So at what point do we shift from an ethics related statute to a
“Public Officer Prohibited Activities Act”?
Sec. 3. Prohibited interest in contracts.
(a) No person holding any office, either by election or appointment under the laws or Constitution of this State, may be in any manner financially interested directly in his own name or indirectly in the name of any other person, association, trust, or corporation, in any contract or the performance of any work in the making or letting of which such officer may be called upon to act or vote.
The information we have in hand from Freedom of Information Requests reflect that not only has the Economic Interest statute been violated but appears violations of the Public Officer Prohibited Activities Act have been as well.
You see this particular elected official not only was receiving payments from the county treasure in his private capacity as a local business owner but he also sat on a board that was voting to approve those payments to himself and we have found no record of this person ever recusing himself from such a vote pertaining to those payments or abstaining and there are only 2 years of required ethic statement pertaining to economic disclosure. Each and every time present he supported the motion to pay the bills, which appears to be a direct violation of the law because they included payments to himself.
This particular statute outlines that anyone who violates any provision of the preceding sections of the statute is guilty of a Class 4 Felony.
What could be done under a guilty finding for this action?
Class 4 Felony
- Between 1 and 3 years in State Penitentiary; and/or
- Fine of up to $25,000
So if our DA were to get a guilty verdict there is a possibility of an additional $25,000 in revenue to be generated through enforcing the laws on the books.
Oh, wait, doesn’t each violation of the law constitute a charge? I have not totaled each time this person violated the statute but I do know off the top of my head it’s at least 10 separate times. Could that potentially be 10 separate charges, possibly leading to $250,000.00 in fines?
Got any good Lawyers out there that want to pipe in on this?
Revenue Generation through enforcing the law, what a concept!
Stay tuned for part 4!