity of which he is a member, officer, employee or agent: (i) where such goods or services involved are reasonably available from two (2) or fewer commercial sources, provided such transactions comply with the public purchases laws; or (ii) where the contractual relationship involves the further research, development, testing, promotion or merchandising of an intellectual property created by the public servant.
    5. May purchase securities issued by the governmental entity of which he is an officer or employee if such securities are offered to the general public and are purchased at the same price as such securities are offered to the general public.
    6. May have an interest less than a material financial interest in a business which is a contractor, subcontractor or vendor with any governmental entity.
    7. May contract with the Mississippi Veteran’s Home Purchase Board, Mississippi Housing Finance Corporation, or any other state loan program, for the purpose of securing a loan; however, public servants shall not receive favored treatment.
    8. May be employed by or receive compensation from an authority of the governmental entity other than the authority of the governmental entity of which the public servant is an officer or employee.
    9. If a member of the Legislature or other public servant employed on less than a full-time basis, may represent a person or organization for compensation before an authority of the governmental entity other than an authority of the governmental entity of which he is an officer or employee.
    10. If a constable, may be employed and receive compensation as a deputy sheriff or other employee of the county for which he serves as constable.
  5. No person may intentionally use or disclose information gained in the course of or by reason of his official position or employment as a public servant in any way that could result in pecuniary benefit for himself, any relative, or any other person, if the information has not been communicated to the public or is not public information.
  6. Any contract made in violation of this section may be declared void by the governing body of the contracting or selling authority of the governmental subdivision or a court of competent jurisdiction and the contractor or subcontractor shall retain or receive only the reasonable value, with no increment for profit or commission, of the property or the services furnished prior to the date of receiving notice that the contract has been voided.
  7. Any person violating the provisions of this section shall be punished as provided for in Sections 25-4-109 and 25-4-111.

HISTORY: Laws, 1983, ch. 469, § 3; Laws, 1988, ch. 546, § 4; Laws, 1992, ch. 530, § 10; Laws, 1994, ch. 586, § 1; Laws, 1998, ch. 490, § 1; Laws, 2000, ch. 578, § 2; Laws, 2008, ch. 562, § 13, eff August 5, 2008 (the date the United States Attorney General interposed no objection under Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act of 1965, to the amendment of this section).

Editor’s Notes —

Section 43-33-704 provides that the term “Mississippi Housing Finance Corporation” shall mean the “Mississippi Home Corporation.”

The United States Attorney General, by letter dated July 1, 1994, interposed no objection, under Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act, to the amendment of this section by Laws, 1994, ch. 586, § 1.

The United States Attorney General, by letter dated February 6, 1995, interposed an objection, under Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act, to the amendment of this section by Laws, 1994, ch. 625, § 1; therefore, the amendment did not become effective.

The United States Attorney General, by letter dated August 21, 2000, interposed no objection, under Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act of 1965, to the amendment of this section by Laws, 2000, ch. 578, § 2.

On August 5, 2008, the United States Attorney General interposed no objection under Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 to the amendment of this section by Laws of 2008, ch. 562, § 13.

Amendment Notes —

The 2008 amendment inserted “or attempt to obtain” twice in (1).

Cross References —

Constitutional provision concerning public official contracts with the state or political subdivisions, see Miss. Const. Art. 4, § 109.

Authority of the ethics commission to issue advisory opinions with regard to any standard of conduct set forth in this section, see §25-4-17.

Public officials not to derive income from issuance of bonds by Mississippi Home Corporation, see §43-33-763.

Prohibition against public official deriving income from issuance of bonds under Mississippi Major Economic Impact Act, see §57-75-25.

Application of this section to the Mississippi Gaming Commission, see §75-76-9.

JUDICIAL DECISIONS

1. In general; definitions; construction of terms.

2. Hospital, health care.

3. Illustrative cases.

1. In general; definitions; construction of terms.

Step-son of asphalt company owner, who was also a governmental board member, bid on public construction project, and the step-son was awarded the project; the Mississippi Ethics Commission erred in determining that step-son was a relative because Miss. Code Ann. §25-4-103(q) was plain, clear, and unambiguous, and “step-son” was not included in the statutory definition of relative. Miss. Ethics Comm'n v. Grisham, 957 So. 2d 997, 2007 Miss. LEXIS 328 (Miss. 2007).

Good faith and value are irrelevant when a public servant violates subsection (1). Hinds Community College Dist. v. Muse, 725 So. 2d 207, 1998 Miss. LEXIS 610 (Miss. 1998).

The court rejected the contention that the statute is a quasi-criminal statute that must be construed narrowly. Hinds Community College Dist. v. Muse, 725 So. 2d 207, 1998 Miss. LEXIS 610 (Miss. 1998).

The statute which governs nepotism, §25-1-53, did not pre-empt the application of §25-4-105 and to a situation in which the president of a community college employed his wife as a teacher since the former statute does apply to the employment of teachers. Hinds Community College Dist. v. Muse, 725 So. 2d 207, 1998 Miss. LEXIS 610 (Miss. 1998).

A public servant with purely ministerial duties and with no power to vote on matters considered by the governmental entity with which he or she is associated is not considered a “member” of that entity as the term is applied in §§25-4-101 et seq of the Ethics in Government laws. Moore ex rel. Chickasaw County v. McCullough, 633 So. 2d 421, 1993 Miss. LEXIS 505 (Miss. 1993).

The assignment of a lease-purchase contract with a county to a business owned by the chancery clerk of the county board of supervisors did not violate §25-4-105(3)(a), which prohibits a public servant from being a contractor, subcontractor or vendor with the governmental entity of which he or she is a member, since an assignment of a contract to a public servant’s business does not violate the language of the statute, and the chancery clerk was not a “member” of a governmental entity but was merely an employee. Moore ex rel. Chickasaw County v. McCullough, 633 So. 2d 421, 1993 Miss. LEXIS 505 (Miss. 1993).

A judge’s conduct warranted removal from office where he had utilized the criminal processes to collect fines and fees, had failed to properly account for said fines, and had converted them to his own use, thereby receiving pecuniary benefits. Mississippi Judicial Performance Com. v. Coleman, 553 So. 2d 513, 1989 Miss. LEXIS 477 (Miss. 1989).

Where portion of teacher salaries under teaching contracts comes from discretionary rather than mandatory local tax levies, teachers cannot validly contract with school district while on board of governing authority making such tax levies, or within one year after expiration of term on governing board, and it follows that insofar as §25-4-105(3)(h) [repealed] attempts to make exception and authorize such contract it is unconstitutional and void under § 109 of Mississippi Constitution; individual serving as member of county board of supervisors which contracts with bank of which he is officer and stockholder violates § 109 of Mississippi Constitution and it follows that §25-4-105(3)(a) authorizing such contract is unconstitutional and void; declaratory judgment to be without force and effect until January 1, 1988. Frazier v. State, 504 So. 2d 675, 1987 Miss. LEXIS 2394 (Miss. 1987).

Where portion of teacher salaries under teaching contacts comes from discretionary rather than mandatory local tax levies, teachers cannot validly contract with school district while on board of governing authority making such tax levies, or within one year after expiration of term on governing board, and it follows that insofar as §25-4-105(3)(h) attempts to make exception and authorize such contract, it is unconstitutional and void under § 109 of Mississippi Constitution; individual serving as member of county board of supervisors which contracts with bank of which he is officer and stockholder violates § 109 of Mississippi Constitution and it follows that §25-4-105(3)(a) authorizing such contract is unconstitutional and void. Frazier v. State, 504 So. 2d 675, 1987 Miss. LEXIS 2394 (Miss. 1987).

2. Hospital, health care.

Decision of the Mississippi Division of Medicaid (DOM) to award a fiscal agent contract to a service provider was supported by substantial evidence and was not arbitrary or capricious, where ethical issues regarding the provider’s alleged improper hiring of DOM’s former executive director, which allegedly gave the provider an illegal competitive advantage. Elec. Data Sys. Corp. v. Miss. Div. of Medicaid, 853 So. 2d 1192, 2003 Miss. LEXIS 411 (Miss. 2003).

3. Illustrative cases.

A complaint against a city manager properly stated a cause of action for a violation of subsection (1) where it alleged that he used his official position to arrange urban development action grant loans for a dentist who leased a house from him, which loans were to be used to renovate and improve the property. Moore ex rel. City of Aberdeen v. Byars, 757 So. 2d 243, 2000 Miss. LEXIS 77 (Miss. 2000).

A complaint against a city manager properly stated a cause of action for a violation of subsection (5) where it alleged that he was privy to confidential information which he used to assist a dentist who leased a house from him in obtaining urban development action grant loans, which loans were to be used to renovate and improve the property. Moore ex rel. City of Aberdeen v. Byars, 757 So. 2d 243, 2000 Miss. LEXIS 77 (Miss. 2000).

ETHICS OPINIONS

Analysis

I. IN GENERAL.

1. In general; definitions; construction of terms.

2-5. [Reserved for future use].

II. PARTICULAR PERSONS, MATTERS, AND CIRCUMSTANCES.

6. State legislators.

7. —Dual office, employment or position.

8. County supervisors.

9. Mayor, alderman, councilperson.

10. —Conflict involving family member.

11. Public agency or commission.

12. Public authority.

13. School, board of education.

14. Hospital, health care.

15. Judge, judicial employee.

16. Law enforcement.

17. —District attorney.

18. Attorney.

19. Other.

I. IN GENERAL.

1. In general; definitions; construction of terms.

The following characteristics serve as guidelines to distinguish between public office and public employment: (1) position should be prescribed by law; (2) position should have some specified term; (3) duties and powers of office should be defined or implied by law and should include authority to exercise some sovereign powers of state; (4) duties of office must concern public; and (5) holder of position should have power and authority to act in his or her own right. Op. of Miss. Ethics Comm. Op. No. 88-21-E.

Sister is not necessarily included in definition of “relative”. Op. of Miss. Ethics Comm. Op. No. 90-098-E.

City and city school district are separate “authorities” under Code. Op. of Miss. Ethics Comm. Op. No. 92-025-E.

Chairmanship of state commission is “public office” where position is prescribed by law and has specified term, power and duties of position are defined by statute and include authority to exercise some sovereign power of state, and holder of position must take oath of office. Op. of Miss. Ethics Comm. Op. No. 92-068-E.

Whether legislator has “material financial interest” in a company which does business with state is dependent on totality of circumstances involved, for example value of ownership in corporation, percent of ownership, total income from corporation, position or positions held in it, legal responsibility, if any, to all stock holders and any conditions placed upon one’s interest, divestiture of interest and to whom divestiture is made, compensation, abstention from voting on appropriation measures which fund any projects for which corporation may become subcontractor, conveyance of ownership into blind trust during his tenure in legislature and for one year afterwards, and related factors. Op. of Miss. Ethics Comm. Op. No. 92-086-E.

Commission has found that whenever Constitution Section 109 is violated, Code Section 25-4-105 subsection (2) is also violated. Op. of Miss. Ethics Comm. Op. No. 92-086-E.

Commission has applied the principle that any interest of one spouse accrues to the other spouse. Op. of Miss. Ethics Comm. Op. No. 91-111-E.

Members of the executive branch of a city may accept compensation for time, expenses, and travel for speaking to other cities, counties, and states on behalf of industries located within their city as long as no contract exists between the city and the industries involved. Even if a particular industry is a contractor, subcontractor, or vendor with the city, a violation would not exist unless the income paid to the city officer or employee constituted a “material financial interest” as defined in Section 25-4-103(k). Seeking to represent an industry for compensation would constitute a prohibited use of an official position. Recusal from matters affecting the industries represented was discussed. Op. of Miss. Ethics Comm. Op. No. 94-125-E.

Since the issuance of a permit or license by a municipal board does not constitute a government contract, a board member does not violate conflict of interest laws by voting in an action to approve a variance in zoning relating to a permit for a company, even though the member has a pecuniary interest in that company. However, the board member was cautioned not to use his official position to obtain pecuniary benefits for himself, and recusal from matters concerning his business was discussed. Op. of Miss. Ethics Comm. Op. No. 94-128-E.

A university faculty member contracting with his or her university to perform research and development for a dye that qualifies as an “intellectual property” as defined in Code Section 25-4-103(j) does not violate the conflict of interest laws because of the exception set forth in Code Section 25-4-105(4)(d). Op. of Miss. Ethics Comm. Op. No. 95-087-E.

The exception found in Section 25-4-105(4)(a) allows an officer of a bank serving as a municipality’s depository to serve on the municipality’s planning commission. The exception found in Section 25-4-105(4)(a) does not include a bank serving as a municipality’s investment broker, paying agent, bond registrar, trustee and financial advisor. Op. of Miss. Ethics Comm. Op. No. 95-105-E.

The conflict of interest laws and the definitions under the conflict of interest laws do apply to members of an industrial board established by a joint resolution of a municipal board and a county board of supervisors. Op. of Miss. Ethics Comm. Op. No. 95-108-E.

An ambulance service which has the county coroner as an employee and/or a partner may not contract with the county because there are two or fewer ambulance services in the county. The exception set forth in the §25-4-105(4)(d)(i) does not limit a good or service “reasonably available from two (2) or fewer commercial sources” to a specific geographical area such as a county. Op. of Miss. Ethics Comm. Op. No. 96-019-E.

County community hospital trustees may not promote and encourage other trustees to vote for a donation to a non-profit foundation they are officers and members of if the non-profit foundation is a business with which they are “associated” as it would violate §25-4-105(1). Op. of Miss. Ethics Comm. Op. No. 96-024-E.

An employee of a nonprofit consortium contracting with a state agency to implement a statewide computerized system is not a public servant under the conflict of interest laws when the nonprofit consortium was not given the authority to act for, or in the place of, the state agency. Op. of Miss. Ethics Comm. Op. No. 96-038-E.

A school district may expend federal program funds to provide optometrist services to qualified students when the optometrist providing the services is the spouse of the county superintendent of education because the exception found in §25-4-105(4)(d)(i) prevents a violation of §25-4-105(3)(a) since the optometrist services being provided are reasonably available from two (2) or fewer commercial sources. However, the school district was cautioned regarding §25-4-101 and §25-4-105(1). Op. of Miss. Ethics Comm. Op. No. 96-065-E.

The conflict of interest laws do not prohibit a city council member from resigning his position on the city council and immediately accepting the position of city municipal judge, as the municipal judge position is a “public office” and therefore not held by contract. Op. of Miss. Ethics Comm. Op. No. 97-003-E.

Section25-4-105(3)(a) does not prohibit a state agency’s employee from contracting to teach a course for a state university, as the exception set forth in §25-4-105(4)(h) is applicable. Op. of Miss. Ethics Comm. Op. No. 97-068-E.

Different departments of a city will not be deemed separate authorities for purposes of the state conflict of interest laws. Op. of Miss. Ethics Comm. Op. No. 98-051-E.

2-5. [Reserved for future use].

II. PARTICULAR PERSONS, MATTERS, AND CIRCUMSTANCES.

6. State legislators.

Insurance business, with which member of state legislature is associated, may not serve as agent for administrator of worker’s compensation self-insurance pool for purpose of marketing worker’s compensation self-insurance to county governments when county’s authority to participate in pool was created by 1988 legislative act. Any agreement by county to participate in pool would constitute contract pursuant to section. Legislators/marketing insurance company agents would have interest in contracts as a result of their company consummating contracts and receiving benefits for such work. Op. of Miss. Ethics Comm. Op. No. 89-10-E.

Legislature may not lease real property to state agency; prohibition would not be removed by either use of irrevocable trust, transfer of property to corporation the sole stockholders of which are legislator’s children or a trust, or transfer of property to a spouse who assumes indebtedness and transacts with government agent lessee. Op. of Miss. Ethics Comm. Op. No. 89-85-E.

Legislator may not contract with state commission to perform various duties related to fundraising and receive as payment percentage of funds raised as well as reimbursement for expenses incurred. Op. of Miss. Ethics Comm. Op. No. 90-118-E.

Law does not prohibit legislator/attorney from representing private clients in eminent domain matters brought about by Department of Economic Development, however legislator is cautioned that in serving as attorney for private clients there should be no use of his official position as set forth in subsection (1) of §25-4-105. Op. of Miss. Ethics Comm. Op. No. 91-029-E.

Section prohibits legislator from selling land to state highway department, unless transfer is accomplished by eminent domain. Op. of Miss. Ethics Comm. Op. No. 91-033-E.

Section does not prohibit person from serving as chairman of large state commission within one year of being state legislator. Position of chairperson of state commission, in instance involved, is public office, therefore subject could accept appointment to such office without violating §25-4-105 or Constitution Section 109. Op. of Miss. Ethics Comm. Op. No. 92-068-E.

It is conflict of interest for member of legislature to own more than 10 percent of a corporation which does subcontracting work on road construction projects funded, in part, by State Highway Department, because subcontract of legislator’s firm would not exist without prime contract, thereby calling into play violation of Constitution Section 109. Op. of Miss. Ethics Comm. Op. No. 92-086-E.

As to whether it is conflict of interest for member of Legislature to own more than 10 percent of corporation which operates as subcontractor on sanitary water and sewer projects for counties, districts, cities, or towns within state, each separate subcontract would have to be analyzed to determine under what specific legal authority their prime contracts were let and how each would be funded. Should any of potential subcontract emanate from general legislation or from general legislative funding during legislator’s term or one year thereafter, there would be conflict violation. Whether legislator votes or does not vote is not controlling; Section 109 of Constitution prohibits interest in certain contracts, and voting on matter does not bring section into application, nor does refraining from voting prevent its application. Op. of Miss. Ethics Comm. Op. No. 92-086-E.

Legislator’s ownership over 30 percent of one corporation and 15 percent of another corporation, each of which were subjects of trust in purchase/redemption agreements, which did subcontracting work on road project funded in part by state Highway Department, one of which was valued at over $500,000, the other over $2,000,000, constituted prohibited interest in such companies. Fact that legislator’s interest was placed in blind trust did not remove prohibited interest, it merely assigned management of it for period of time to a trustee. Op. of Miss. Ethics Comm. Op. No. 92-086-E.

Ethics violation arises where state legislator becomes employed by local school district within one year of expiration of his term. Op. of Miss. Ethics Comm. Op. No. 92-095-E.

Law prohibits legislator from being employed as agent to sell individual health and group insurance policies by insurance company which is under contract with state. As agent selling individual health and group insurance policies, receipt of resulting commissions constitutes material financial interest on part of legislator and since material financial interest in insurance company on part of legislator is prohibited when that company is a contractor, subcontractor, or vendor with Legislature, insurance company may not contract with Legislature. Op. of Miss. Ethics Comm. Op. No. 92-119-E.

Attorney who is member of legislature may represent private clients before state agencies such as Mississippi Public Service Commission. However, should client be other than private client and take on form of governmental entity, determination of fact would have to be made in each case as to whether or not ethics laws would become applicable. Op. of Miss. Ethics Comm. Op. No. 92-183-E.

There is no prohibition against legislator being employed as attorney for and representing clients in gaming industry, although caution should be exercised so legislator does not use his official position for pecuniary benefit for himself or business with which he is associated; violation of statute may be avoided by complete recusal in matters which may benefit client. Op. of Miss. Ethics Comm. Op. No. 93-033-E.

Legislator may not become employed as consultant to home health agency, because of potential for agency to receive funds authorized by legislature. Op. of Miss. Ethics Comm. Op. No. 93-076-E.

Bank which employs legislator would be in violation if it purchased bonds or otherwise pursued business with state authorized by legislature during term of the legislator or for one year thereafter. Such business would not be a violation where it concerned bond issues authorized by legislature prior to the term of office of the legislator in question. Furthermore, violation might arise not only upon legislator’s participation in legislative functions that involve matters singularly affecting the bank/employer, but may also arise upon participation in functions that involve competitor of the bank/employer, depending on facts involved. Op. of Miss. Ethics Comm. Op. No. 93-158-E.

A legislator is not prohibited from contracting with the highly state-regulated gaming industry or from conducting general insurance business with a casino, however, the legislator is prohibited from using his official position to benefit himself or his business and therefore, may not be able to influence or vote on issues relating to gambling. Op. of Miss. Ethics Comm. Op. No. 94-004-E.

A legislator is not prohibited from contracting with the highly state-regulated gaming industry or from conducting general insurance business with a casino, however, the legislator is prohibited from using his official position to benefit himself or his business and therefor, may not be able to influence or vote on issues relating to gambling. Also, a legislator may not sell insurance to private correctional institutions, as he would have a prohibited interest in contracts authorized by the Legislature, and that interest continues for his current term and one year thereafter. Op. of Miss. Ethics Comm. Op. No. 94-065-E.

A former legislator may not serve as a paid employee of the Governor’s office within one year of the legislator’s resignation when the salary is derived from funds authorized by the legislature of which he was a member. Op. of Miss. Ethics Comm. Op. No. 94-070-E.

A legislator/attorney may represent a client before a governmental entity other than the authority of the entity of which he is an officer or employee, under Section 25-4-105(4)(i). However, this provision does not apply as an exception to Constitutional Section 109. The contract for representation of a non-governmental client would not violate ethics laws, however, a settlement agreement in a contingency fee arrangement would constitute a contract and create a violation. Payment of a fixed sum or on an hourly basis would not create an interest in the contract and would not create a violation. Op. of Miss. Ethics Comm. Op. No. 94-072-E.

A member of the Mississippi Legislature may share office space and telephone lines with a registered lobbyist in the state of Mississippi. Op. of Miss. Ethics Comm. Op. No. 95-004-E.

A member of the Mississippi Legislature may own part of a business that is also owned in part by a person who is a registered lobbyist in the state of Mississippi. The Legislator must recuse himself/herself from voting on all action directly concerning a business with which he/she has a pecuniary interest. Op. of Miss. Ethics Comm. Op. No. 95-004-E.

A legislator may not accept an offer to purchase a cellular phone and cellular service from a state vendor at the vendor’s state contract price. Op. of Miss. Ethics Comm. Op. No. 95-016-E.

A salaried associate for a law firm may serve in the state legislature when a partner/shareholder of the law firm is a registered lobbyist and is paid an annual flat fee by his lobbyist client which is placed into the law firm’s funds to be distributed among the partners/shareholders, provided the legislator recuses himself from actions concerning legislation the partner/shareholder lobbied for or against on behalf of the lobbyist client. Op. of Miss. Ethics Comm. Op. No. 95-016-E.

A legislator/attorney’s law partner’s providing of legal representation to a state agency that receives money appropriated by the legislature results in a violation of Constitutional Section 109 even if the legislator/attorney does not share in the fees received by his law firm for that particular representation. Op. of Miss. Ethics Comm. Op. No. 95-051-E.

If the law partner of a legislator/attorney represents a client in such ways as drafting legislation which the client then tries to have introduced and passed by the legislature, the legislator/attorney may avoid a violation of Code Section 25-4-105 by completely recusing himself/herself as a legislator from any action or consideration of the particular piece of legislation which his law partner has drafted and not sharing in the fees generated from the representation by the attorney/legislator’s partner (although this would not remove a potential violation of Constitutional Section 109). Op. of Miss. Ethics Comm. Op. No. 95-051-E.

A legislator’s spouse may not sell office machinery to state agencies located within a specified territory assigned to the spouse by his or her employer. Op. of Miss. Ethics Comm. Op. No. 95-052-E.

The law firm of a legislator may not represent an insurance company’s interest in defense of medical practitioners employed by a state institution when the insurance coverage is purchased by the state institution. Op. of Miss. Ethics Comm. Op. No. 95-053-E.

A newly elected legislator’s law firm may not continue to accept any contracts entered into during his term or for one year thereafter with the Department of Transportation in eminent domain proceedings which would be in violation of Constitutional Section 109 and Code Section 25-4-105(2). Op. of Miss. Ethics Comm. Op. No. 95-070-E.

A newly elected legislator’s law firm may conclude pending litigation representing the Department of Transportation in eminent domain proceedings that were filed prior to the law partner/legislator’s election. However, the legislator does have a prohibited interest in existing contracts should state funds be used to compensate the law firm appropriated by the Legislature during the legislator’s term or within one year thereafter, which would violate Constitutional Section 109 and Code Section 25-4-105(2). A recusal will not prevent a violation. Op. of Miss. Ethics Comm. Op. No. 95-070-E.

A legislator within one year of the expiration of his term may not accept employment with a water management district which the legislature authorized spending for during the legislator’s term as it would violate Constitutional Section 109 and Code Section 25-4-105(2). Op. of Miss. Ethics Comm. Op. No. 95-123-E.

A community college may not compensate a state legislator for announcing over a public address system at its home athletic events as it is prohibited by Constitutional Section 109 and Code Section 25-4-105(2). Op. of Miss. Ethics Comm. Op. No. 95-127-E.

A legislator within one year of the expiration of his term may not accept employment with a nonprofit foundation if the foundation receives appropriations or assessments for state educational institutions or if the foundation contracts with state educational institutions as both would result in a violation of Constitutional Section 109 and Code Section 25-4-105(2). The simple payment of legitimate dues does not constitute a contract. Op. of Miss. Ethics Comm. Op. No. 95-128-E.

A legislator may not accept employment with a county tourism commission if the tourism commission is funded by a state appropriation during the legislator’s term or for one year thereafter. Op. of Miss. Ethics Comm. Op. No. 96-027-E.

A former legislator can not be employed by a construction firm if the construction firm’s state contracts were funded during the legislator’s term or for one year thereafter as it would violate Constitutional Section 109 and §25-4-105(2). The former legislator was also cautioned regarding §25-4-105(3)(e) and (5). Op. of Miss. Ethics Comm. Op. No. 96-029-E.

A legislator may not serve concurrently as a corporate counsel/government relations specialist/registered lobbyist for a corporation if the corporation contracts with the State as to do so would violate Constitutional Section 109 and §25-4-105(2). Op. of Miss. Ethics Comm. Op. No. 96-053-E.

A legislator may not serve concurrently as a corporate counsel/government relations specialist/registered lobbyist for a corporation as any action on his part to influence a decision of the Legislature of which he is a member would violate § §25-4-105(3)(d). The legislator was also cautioned regarding §25-4-101 and §25-4-105(1) and (5). Op. of Miss. Ethics Comm. Op. No. 96-053-E.

A legislator may not be employed by a private company that sells health care equipment to individuals in their homes when approximately 10% of the company’s sales are from Medicaid as to do so would violate Constitutional Section 109 and §25-4-105(2). Op. of Miss. Ethics Comm. Op. No. 96-058-E.

A legislator’s engineering firm’s contract with a county through a joint venture is not prohibited if the state funds granted to the contract were appropriated by the Legislature prior to the beginning of the legislator’s term. Op. of Miss. Ethics Comm. Op. No. 96-083-E.

A legislator does have a prohibited interest, under Constitutional Section 109 and §25-4-105(2), in any of his engineering firm’s existing contracts should any state funds granted to those projects be appropriated or reappropriated by the Legislature during the legislator’s term, or within one year after the expiration of his term. Op. of Miss. Ethics Comm. Op. No. 96-083-E.

Constitutional Section 109 and §25-4-105(2) prohibit a state legislator from personally benefitting from a student loan or grant if the associated funds were authorized for expenditure or if there was a law passed authorizing the program by the Legislature during the member’s term or for one year thereafter. Op. of Miss. Ethics Comm. Op. No. 96-103-E.

A legislator’s company may make sales directly to local governments and/or contractors of local governments provided the funds were not appropriated by the Legislature during the member’s term or for one year thereafter and no general legislation giving the local governments authority to enter into the contracts was passed by the Legislature during the member’s term or for one year thereafter. However, the legislator was cautioned regarding Constitutional Section 109 and §25-4-105(1) and (2). Op. of Miss. Ethics Comm. Op. No. 96-118-E.

The conflict of interest laws would not as such prohibit a legislator, individually or as a partner, from participating in the Mississippi Small Business Assistance Program when the authorizing legislation, including the bonding authority, was passed by the Legislature prior to the legislator taking office. However, the legislator was cautioned regarding Constitutional Section 109, §25-4-105(1) and (2), and §25-4-101. Op. of Miss. Ethics Comm. Op. No. 96-124-E.

Constitutional Section 109 and §25-4-105(2) prohibit a legislator’s business from participating in a state loan program during his term and for one year thereafter when the statutory authority authorizing the state loan program was amended during the legislator’s current term to extend the program’s termination date and to increase the program’s funding. Op. of Miss. Ethics Comm. Op. No. 97-133-E.

It is not a violation of the state conflict of interest laws for a state legislator to sell individual life, disability and medical supplement insurance to public employees on a payroll deduction plan through their place of work, including public employees of the state, universities and community colleges, school districts, counties and municipalities; however, there will be a violation of subsection (2) of this section if (1) the insurance contracts are with a state agency, a university, a community college or a school district, as these governmental entities are funded by appropriations bills authorized by the state legislature or (2) the state legislature passes legislation, during the legislator’s term of office or within one year thereafter, that authorizes such payroll deductions for the employees of the state, universities and community colleges, school districts, counties and municipalities. Op. of Miss. Ethics Comm. Op. No. 97-151-E.

It is not a violation of the state conflict of interest laws for a state legislator to sell individual life, disability, and medical supplement insurance to employees or private businesses on a payroll deduction plan through their place of work, even though their employers may have interests in legislation before the state legislature; however, there will be a violation of subsection (2) of this section if the state legislature passes legislation, during the legislator’s term of office, or within one year thereafter, that authorizes such payroll deductions for the employees of the private businesses. Op. of Miss. Ethics Comm. Op. No. 97-151-E.

Article IV, § 109 of the Constitution and subsection (2) of §25-4-105 prohibit a state legislator from having an interest in any contract with a school district that is authorized by any law passed by the legislature during the state legislator’s term or within one year thereafter and, therefore, a state legislator may not receive architectural/engineering fees for services performed for a school district even when those fees are not paid from state funds. Op. of Miss. Ethics. Comm. Op. No. 97-152-E.

Article IV, § 109 of the Constitution and §25-4-105 do not prohibit a legislator’s spouse from participating in the Mississippi Small Business Assistance Program where the authorizing legislation, including the bonding authority, was passed by the legislature prior to the legislator’s current term of office. Op. of Miss. Ethics. Comm. Op. No. 97-159-E.

A member of the Mississippi Legislature may not participate with a group that contracts with a regional correctional facility, jointly operated by certain counties, to provide collect telephone call services to inmates when the Mississippi Department of Corrections is contracting with these counties’ boards of supervisors to house state inmates during the member’s term. Op. of Miss. Ethics Comm. Op. No. 98-024-E.

A legislator’s spouse may participate in the Mississippi Small Business Assistance Program through a planning and development district where the authorizing legislation, including the bonding authority, was passed by the legislature prior to the state legislator’s current term of office. Op. of Miss. Ethics Comm. Op. No. 98-031-E.

A convenience store owned by a legislator may sell gasoline to a planning and development district. Op. of Miss. Ethics Comm. Op. No. 98-034-E.

If a current member of the state legislature serves as legal counsel for an individual or entity whose primary work is serving as a registered lobbyist, then the legislator will be required to recuse himself from any matter before the legislature or its committees that would provide a pecuniary benefit to the lobbying business. Op. of Miss. Ethics Comm. Op. No. 98-040-E.

Article IV, § 109 of the Constitution and §25-4-105(2) do not prohibit a state agency from employing a legislator’s spouse as a time-limited, non-state service employee; however, the legislator will be required to recuse himself from matters before the legislature and its committees that would provide a pecuniary benefit to his spouse. Op. of Miss. Ethics Comm. Op. No. 98-041-E.

A state legislator, who is also an attorney, may file suit on behalf of a client against the state, its agencies or employees involving coverage by the Mississippi Tort Claims Board; and there would be no violation should a court of competent jurisdiction award a judgment, including attorney fees, in favor of the state legislator/attorney’s client; however, a state legislator/attorney is prohibited from receiving attorney fees, directly or indirectly, through a settlement agreement in such cases involving the Mississippi Tort Claims Board on behalf of his or her client. Op. of Miss. Ethics Comm. Op. No. 98-053-E.

A legislator’s convenience store may sell fuel through Fuelman to a county when the county is making the fuel purchases with monies from its general fund and/or road and bridge fund. Op. of Miss. Ethics Comm. Op. No. 98-056-E.

Article IV, Section 109 of the Constitution and subsection (2) of this section prohibit a legislator from contracting with a Head Start agency if the Head Start agency receives funds, directly or indirectly, through an appropriation from the legislature during the legislator’s term or for one year thereafter. Op. of Miss. Ethics Comm. Op. No. 98-063-E.

A legislator may attend an out-of-state seminar and facility tour at a national corporation’s plant when the legislator’s expenses will be paid for by the national corporation. Op. of Miss. Ethics Comm. Op. No. 98-075-E.

Article IV, Section 109 of the Constitution and subsection (2) of this section prohibit a state legislator from serving as a board member of or owning stock in a corporation that receives funding from a state agency when the agency’s funding to the corporation is authorized by an appropriation bill passed during the legislator’s term or within one year thereafter. Op. of Miss. Ethics Comm. Op. No. 98-078-E.

Article IV, Section 109 of the Constitution and subsection (2) of this section prohibit a state legislator from having a consultant contract with a county human resource agency for a county Head Start program when such program is partially funded by the Department of Human Services, TANF Child Care program, with funds that are appropriated by the legislature during the legislator’s term or for one year thereafter. Op. of Miss. Ethics Comm. Op. No. 98-101-E.

It is not a violation of the state conflict of interest laws for a legislator to serve as an emergency management director, E-911 director and county fire coordinator; however should any of the legislator’s local appointed positions be funded by appropriations from the legislature, he would be in violation of Article IV, Section 109 of the Constitution and subsection (2) of this section. Op. of Miss. Ethics Comm. Op. No. 98-102-E.

A state legislator is not allowed to be the agent for group insurance policies for individual life and disability coverage to public employees on a payroll deduction plan where there is a requirement of a contract between the public entities and the insurance carrier. Op. of Miss. Ethics Comm. Op. No. 98-108-E.

Article IV, Section 109 of the Constitution and subsection (2) of this section do not prohibit a county from contracting with a legislator when the county is funding its contracts with the legislator with monies from its general fund and/or road and bridge fund; however, if the legislature provides direct or indirect appropriations, during the legislator’s term or one year thereafter, then the legislator’s contracts with the county would be in violation of Article IV, Section 109 of the Constitution and subsection (2) of this section. Op. of Miss. Ethics Comm. Op. No. 98-111-E.

A legislator may not do business with a school district located in the legislator’s district since the state legislature appropriates funds to state school districts and the Supreme Court has ruled that the appropriation of funds is part of the contract authorization process. Op. of Miss. Ethics Comm. Op. No. 98-111-E.

A state commission may employ the spouse of a legislator as a certified court reporter; however, the legislator will be required to recuse himself from matters before the legislature and its committees that would provide a pecuniary benefit to his spouse as the commission’s employee. Op. of Miss. Ethics Comm. Op. No. 98-132-E.

A state employee elected to the state legislature must resign his employment before taking the oath of office as a member of the legislature. Op. of Miss. Ethics Comm. Op. No. 99-001-E.

A legislator may contract with a county human resource agency to provide consulting services for a county Head Start Program operated by the agency when the agency receives some funding through appropriations from the state legislature, including funding for the Head Start Program, but the funds from which the legislator is paid are received directly from the federal government; however, the legislator should recuse himself from any and all matters coming before the legislature, or its committees, that concern the entity receiving the state legislative appropriated funds and the state agency programs providing the funding to the entity. Op. of Miss. Ethics Comm. Op. No. 99-014-E.

A state legislator is not prohibited from contracting as a consultant to provide training and technical assistance with a governmental entity, such as a county human resource agency, or a not-profit 501(3)(c) corporation, when the local grantee is funded entirely with federal funds received directly from the federal government. Op. of Miss. Ethics Comm. Op. No. 99-022-E.

Subsection (3)(a) prohibits a state legislator from providing consulting services to a Head Start Program if the contract is with a nonprofit corporation, if the nonprofit corporation has a grant or contract with a state agency, and if the consulting contract results in an aggregate annual net income of $5,000.00, or more, to the legislator. Op. of Miss. Ethics Comm. Op. No. 99-022-E.

A public school principal/legislator will violate Article IV, Section 109 of the Constitution and subsection (2) of this section upon entering into a contract with the school district for the school year in which the appropriation bill passed during the public school principal/legislator’s first session applies; however, the public school principal/legislator may complete the school year covered by his or her existing contract without violating Article IV, Section 109 of the Constitution and subsection (2) of this section. Op. of Miss. Ethics Comm. Op. No. 99-037-E.

The employment contract of a legislator’s spouse with a Medicaid service provider, does not violate Article IV, Section 109 of the Constitution and subsection (2) of this section. Op. of Miss. Ethics Comm. Op. No. 99-038-E.

A public school teacher, if elected to the State Legislature, will be in violation of Constitutional Section 109 and subsection (2) of this section upon entering into a contract with a public school district for the school year that the appropriation bill passed during his or her first legislative session applies; in other words, a teacher elected to the State Legislature may complete the school year covered by his or her existing contract, but may not continue in that position or as a substitute teacher on a part-time basis after being elected to the State Legislature. Op. of Miss. Ethics Comm. Op. No. 99-045-E.

Constitutional Section 109 and subsection (2) of this section do not prohibit a legislator’s spouse from being employed as a public school teacher. Op. of Miss. Ethics Comm. Op. No. 99-045-E.

A newly elected legislator may continue to receive the commissions he earned prior to his election as a commercial real estate broker for leases he brokered with state agencies for and on behalf of private property owners when he receives the commissions directly from the private property owner by way of an arrangement whereby the commissions are paid over time, such as monthly or annually; however, the newly elected legislator may not receive such commissions for future lease periods that are funded by a legislature of which he is a member and by a legislature within one year of his leaving office. Op. of Miss. Ethics Comm. Op. No. 99-060-E.

A newly elected legislator is prohibited from continuing to work with a state agency involving the sale of land or a building when the legislator began working with the state agency prior to his election and when the state agency received its appropriation in the prior Legislative Session to purchase the property and the legislator’s sales commission will be paid by the eventual property owner/seller unless the service being provided is only one of two available commercial sources available or if the service being provided is by way of a contract let to the lowest and best bidder after a competitive bidding where at least three legitimate bids were received. Op. of Miss. Ethics Comm. Op. No. 99-060-E.

A newly elected legislator may continue to represent a private corporation as its brokering agent in the private corporation’s leasing and eventual selling of a building to a state agency when the legislator originally showed the property to the state agency prior to his election and when the state agency’s funding to lease the building was appropriated in the prior Legislative Session; however, the newly elected legislator may not receive commissions that are funded by a legislature of which he is a member and by a legislature within one year of his leaving office. Op. of Miss. Ethics Comm. Op. No. 99-060-E.

A newly elected legislator must advise state entities that he is prohibited from leasing space in properties he manages once he becomes a member of the legislature. Op. of Miss. Ethics Comm. Op. No. 99-060-E.

It is not a violation of the state conflict of interest laws for state legislators to serve as board members of a nonprofit organization that is funded solely with federal grant monies when the federal government distributes the federal grant monies directly to the nonprofit organization; however, a nonprofit organization may not be the recipient of a grant funded by federal, state or other monies that are appropriated by the legislature when legislators are serving as board members of the nonprofit organization. Op. of Miss. Ethics Comm. Op. No. 99-069-E.

A state legislator’s company may not continue to manage an office building owned by a state corporation that is established by state law as a governmental instrumentality when the state legislator’s company managed the building prior to the state legislator’s election. Op. of Miss. Ethics Comm. Op. No. 99-072-E.

It is not a violation of the state conflict of interest laws for a state legislator to serve on the board of trustees of a private medical center, unless the medical center receives funds appropriated by the legislature of which the legislator is a member. Op. of Miss. Ethics Comm. Op. No. 99-073-E.

It is not, as such a violation of the state conflict of interest laws for a legislator to be employed by a casino; however, in order to be certain to avoid any action in his official capacity as a legislator that would result in a pecuniary benefit to his casino employer, the legislator would be required to totally and completely recuse himself from any action that concerned the gaming industry. Op. of Miss. Ethics. Comm. Op. No. 99-114-E.

It is not as such a violation of the state conflict of interest laws for a state legislator’s father to carry a casino key gaming license; however, in order to be certain to avoid any action in his official capacity as a legislator that would result in a pecuniary benefit to his father, the legislator would be required to totally and completely recuse himself from any action that concerned the gaming industry. Op. of Miss. Ethics. Comm. Op. No. 99-114-E.

The medical practice of the spouse of a legislator cannot have a Medicaid agreement with the state and receive Medicaid payments by way of a Medicaid agreement when the Medicaid payments will be funded through an appropriation bill passed by the legislature during the legislator’s term or for one year thereafter, and a recusal or abstention by the legislator would not alter this result. Op. of Miss. Ethics. Comm. Op. No. 99-128-E.

A former state legislator within one year of his last term in the legislature cannot contract with a state university to serve as a facilitator of a lecture series where the former legislator is to paid by the foundation established to support the state university. Op. of Miss. Ethics. Comm. Op. No. 00-010-E.

A legislator or a legislator’s business is prohibited from conducting workshops for community college or public school district personnel on location at the schools or at some other location and being paid by the community colleges or public school districts, and this prohibition will apply while the legislator is a member of the legislature that appropriated funds to these community colleges or public school districts, and for one year after the termination of the legislator’s term of office. Op. of Miss. Ethics. Comm. Op. No. 00-081-E.

A legislator or a legislator’s business is prohibited from contracting with a community college through the college’s skill tech center or workforce development office to teach personnel and personal development classes on location at businesses and factories, and this prohibition will apply while the legislator is a member of the legislature that appropriated funds to the respective community colleges or public school districts, and for one year after the termination of the legislator’s term of office. Op. of Miss. Ethics. Comm. Op. No. 00-081-E.

A legislator may not be paid by a community college or any other governmental entity funded by the legislature for the participation of the community college’s employee or other governmental entity’s employee in open-to-the-public classes conducted by the legislator or the legislator’s business at chambers of commerce or other such venues, and this prohibition will apply while the legislator is a member of the legislature that appropriated funds to the respective community colleges or public school districts and, for one year after the termination of the legislator’s term of office. Op. of Miss. Ethics. Comm. Op. No. 00-081-E.

A legislator’s spouse could not be employed by a county board of supervisors at the request of the county judge as a youth court victim/witness coordinator where the victim/witness coordinator position was partially funded by a grant from a state department that was appropriated by the legislature during the legislator/spouse’s term or for one year thereafter unless the large class rule set forth by the State Supreme Court was applicable. Op. of Miss. Ethics. Comm. Op. No. 01-024-E.

A legislator can be employed by a county as director of the county’s office of planning and development, but must totally and completely recuse himself from any and all matters coming before the legislature or its committees that concern his county employer, and matters that concern planning, building, housing, and development that he is involved with as the county’s director of office of planning and development. Op. of Miss. Ethics. Comm. Op. No. 01-057-E.

The state conflict of interest laws do not as such prohibit a state legislator from serving as a member of a county tourism commission when the compensation paid the state legislator as a tourism commission member is derived totally by local taxation of lodging and restaurant establishments. Op. of Miss. Ethics. Comm. Op. No. 01-127-E.

A legislator’s spouse who is employed by a medical center may accept an appointment by a county board of supervisors to a regional mental health commission as such a position is a public office and not a position held by contract. Op. of Miss. Ethics. Comm. Op. No. 02-008-E.

It is not as such a violation of the conflict of interest laws for an individual to serve simultaneously as an elected municipal board member and as a state legislator. Op. of Miss. Ethics. Comm. Op. No. 02-026-E.

A legislator may not do business with a state governmental entity, but may do business with a county governmental entity if the county funds its contracts with the legislator’s business with monies from its general fund and/or road and bridge fund. Op. of Miss. Ethics. Comm. Op. No. 02-063-E.

An individual may simultaneously hold political office as a city board member and a state legislator. Op. of Miss. Ethics. Comm. Op. No. 02-063-E.

Where a business receives an infrastructure construction grant from a state board, and the grant’s funding has been approved by the Legislature, a legislator and/or the legislator’s law firm may be the business’s attorney of record for projects completely unrelated to the approval of and/or funding received from the state grant, i.e., the business’s infrastructure construction. Op. of Miss. Ethics Comm. Op. No. 02-089-E.

7. —Dual office, employment or position.

State senator could accept appointment as Executive Director of Mississippi Employment Security Commission without violating §25-4-105 or Constitution § 109. Op. of Miss. Ethics Comm. Op. No. 88-21-E.

Legislator may simultaneously serve as adjunct professor at Mississippi university where such service would be without compensation or expense reimbursement. Op. of Miss. Ethics Comm. Op. No. 88-185-E.

Newly elected legislator may not have simultaneous employment with a state commission. Legislator would be in violation immediately upon being sworn into office where he is employed by state agency or commission. Commission recommends that legislator-elect resign from state employment prior to being sworn in to Legislature. Op. of Miss. Ethics Comm. Op. No. 91-140-E.

A state legislator may be employed by a planning and development district only if the district does not have any contracts with state agencies and does not receive payments by way of funds authorized by the state legislature. The district is also prohibited from contracting with local governing authorities which receive legislatively authorized grants from state agencies. Op. of Miss. Ethics Comm. Op. No. 94-114-E.

A county road employee elected constable cannot serve in both positions without violating §25-4-105(3)(a). Op. of Miss. Ethics Comm. Op. No. 95-031-E.

A constable’s spouse serving as a deputy justice court clerk does not in and of itself violate the conflict of interest laws. Op. of Miss. Ethics Comm. Op. No. 95-031-E.

An individual elected to the office of constable may not continue to work as a deputy sheriff for the county he or she was elected to serve as constable. Op. of Miss. Ethics Comm. Op. No. 95-121-E.

The conflict of interest laws do not prohibit an alderman from serving as chancery clerk. However, there may be problems under the Separation of Powers Doctrine so the requestor was referred to the Attorney General. Op. of Miss. Ethics Comm. Op. No. 95-138-E.

An individual elected coroner may not serve as a deputy sheriff for the county he serves as coroner since to do so would violate §25-4-105(3)(a). Op. of Miss. Ethics Comm. Op. No. 96-003-E.

A legal secretary for the municipal board attorney may not remain in that employment position if she is elected to the board of aldermen because there would be a violation Constitutional Section 109 and §25-4-105(2) and (3)(a). Op. of Miss. Ethics Comm. Op. No. 96-008-E.

An alderman may be employed as the county fire coordinator if there are no contracts existing between the municipality and the county that would cause the alderman to violate Constitutional Section 109 and §25-4-105(2) as a compensated county employee. However, the alderman was cautioned regarding §25-4-105(1). Op. of Miss. Ethics Comm. Op. No. 96-009-E.

An employee of a municipality’s airport authority may simultaneously serve as the chairman of the municipality’s planning committee because the airport authority is a separate authority of the municipality (See §25-4-105(4)(h)). However, the employee was cautioned regarding §25-4-105(1) and (5). Op. of Miss. Ethics Comm. Op. No. 96-014-E.

An alderman may not be employed as the compensated county fire coordinator if there are contracts existing between the municipality and the county, especially a fire protection contract, that would cause the alderman to violate Constitutional Section 109 and §25-4-105(2) as a compensated county employee. Op. of Miss. Ethics Comm. Op. No. 96-016-E.

A county deputy sheriff may be appointed town marshal of a municipality located within the county employing the deputy sheriff. However, the deputy sheriff was cautioned regarding §25-4-101 and §25-4-105(1). Op. of Miss. Ethics Comm. Op. No. 96-017-E.

The county’s circuit clerk may not simultaneously serve as the county’s justice court clerk as it would violate §25-4-105(3)(a). Op. of Miss. Ethics Comm. Op. No. 96-023-E.

A legislator may not accept employment with a county tourism commission if the tourism commission is funded by a state appropriation during the legislator’s term or for one year thereafter. Op. of Miss. Ethics Comm. Op. No. 96-027-E.

A county election commissioner may simultaneously serve as a member of the county’s planning commission. However, the commissioner was cautioned regarding §25-4-101 and §25-4-105(1). Op. of Miss. Ethics Comm. Op. No. 96-030-E.

A county election commissioner may simultaneously serve as a circuit court bailiff. However, the commissioner was cautioned regarding §25-4-101 and §25-4-105(1). Op. of Miss. Ethics Comm. Op. No. 96-033-E.

A deputy circuit clerk performing election duties such as operating voting machines may not be elected to the county election commission and remain as a deputy circuit clerk performing election duties as it violates §25-4-105(3)(a). A county election commissioner performing election duties such as operating voting machines for primary elections conducted by party executive committees is contrary to the policy set forth in §25-4-101. Op. of Miss. Ethics Comm. Op. No. 96-035-E.

The state conflict of interest laws do not prohibit a state employee from serving a political party as an executive board member, secretary to the executive board, as a delegate to the county, congressional district and state conventions and as vice-chair of the county’s women’s political party organization. Op. of Miss. Ethics Comm. Op. No. 96-042-E.

Section 25-4-105(3)(a) prohibits a municipality from contracting with its employee, either as an independent contractor or in another distinct employment position, but the municipality may assign employees appropriate duties of their employment position for any department of the municipality. Op. of Miss. Ethics Comm. Op. No. 96-044-E.

An assistant jail administrator may simultaneously hold the position of arson investigator since state statute requires that the arson investigator be a member of the sheriff’s department. Op. of Miss. Ethics Comm. Op. No. 96-061-E.

An alderman may be employed as a principal of the school district for the municipality he was elected to serve although he voted to appoint or reappoint three of the current trustees of the school district. However, the alderman was cautioned regarding §25-4-101 and §25-4-105(1). Op. of Miss. Ethics Comm. Op. No. 96-071-E.

Section25-4-105(3)(a) prohibits a county’s duel employment of an individual as a county requisition clerk and as a county veteran’s officer. However, the individual’s service as the uncompensated human resource agency director and as a member of a regional solid waste authority is not prohibited. The individual was also cautioned regarding §25-4-101. Op. of Miss. Ethics Comm. Op. No. 96-087-E.

An individual may simultaneously serve as a county election commissioner and as a principal of a public school. However, the individual was cautioned regarding §25-4-105(1) and (5). Op. of Miss. Ethics Comm. Op. No. 96-108-E.

Section 25-4-105(4)(h) allows full-time employees of a state agency to be employed part-time as security guards by a state facility, as the state agency and state facility are separate authorities of state government. Op. of Miss. Ethics Comm. Op. No. 97-001-E.

Constitutional Section 109 and Code Section 25-4-105(2) prohibit a board member of a state department from accepting employment with a local community center that is primarily funded by the state department. Op. of Miss. Ethics Comm. Op. No. 97-013-E.

Constitutional Section 109 and §25-4-105(2) prohibit a county engineer from serving in the State Legislature if the county engineer is paid fees for completing engineering services on state aid projects that are authorized by an appropriation bill passed by the Legislature during the county engineer’s legislative term and for one year thereafter. Op. of Miss. Ethics Comm. Op. No. 97-017-E.

A governmental entity’s contracting with or funding of a non-profit community development/housing development corporation is prohibited by Constitutional Section 109 and §25-4-105(2) when that governmental entity’s board member serves as the non-profit’s director. Op. of Miss. Ethics Comm. Op. No. 97-028-E.

Constitutional Section 109 and §25-4-105(2) prohibit an alderman from serving as the fire chief of a volunteer fire department that is receiving funding, services, equipment and/or facilities from the alderman’s municipality. Op. of Miss. Ethics Comm. Op. No. 97-134-E.

Constitutional Section 109 and §25-4-105(2) prohibit an employee of a governmental commission from serving in the Legislature when the commission’s enabling legislation requires that the commission’s funding be appropriated by the Legislature. Op. of Miss. Ethics Comm. Op. No. 97-135-E.

An employee of one state governmental entity is prohibited from being a contractor, subcontractor or vendor with the state unless (1) the employee desires to be a contractor or vendor with another state governmental authority other than his employing state governmental authority and his contract will not be one that places him in an employee status with the other state governmental authority, or (2) the employee is employed and/or compensated by his state governmental authority to provide the assistance in the areas of personnel management, structure and recruitment and either a W4 form or a W9 form will be required to be filed. Op. of Miss. Ethics Comm. Op. No. 99-098-E.

A legislator cannot serve as the executive director of a nonprofit corporation that has as its purpose the raising of money for the advancement of a community college. Op. of Miss. Ethics. Comm. Op. No. 99-119-E.

A state legislator could not serve as a member of the boards of directors of two nonprofit corporations as one was directly receiving and the second was by affiliation with the first indirectly receiving funds appropriated by the legislature. Op. of Miss. Ethics. Comm. Op. No. 00-070-E.

A legislator can be employed by and receive compensation from a 501-C-3 not-for-profit corporation when such compensation is paid from a federal grant that comes directly to the corporation from the United States Department of Education; however, if the corporation also receives funding through the state legislative appropriation process, a legislator can be so employed and compensated only if the state legislative appropriated funds cannot be legally commingled with the federal funds, the local grantee maintains detailed accounting records of all its funds, and the payments to the legislator are not only from funds not appropriated by the legislature, but also from funds that may not be supplanted by state legislative appropriated funds. Op. of Miss. Ethics. Comm. Op. No. 00-086-E.

A legislator is not prohibited from being employed by a waste management company contracting with counties and cities when such contracts are not authorized by a law passed or funding appropriated by the legislature; however, the legislator would be required to totally and completely recuse himself from any action that concerned the waste management industry. Op. of Miss. Ethics. Comm. Op. No. 00-088-E.

A state legislator is not prohibited from being employed by a Mississippi nonprofit corporation because he is a legislator where the Mississippi nonprofit corporation does not receive direct or indirect funding through legislative appropriations and has no contracts authorized by the Legislature; however, the legislator would be required to totally and completely recuse himself from any and all matters coming before the Legislature, or its committees, that concerned the nonprofit corporation. Op. of Miss. Ethics. Comm. Op. No. 00-126-E.

A deputy chancery clerk is prohibited by §25-4-105(3)(a) from simultaneously holding a part-time position with the same county’s sheriff department/correctional facility as the chancery clerk’s office and the sheriff’s department are considered to be within the same county authority for the purposes of the conflict of interest laws. Op. of Miss. Ethics Comm. Op. No. 02-050-E.

8. County supervisors.

Section prohibits county from contracting with company that employs spouse of one of the county’s supervisors. Spouse’s salary constitutes prohibited interest on part of supervisor in any contract with spouse’s employer. Op. of Miss. Ethics Comm. Op. No. 91-137-E.

Section prohibits county supervisor from becoming employed by county tourism board or commission at expiration of his term of office, where such tourism board or commission is formed as result of state, local and private legislation and implemented by board of supervisors. Op. of Miss. Ethics Comm. Op. No. 92-010-E.

Law prohibits corporation in which material financial interest exists on the part of a county supervisor, from contracting with regional mental health authority. Op. of Miss. Ethics Comm. Op. No. 92-031-E.

Ethics violation arises where county contracts with electric company owned by person whose father is member of board of supervisors who rents building to son. Op. of Miss. Ethics Comm. Op. No. 92-075-E.

Ethics in Government law may be violated should supervisor and his immediate family serve as teachers in same county. If supervisor or “relative”, meaning spouse, child, or parent, became teacher in city school system, no per se violation of ethics law would occur; city school system is separate authority from that of county. Should supervisor or “relative” become employed by county school system, where all of local funding portion or of salaries under teaching contract comes from mandatory local tax levies, again no violation would occur. Where portion of salary derived by public school teacher under teaching contract or that of a “relative” comes from discretionary local tax levies, such teaching contract would violate Section 109 of state Constitution and Code Section 24-4-105, subsection (2), while teacher is member of board of governing authority which makes such tax levies or within one year after term on governing board expires. Op. of Miss. Ethics Comm. Op. No. 92-103-E.

Law does not prohibit business owned by county supervisor from contracting with cities and towns within county, provided no county funds are used by entities in payment pursuant to a purchase; such purchase was not a consequence of town or city’s compliance with requirement of county brought about by actions of board of which supervisor was a member, or within one year thereafter; and supervisor has not used official position for pecuniary benefit from self or his business in violation of Code. Ethics laws would not prohibit supervisor from doing business with other counties and cities within state or with the state. Op. of Miss. Ethics Comm. Op. No. 92-123-E.

Law prohibits county from contracting with bank as depository when one of supervisors received $6,600 per year as advisory member of bank. Op. of Miss. Ethics Comm. Op. No. 92-146-E.

Member of county board of supervisors simultaneously employed by county hospital of same county would have prohibited interest in contract authorized by the board of which he is a member. Provisions would be violated should described circumstances exist subsequent to start of new budget cycle, whereas prior to such start of budget cycle no violation would occur since employment in question had been authorized prior to the supervisor’s taking office. Same principles would apply to any new contracts authorized between hospital and board of supervisors or as to any such items requiring action on part of board, such as hospital’s budget, contracts which include payment to hospital for services or of interest to all employees of hospital, as their sustenance is in part derived from such contract. Only complete recusal on part of supervisor in all board deliberations and voting as to matters involving hospital, including appointment of its trustees, will avoid violation as to code subsection (1), but recusal removes only the vote, and not the prohibited interest subject to constitutional Section 109 and code §25-4-105(2). (Commission also recommended that office of Attorney General be contacted as to applicability of Constitutional separation of powers doctrine as Commission lacks authority to interpret that provision.) Op. of Miss. Ethics Comm. Op. No. 92-231-E.

Violation would occur should person be elected county supervisor and thereafter become affiliated with law firm which contracts with insurance company to represent certain county entities and public officials in same and other counties. Violation would not exist if law firm did not represent any of county personnel or entities of county or if supervisor chose not to affiliate with law firm. Neither recusal nor abstention prevents potential violation; while vote may be removed, prohibited interest in contract authorized by board lingers. Op. of Miss. Ethics Comm. Op. No. 93-216-E.

A county supervisor who is a general partner of a limited partnership may contract privately with towns within the county if the contracts are not authorized by the board of supervisors and the board is not a party to the contracts. If the supervisor has an interest in a contract authorized by his board, there is a violation of ethics laws will occur, and even recusal does not remove the prohibited interest. Op. of Miss. Ethics Comm. Op. No. 94-058-E.

A person elected to the county board of supervisors may not serve in that capacity when the supervisor-elect is the lessor and the county is the lessee under a ten-year real property lease now in its fifth year. Op. of Miss. Ethics Comm. Op. No. 95-018-E.

It is a violation of Constitutional Section 109 and §25-4-105(2) for the spouse, parent or child of a county supervisor to be employed by an authority of the county government. Op. of Miss. Ethics Comm. Op. No. 95-057-E.

Members of the county board of supervisors and municipal governing boards may compose the board of a nonprofit corporation acting as an economic development foundation when their public entities are funding the foundation if they are not compensated as foundation board members nor have personal pecuniary interests in contracts with the foundation. Op. of Miss. Ethics Comm. Op. No. 95-081-E.

A county supervisor-elect’s roofing company may contract with other public entities other than the supervisor-elect’s county if the county is not appropriating funds to the other public entities or their projects. It violates Constitutional Section 109 and Code Section 25-4-105(2) for the supervisor-elect’s company to contract with the supervisor-elect’s county. Op. of Miss. Ethics Comm. Op. No. 95-088-E.

A county supervisor may serve on an economic development board and an industrial development board when the supervisor’s county funds both development entities without being in violation of Constitutional Section 109 and Code Section 25-4-105(2) if the supervisor is uncompensated for such service. Op. of Miss. Ethics Comm. Op. No. 95-094-E.

A county supervisor may not be employed by a consulting firm that is presently contracting with the supervisor’s county, but the supervisor may contract with other governmental entities, including other counties, to help establish a self-help housing program through a federal grant when the supervisor’s county has a similar grant. Op. of Miss. Ethics Comm. Op. No. 95-096-E.

A county board of supervisors may not lease a building to house a local library when the building is owned by a member of the county library advisory board of trustees. Op. of Miss. Ethics Comm. Op. No. 95-120-E.

A county supervisor employed by a corporation within one year of the end of the supervisor’s term of office is in violation of Constitutional Section 109 and §25-4-105(2) if the corporation has existing contracts with the county or contracts with the county during the one year following the end of the supervisor’s term of office. Op. of Miss. Ethics Op. No. 96-039-E.

A corporation solely owned by four stockholders of the corporation employing the supervisor within one year of the end of the supervisor’s term of office may contract with the county if the corporation employing the supervisor is not its subcontractor or the corporation employing the supervisor is not providing materials to the corporation that can reasonably be expected to become a part of the contract with the county. Op. of Miss. Ethics Op. No. 96-039-E.

A supervisor’s county may do business with the supervisor’s brother’s company as a brother is not a relative under the conflict of interest laws’ definition set forth in §25-4-103(q). However, the county was cautioned regarding §25-4-101. Op. of Miss. Ethics Op. No. 96-039-E.

A company may employ a former supervisor within one year of his term even though a company with the same owners and address contracts with the county provided the former supervisor has no other direct or indirect interest in the company contracting with the county. Op. of Miss. Ethics Comm. Op. No. 96-039-ER.

A company that employed a former supervisor within one year of his term may be paid by the county for past due invoices if the former supervisor severs his employment with the company. Op. of Miss. Ethics Comm. Op. No. 96-039-ER.

A person appointed to fill only an interim term on the county board of supervisors may not return to his previous employment position with the county district that he was serving as supervisor when the interim term is over within one year thereafter as to do so would violate Constitutional Section 109 and Code Section 25-4-105(2). Op. of Miss. Ethics Comm. Op. No. 96-049-E.

A person appointed to fill only an interim term on the county board of supervisors may not return to his previous employment position with the county district that he was serving as supervisor when the interim term is over even though he abstained from any vote concerning the budget of the county. Op. of Miss. Ethics Comm. Op. No. 96-049-E.

A retail awards company solely owned by a county supervisor may sell trophies and other award items to the county school district. However, the company was cautioned regarding §25-4-105(1). Op. of Miss. Ethics Comm. Op. No. 96-066-E.

Constitutional Section 109 and §25-4-105(2) prohibit a county supervisor’s pharmacy from providing medication to the community hospital owned by the county he serves. Op. of Miss. Ethics Comm. Op. No. 96-097-E.

Constitutional Section 109 and §25-4-105(2) prohibit a county supervisor from serving as the city manager for a municipality that has existing interlocal agreements with the county under which the municipality pays the county to provide police, fire, street, drainage and recreation services. The supervisor was also cautioned regarding §25-4-101. Op. of Miss. Ethics Comm. Op. No. 96-110-E.

Article IV, § 109 of the Constitution and subsection (2) of §25-4-105 absolutely prohibit the county board of supervisors from authorizing a contract that provides assistance, directly or indirectly, to an industry when one of the supervisors has an ownership interest in the industry; this prohibition applies during the supervisor’s term and for one year thereafter. Op. of Miss. Ethics. Comm. Op. No. 97-142-E.

Constitutional Section 109 and Code Section 25-4-105(2) prohibit county supervisors from having an interest in any sixteenth section lease contracts with the county school district when the lease contracts’ rental amounts are approved by the county board of supervisors during the members’ terms or for one year thereafter. Op. of Miss. Ethics Comm. Op. No. 97-148-E.

Constitutional Section 109 and §25-4-105(2) prohibit a county supervisor’s company from contracting with a regional mental retardation commission during the county supervisor’s term or for one year thereafter when the county board of supervisors authorize funding to support the regional mental retardation commission by way of a discretionary tax levy. Op. of Miss. Ethics Comm. Op. No. 97-163-E.

A county administrator may serve as an advisory board member of a bank and own stock in the bank, even though the bank does business with the county, as long as the administrator owns less than 2 percent of the bank and his income from the bank remains under the $5,000.00 aggregate annual net income threshold. Op. of Miss. Ethics Comm. Op. No. 98-002-E.

The parent of a county supervisor may receive financial assistance for homeowner rehabilitation through a grant for the Home Investment Partnerships Program that was awarded to the county board of supervisors unless the supervisor is interested, directly or indirectly, in the parent’s receipt of the financial assistance for her homeowners’ rehabilitation and so long as the supervisor totally and completely recuses himself from any aspect of the grant/application process. Op. of Miss. Ethics Comm. Op. No. 98-015-E.

A county supervisor is not prohibited from serving as a member of a nonprofit corporation or from having an interest in a for-profit corporation that is involved in receiving federal or state loans or grants to fund housing projects; this is also true if the county supervisor is the executive director of a nonprofit corporation receiving federal or state loans or grants to fund housing projects. Op. of Miss. Ethics Comm. Op. No. 98-022-E.

A county supervisor’s child may not be employed by the county’s chancery clerk or the county’s circuit clerk if the county supervisor’s child is financially dependent on the county supervisor and if the employment position or its funding is authorized by the board of supervisors. Op. of Miss. Ethics Comm. Op. No. 98-025-E.

A county supervisor may not vote on an application by a corporation for an ad valorem tax exemption before the board of supervisors when the county supervisor is employed by the corporation with a salary in excess of $1,000. Op. of Miss. Ethics Comm. Op. No. 98-028-E.

A public school teacher may simultaneously serve as a county supervisor if he recuses himself from all matters coming before the county board of supervisors that concern his school district employer. Op. of Miss. Ethics Comm. Op. No. 98-068-E.

Article IV, Section 109 of the Constitution and subsection (2) of this section prohibit a county from paying a county supervisor a value-per-acre amount to acquire his property for right-of-way and to rebuild his fencing destroyed in the construction unless ordered to do so by a court of competent jurisdiction in an eminent domain proceeding. Op. of Miss. Ethics Comm. Op. No. 98-070-E.

A contract entered into between a county board of supervisors and a company in which a county port commissioner has a material financial interest is prohibited and therefore subject to being declared void by the county board of supervisors. Op. of Miss. Ethics Comm. Op. No. 98-093-E.

A county supervisor, through his plumbing business, may not install sewer lines for homeowners from their homes to a new sewer line being installed by one of the county’s waste water districts whose members are appointed by the board of supervisors if the waste water district’s ability to construct the new sewer line was in effect authorized in part by a discretionary action of the board of supervisors. Op. of Miss. Ethics Comm. Op. No. 98-107-E.

Article IV, Section 109 of the Constitution and subsection (2) of this section are not violated when a county board of supervisors appoints one of its member’s daughters to the board of commissioners of the local body corporate and politic, even if the supervisor has an interest in his daughter’s appointment, since the position on the board of commissioners is not held by contract. Op. of Miss. Ethics Comm. Op. No. 98-110-E.

It is not a violation of the state conflict of interest laws for an individual who owns one-third of an insurance group to serve as a member of the county board of supervisors when another individual who also has a one-third interest in the insurance group contracts to provide insurance to the county through an insurance company that is totally separate and apart from the insurance group. Op. of Miss. Ethics Comm. Op. No. 98-112-E.

It is not a violation of the state conflict of interest laws for a county supervisor’s business to contract with a county other than the county the supervisor is elected to serve. Op. of Miss. Ethics Comm. Op. No. 98-128-E.

A public school principal may serve as a member of the board of supervisors when his employing school district is located within the county he will serve as a supervisor; however, the principal must recuse himself from all matters coming before the county board of supervisors that concern his school district employer. Op. of Miss. Ethics Comm. Op. No. 98-138-E.

The state conflict of interest laws do not prohibit an individual’s simultaneous service as an employee of a state university and as a county supervisor; however, he should totally and completely recuse himself from any matter coming before the county board of supervisors concerning the state university. Op. of Miss. Ethics Comm. Op. No. 99-002-E.

It is not a violation of the conflict of interest laws for a city public works superintendent to simultaneously serve as a county supervisor when the employing city is located within the county he will serve since a city and a county are separate governmental entities; however, he will be required to recuse himself from all matters coming before the county board of supervisors that concern his city employer. Op. of Miss. Ethics Comm. Op. No. 99-008-E.

Article IV, Section 109 of the Constitution and subsection (2) of this section will absolutely prohibit an employee of county-owned hospital from continuing his employment, or from contracting in any other way, with the county-owned hospital if he is elected to the county board of supervisors after the board of supervisors approves its first budget submitted by the county-owned hospital. Op. of Miss. Ethics Comm. Op. No. 99-011-E.

A county supervisor may be employed by a community college funded by his or her county through a tax levy only if the current funding of the particular community college by the county board of supervisors is in a mandatory state by statute. Op. of Miss. Ethics Comm. Op. No. 99-018-E.

A county supervisor’s business is not prohibited from contracting with a city because the city is a separate governmental entity from the county; however, Article IV, Section 109 of the Constitution and subsection (2) of this section prohibit a county supervisor from having an interest, whether direct or indirect, in a contract with the state, or any district, county, city or town thereof, authorized by the supervisor’s board during his term or for one year thereafter. Op. of Miss. Ethics Comm. Op. No. 99-029-E.

The state conflict of interest laws do not prohibit a county supervisor from serving as a member of a nonprofit corporation or from having an interest in a for-profit corporation that is involved in receiving federal or state loans or grants to fund housing projects; this is also true if the county supervisor is the executive director of a nonprofit corporation receiving federal or state loans or grants to fund housing projects. Op. of Miss. Ethics Comm. Op. No. 99-033-E.

The spouse of a candidate for the board of supervisors may not remain employed by the county soil and water conservation commission if the candidate is elected to the board of supervisors when a portion of the spouse’s salary is paid by the board of supervisors through an agreement between the USDA-NRCS and the board of supervisors. Op. of Miss. Ethics Comm. Op. No. 99-058-E.

A local governmental entity’s board member, including a county supervisor, a municipal board member and/or a school board trustee, is absolutely prohibited from contracting with his or her governmental entity or the board member’s business contracting with his or her governmental entity during the board member’s term and for one year thereafter. Op. of Miss. Ethics Comm. Op. No. 99-067-E.

A county supervisor’s business is not as such prohibited from contracting with a city because the city is a separate governmental entity from the county. Op. of Miss. Ethics Comm. Op. No. 99-075-E.

A county supervisor’s business was prohibited from contracting with a city when the city was receiving discretionary gaming monies from the county board of supervisors and when the county and the city had numerous interlocal agreements currently in effect between them. Op. of Miss. Ethics Comm. Op. No. 99-075-E.

It is not as such a violation of the state conflict of interest laws for an individual employed by the Mississippi Department of Education as a school attendance officer to serve as a county supervisor or a member of a county school board of trustees. Op. of Miss. Ethics Comm. Op. No. 99-083-E.

The state conflict of interest laws do not as such prohibit a board member of a nonprofit rural water association from serving as a county supervisor. Op. of Miss. Ethics Comm. Op. No. 99-087-E.

A county may not contract with a supervisor’s child to provide architectural services to the county if the supervisor is directly or indirectly interested in the child’s contract. Op. of Miss. Ethics Comm. Op. No. 99-100-E.

The employment of a county supervisor’s financially dependent child in the county tax assessor’s office is prohibited. Op. of Miss. Ethics. Comm. Op. No. 99-115E.

A company could maintain an existing sixteenth section land lease where the principal owner of the company had been elected to serve on the county board of supervisors as the company’s authorization by the county board of supervisors was not during the owner’s term or within one year thereafter. Op. of Miss. Ethics. Comm. Op. No. 99-126-E.

A county supervisor cannot nominate his spouse to a county planning commission if the planning commission members are to receive per diem and/or expense reimbursements; the county supervisor would be required to totally and completely recuse himself from the consideration of his spouse’s appointment to the commission. Op. of Miss. Ethics. Comm. Op. No. 00-001-E.

A county supervisor is prohibited from having an employment contract with the county sheriff’s department during his term of office and is also prohibited from having an employment contract with the county sheriff’s department within one year of the end of his term of office. Op. of Miss. Ethics. Comm. Op. No. 00-002-E.

A former county supervisor can be employed by a municipal police department located within the county he served within one year of the end of his term, unless there exists a contract between the county and the city in which the former county supervisor, as a salaried police officer, would have a private pecuniary interest. Op. of Miss. Ethics. Comm. Op. No. 00-002-E.

A county cannot enter into a contract with an ambulance service that employs the son of one of the county supervisors where the son resides with the county supervisor, and a recusal or abstention by the county supervisor will not alter the result. Op. of Miss. Ethics. Comm. Op. No. 00-012-E.

A former county supervisor/planning and development district board member was prohibited from being employed by the planning and development district to perform landfill operation services under the planning and development district’s contract with the solid waste authority for one full year after the former county supervisor/planning and development district board member’s term ended. Op. of Miss. Ethics. Comm. Op. No. 00-013-E.

The spouse of a newly elected supervisor cannot remain employed by the county as a road employee in a beat other than the beat of the newly elected supervisor when the county operates under the beat system of road administration as a violation of the statute will occur once the newly elected supervisor’s spouse is paid with funds approved in a budget authorized by the county board of supervisors of which the newly elected supervisor is a member, and an abstention or recusal by the supervisor will not prevent the violation. Op. of Miss. Ethics. Comm. Op. No. 00-015-E.

A county cannot continue as a member of a nonprofit opportunity agency, and thereby continue to f