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We have a Special Utility District, and the GMC has hired

Customer Question

We have a Special Utility District, and the GMC has hired his father to work directly under him. Is this legal?
JA: Because employment law varies from place to place, can you tell me what state this is in?
Customer: Texas, sorry.
JA: Has anything been filed or reported?
Customer: Not yet, board was just made awares.
JA: Anything else you want the lawyer to know before I connect you?
Customer: It was there General Manager nother GMC. LOL
Submitted: 2 months ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  Attorney2 replied 2 months ago.

Welcome to JA and thank you for your question. I will be the Attorney that will be assisting you.

Expert:  Attorney2 replied 2 months ago.

Just to be clear the Special Utility District is in a municipality, is that correct? Can you tell the State and local authority (county, city village) so that we can review their conflict of interest laws?

Customer: replied 2 months ago.
municipality. State of Texas, San Jacinto County, Coldspring.
San Jacinto Special Utility District
Expert:  Attorney2 replied 2 months ago.

I will see if I can up the local law. Generally if there is any pecuniary benefit to a family member it is a conflict of interest. Let me see if I can pull up their specific language.

Customer: replied 2 months ago.
do employees have the right to sit at the board table and interject and comment on every motion .
Expert:  Attorney2 replied 2 months ago.

That is what I want to find out. Just to verify am I in the right place http://sanjacintosud.com/about-us

Customer: replied 2 months ago.
Right place
Expert:  Attorney2 replied 2 months ago.

Great. They are not making it easy to pull up the local laws. They do claim governmental transparency. If they are so transparent I should have found the laws right away. Gove me a few moments. Thank you for your patience.

Expert:  Attorney2 replied 2 months ago.

What all of the legalese states blow is that it is improper for an employee to have a pecuniary interest in any government position. Hiring your father provides a pecuniary interest and is considered nepotism and is a violation unless it falls under some special exception. If the local Government will not deal with the issue contacting the Texas Attorney General is the next step as the AG is the top law enforcement official in the State and has jurisdiction over these types of matters. Government is required to be open and transparent. Here is a link for the AG https://texasattorneygeneral.gov/

TEXAS LOCAL GOVERNMENT CODE

TITLE 5. MATTERS AFFECTING PUBLIC OFFICERS AND EMPLOYEES

SUBTITLE C. MATTERS AFFECTING PUBLIC OFFICERS AND EMPLOYEES OF MORE THAN ONE TYPE OF LOCAL GOVERNMENT

CHAPTER 171. REGULATION OF CONFLICTS OF INTEREST OF OFFICERS OF MUNICIPALITIES, COUNTIES, AND CERTAIN OTHER LOCAL GOVERNMENTS

Sec. 171.001. DEFINITIONS. In this chapter:

(1) "Local public official" means a member of the governing body or another officer, whether elected, appointed, paid, or unpaid, of any district (including a school district), county, municipality, precinct, central appraisal district, transit authority or district, or other local governmental entity who exercises responsibilities beyond those that are advisory in nature.

(2) "Business entity" means a sole proprietorship, partnership, firm, corporation, holding company, joint-stock company, receivership, trust, or any other entity recognized by law.

Acts 1987, 70th Leg., ch. 149, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1987.

Sec. 171.002. SUBSTANTIAL INTEREST IN BUSINESS ENTITY. (a) For purposes of this chapter, a person has a substantial interest in a business entity if:

(1) the person owns 10 percent or more of the voting stock or shares of the business entity or owns either 10 percent or more or $15,000 or more of the fair market value of the business entity; or

(2) funds received by the person from the business entity exceed 10 percent of the person's gross income for the previous year.

(b) A person has a substantial interest in real property if the interest is an equitable or legal ownership with a fair market value of $2,500 or more.

(c) A local public official is considered to have a substantial interest under this section if a person related to the official in the first degree by consanguinity or affinity, as determined under Chapter 573, Government Code, has a substantial interest under this section.

Acts 1987, 70th Leg., ch. 149, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1987. Amended by Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 1, Sec. 40(a), eff. Aug. 28, 1989; Acts 1991, 72nd Leg., ch. 561, Sec. 37, eff. Aug. 26, 1991; Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 76, Sec. 5.95(27), eff. Sept. 1, 1995; Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 849, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1997.

Sec. 171.003. PROHIBITED ACTS; PENALTY. (a) A local public official commits an offense if the official knowingly:

(1) violates Section 171.004;

(2) acts as surety for a business entity that has work, business, or a contract with the governmental entity; or

(3) acts as surety on any official bond required of an officer of the governmental entity.

(b) An offense under this section is a Class A misdemeanor.

Acts 1987, 70th Leg., ch. 149, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1987. Amended by Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 1, Sec. 40(a), eff. Aug. 28, 1989.

Sec. 171.004. AFFIDAVIT AND ABSTENTION FROM VOTING REQUIRED. (a) If a local public official has a substantial interest in a business entity or in real property, the official shall file, before a vote or decision on any matter involving the business entity or the real property, an affidavit stating the nature and extent of the interest and shall abstain from further participation in the matter if:

(1) in the case of a substantial interest in a business entity the action on the matter will have a special economic effect on the business entity that is distinguishable from the effect on the public; or

(2) in the case of a substantial interest in real property, it is reasonably foreseeable that an action on the matter will have a special economic effect on the value of the property, distinguishable from its effect on the public.

(b) The affidavit must be filed with the official record keeper of the governmental entity.

(c) If a local public official is required to file and does file an affidavit under Subsection (a), the official is not required to abstain from further participation in the matter requiring the affidavit if a majority of the members of the governmental entity of which the official is a member is composed of persons who are likewise required to file and who do file affidavits of similar interests on the same official action.

Acts 1987, 70th Leg., ch. 149, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1987. Amended by Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 1, Sec. 40(a), eff. Aug. 28, 1989.

Sec. 171.005. VOTING ON BUDGET. (a) The governing body of a governmental entity shall take a separate vote on any budget item specifically dedicated to a contract with a business entity in which a member of the governing body has a substantial interest.

(b) Except as provided by Section 171.004(c), the affected member may not participate in that separate vote. The member may vote on a final budget if:

(1) the member has complied with this chapter; and

(2) the matter in which the member is concerned has been resolved.

Acts 1987, 70th Leg., ch. 149, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1987. Renumbered from Sec. 171.006 and amended by Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 1, Sec. 40(a), eff. Aug. 28, 1989.

Sec. 171.006. EFFECT OF VIOLATION OF CHAPTER. The finding by a court of a violation under this chapter does not render an action of the governing body voidable unless the measure that was the subject of an action involving a conflict of interest would not have passed the governing body without the vote of the person who violated the chapter.

Acts 1987, 70th Leg., ch. 149, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1987. Renumbered from Sec. 171.008 by Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 1, Sec. 40(a), eff. Aug. 28, 1989.

Sec. 171.007. COMMON LAW PREEMPTED; CUMULATIVE OF MUNICIPAL PROVISIONS. (a) This chapter preempts the common law of conflict of interests as applied to local public officials.

(b) This chapter is cumulative of municipal charter provisions and municipal ordinances defining and prohibiting conflicts of interests.

Amended by Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 1, Sec. 40(a), eff. Aug. 28, 1989." http://www.statutes.legis.state.tx.us/Docs/LG/htm/LG.171.htm

Now on to Nepotism

TEXAS GOVERNMENT CODE

"TITLE 5. OPEN GOVERNMENT; ETHICS

SUBTITLE B. ETHICS

CHAPTER 573. DEGREES OF RELATIONSHIP; NEPOTISM PROHIBITIONS

SUBCHAPTER A. GENERAL PROVISIONS

Sec. 573.001. DEFINITIONS. In this chapter:

(1) "Candidate" has the meaning assigned by Section 251.001, Election Code.

(2) "Position" includes an office, clerkship, employment, or duty.

(3) "Public official" means:

(A) an officer of this state or of a district, county, municipality, precinct, school district, or other political subdivision of this state;

(B) an officer or member of a board of this state or of a district, county, municipality, school district, or other political subdivision of this state; or

(C) a judge of a court created by or under a statute of this state.

Added by Acts 1993, 73rd Leg., ch. 268, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1993.

Sec. 573.002. DEGREES OF RELATIONSHIP. Except as provided by Section 573.043, this chapter applies to relationships within the third degree by consanguinity or within the second degree by affinity.

Added by Acts 1993, 73rd Leg., ch. 268, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1993.

SUBCHAPTER B. RELATIONSHIPS BY CONSANGUINITY OR BY AFFINITY

Sec. 573.021. METHOD OF COMPUTING DEGREE OF RELATIONSHIP. The degree of a relationship is computed by the civil law method.

Added by Acts 1993, 73rd Leg., ch. 268, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1993.

Sec. 573.022. DETERMINATION OF CONSANGUINITY. (a) Two individuals are related to each other by consanguinity if:

(1) one is a descendant of the other; or

(2) they share a common ancestor.

(b) An adopted child is considered to be a child of the adoptive parent for this purpose.

Added by Acts 1993, 73rd Leg., ch. 268, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1993.

Sec. 573.023. COMPUTATION OF DEGREE OF CONSANGUINITY. (a) The degree of relationship by consanguinity between an individual and the individual's descendant is determined by the number of generations that separate them. A parent and child are related in the first degree, a grandparent and grandchild in the second degree, a great-grandparent and great-grandchild in the third degree and so on.

(b) If an individual and the individual's relative are related by consanguinity, but neither is descended from the other, the degree of relationship is determined by adding:

(1) the number of generations between the individual and the nearest common ancestor of the individual and the individual's relative; and

(2) the number of generations between the relative and the nearest common ancestor.

(c) An individual's relatives within the third degree by consanguinity are the individual's:

(1) parent or child (relatives in the first degree);

(2) brother, sister, grandparent, or grandchild (relatives in the second degree); and

(3) great-grandparent, great-grandchild, aunt who is a sister of a parent of the individual, uncle who is a brother of a parent of the individual, nephew who is a child of a brother or sister of the individual, or niece who is a child of a brother or sister of the individual (relatives in the third degree).

Added by Acts 1993, 73rd Leg., ch. 268, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1993.

Sec. 573.024. DETERMINATION OF AFFINITY. (a) Two individuals are related to each other by affinity if:

(1) they are married to each other; or

(2) the spouse of one of the individuals is related by consanguinity to the other individual.

(b) The ending of a marriage by divorce or the death of a spouse ends relationships by affinity created by that marriage unless a child of that marriage is living, in which case the marriage is considered to continue as long as a child of that marriage lives.

(c) Subsection (b) applies to a member of the board of trustees of or an officer of a school district only until the youngest child of the marriage reaches the age of 21 years.

Added by Acts 1993, 73rd Leg., ch. 268, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1993. Amended by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 260, Sec. 32, eff. May 30, 1995.

Sec. 573.025. COMPUTATION OF DEGREE OF AFFINITY. (a) A husband and wife are related to each other in the first degree by affinity. For other relationships by affinity, the degree of relationship is the same as the degree of the underlying relationship by consanguinity. For example: if two individuals are related to each other in the second degree by consanguinity, the spouse of one of the individuals is related to the other individual in the second degree by affinity.

(b) An individual's relatives within the third degree by affinity are:

(1) anyone related by consanguinity to the individual's spouse in one of the ways named in Section 573.023(c); and

(2) the spouse of anyone related to the individual by consanguinity in one of the ways named in Section 573.023(c).

Added by Acts 1993, 73rd Leg., ch. 268, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1993.

SUBCHAPTER C. NEPOTISM PROHIBITIONS

Sec. 573.041. PROHIBITION APPLICABLE TO PUBLIC OFFICIAL. A public official may not appoint, confirm the appointment of, or vote for the appointment or confirmation of the appointment of an individual to a position that is to be directly or indirectly compensated from public funds or fees of office if:

(1) the individual is related to the public official within a degree described by Section 573.002; or

(2) the public official holds the appointment or confirmation authority as a member of a state or local board, the legislature, or a court and the individual is related to another member of that board, legislature, or court within a degree described by Section 573.002.

Added by Acts 1993, 73rd Leg., ch. 268, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1993.

Sec. 573.042. PROHIBITION APPLICABLE TO CANDIDATE. (a) A candidate may not take an affirmative action to influence the following individuals regarding the appointment, reappointment, confirmation of the appointment or reappointment, employment, reemployment, change in status, compensation, or dismissal of another individual related to the candidate within a degree described by Section 573.002:

(1) an employee of the office to which the candidate seeks election; or

(2) an employee or another officer of the governmental body to which the candidate seeks election, if the office the candidate seeks is one office of a multimember governmental body.

(b) The prohibition imposed by this section does not apply to a candidate's actions taken regarding a bona fide class or category of employees or prospective employees.

Added by Acts 1993, 73rd Leg., ch. 268, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1993.

Sec. 573.043. PROHIBITION APPLICABLE TO DISTRICT JUDGE. A district judge may not appoint as official stenographer of the judge's district an individual related to the judge or to the district attorney of the district within the third degree.

Added by Acts 1993, 73rd Leg., ch. 268, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1993.

Sec. 573.044. PROHIBITION APPLICABLE TO TRADING. A public official may not appoint, confirm the appointment of, or vote for the appointment or confirmation of the appointment of an individual to a position in which the individual's services are under the public official's direction or control and that is to be compensated directly or indirectly from public funds or fees of office if:

(1) the individual is related to another public official within a degree described by Section 573.002; and

(2) the appointment, confirmation of the appointment, or vote for appointment or confirmation of the appointment would be carried out in whole or partial consideration for the other public official appointing, confirming the appointment, or voting for the appointment or confirmation of the appointment of an individual who is related to the first public official within a degree described by Section 573.002.

Added by Acts 1993, 73rd Leg., ch. 268, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1993.

SUBCHAPTER D. EXCEPTIONS

Sec. 573.061. GENERAL EXCEPTIONS. Section 573.041 does not apply to:

(1) an appointment to the office of a notary public or to the confirmation of that appointment;

(2) an appointment of a page, secretary, attendant, or other employee by the legislature for attendance on any member of the legislature who, because of physical infirmities, is required to have a personal attendant;

(3) a confirmation of the appointment of an appointee appointed to a first term on a date when no individual related to the appointee within a degree described by Section 573.002 was a member of or a candidate for the legislature, or confirmation on reappointment of the appointee to any subsequent consecutive term;

(4) an appointment or employment of a bus driver by a school district if:

(A) the district is located wholly in a county with a population of less than 35,000; or

(B) the district is located in more than one county and the county in which the largest part of the district is located has a population of less than 35,000;

(5) an appointment or employment of a personal attendant by an officer of the state or a political subdivision of the state for attendance on the officer who, because of physical infirmities, is required to have a personal attendant;

(6) an appointment or employment of a substitute teacher by a school district;

(7) an appointment or employment of a person by a municipality that has a population of less than 200; or

(8) an appointment of an election clerk under Section 32.031, Election Code, who is not related in the first degree by consanguinity or affinity to an elected official of the authority that appoints the election judges for that election.

Added by Acts 1993, 73rd Leg., ch. 268, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1993. Amended by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 76, Sec. 5.07(a), eff. Sept. 1, 1995; Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 260, Sec. 33, eff. May 30, 1995; Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 165, Sec. 31.01(48), eff. Sept. 1, 1997; Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 1026, Sec. 1, eff. June 18, 1999.

Amended by:

Acts 2011, 82nd Leg., R.S., Ch. 1002 (H.B. 2194), Sec. 14, eff. September 1, 2011.

Sec. 573.062. CONTINUOUS EMPLOYMENT. (a) A nepotism prohibition prescribed by Section 573.041 or by a municipal charter or ordinance does not apply to an appointment, confirmation of an appointment, or vote for an appointment or confirmation of an appointment of an individual to a position if:

(1) the individual is employed in the position immediately before the election or appointment of the public official to whom the individual is related in a prohibited degree; and

(2) that prior employment of the individual is continuous for at least:

(A) 30 days, if the public official is appointed;

(B) six months, if the public official is elected at an election other than the general election for state and county officers; or

(C) one year, if the public official is elected at the general election for state and county officers.

(b) If, under Subsection (a), an individual continues in a position, the public official to whom the individual is related in a prohibited degree may not participate in any deliberation or voting on the appointment, reappointment, confirmation of the appointment or reappointment, employment, reemployment, change in status, compensation, or dismissal of the individual if that action applies only to the individual and is not taken regarding a bona fide class or category of employees.

Added by Acts 1993, 73rd Leg., ch. 268, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1993.

SUBCHAPTER E. ENFORCEMENT

Sec. 573.081. REMOVAL IN GENERAL. (a) An individual who violates Subchapter C or Section 573.062(b) shall be removed from the individual's position. The removal must be made in accordance with the removal provisions in the constitution of this state, if applicable. If a provision of the constitution does not govern the removal, the removal must be by a quo warranto proceeding.

(b) A removal from a position shall be made immediately and summarily by the original appointing authority if a criminal conviction against the appointee for a violation of Subchapter C or Section 573.062(b) becomes final. If the removal is not made within 30 days after the date the conviction becomes final, the individual holding the position may be removed under Subsection (a).

Added by Acts 1993, 73rd Leg., ch. 268, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1993." http://www.statutes.legis.state.tx.us/Docs/GV/htm/GV.573.htm

Sec. 573.083. WITHHOLDING PAYMENT OF COMPENSATION. A public official may not approve an account or draw or authorize the drawing of a warrant or order to pay the compensation of an ineligible individual if the official knows the individual is ineligible.

Added by Acts 1993, 73rd Leg., ch. 268, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1993.

Sec. 573.084. CRIMINAL PENALTY. (a) An individual commits an offense involving official misconduct if the individual violates Subchapter C or Section 573.062(b) or 573.083.

(b) An offense under this section is a misdemeanor punishable by a fine not less than $100 or more than $1,000.

Added by Acts 1993, 73rd Leg., ch. 268, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1993.

Sec. 171.010. PRACTICE OF LAW. (a) For purposes of this chapter, a county judge or county commissioner engaged in the private practice of law has a substantial interest in a business entity if the official has entered a court appearance or signed court pleadings in a matter relating to that business entity.

Please do not hesitate to ask me any additional questions that you may have with regard to this matter as it would be my pleasure to assist you.

If you would be kind enough to rate my service positively so I will receive credit for my time and work I would appreciate it.

YOU DO NOT NEED TO PROVIDE A NEGATIVE RATING TO RECEIVE A REFUND.

Expert:  Attorney2 replied 2 months ago.

What all of the legalese states below is that it is improper for an employee to have a pecuniary interest in any government position. Hiring your father provides a pecuniary interest and is considered nepotism and is a violation unless it falls under some special exception. If the local Government will not deal with the issue contacting the Texas Attorney General is the next step as the AG is the top law enforcement official in the State and has jurisdiction over these types of matters. Government is required to be open and transparent. Here is a link for the AG https://texasattorneygeneral.gov/

TEXAS LOCAL GOVERNMENT CODE

TITLE 5. MATTERS AFFECTING PUBLIC OFFICERS AND EMPLOYEES

SUBTITLE C. MATTERS AFFECTING PUBLIC OFFICERS AND EMPLOYEES OF MORE THAN ONE TYPE OF LOCAL GOVERNMENT

CHAPTER 171. REGULATION OF CONFLICTS OF INTEREST OF OFFICERS OF MUNICIPALITIES, COUNTIES, AND CERTAIN OTHER LOCAL GOVERNMENTS

Sec. 171.001. DEFINITIONS. In this chapter:

(1) "Local public official" means a member of the governing body or another officer, whether elected, appointed, paid, or unpaid, of any district (including a school district), county, municipality, precinct, central appraisal district, transit authority or district, or other local governmental entity who exercises responsibilities beyond those that are advisory in nature.

(2) "Business entity" means a sole proprietorship, partnership, firm, corporation, holding company, joint-stock company, receivership, trust, or any other entity recognized by law.

Acts 1987, 70th Leg., ch. 149, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1987.

Sec. 171.002. SUBSTANTIAL INTEREST IN BUSINESS ENTITY. (a) For purposes of this chapter, a person has a substantial interest in a business entity if:

(1) the person owns 10 percent or more of the voting stock or shares of the business entity or owns either 10 percent or more or $15,000 or more of the fair market value of the business entity; or

(2) funds received by the person from the business entity exceed 10 percent of the person's gross income for the previous year.

(b) A person has a substantial interest in real property if the interest is an equitable or legal ownership with a fair market value of $2,500 or more.

(c) A local public official is considered to have a substantial interest under this section if a person related to the official in the first degree by consanguinity or affinity, as determined under Chapter 573, Government Code, has a substantial interest under this section.

Acts 1987, 70th Leg., ch. 149, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1987. Amended by Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 1, Sec. 40(a), eff. Aug. 28, 1989; Acts 1991, 72nd Leg., ch. 561, Sec. 37, eff. Aug. 26, 1991; Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 76, Sec. 5.95(27), eff. Sept. 1, 1995; Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 849, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1997.

Sec. 171.003. PROHIBITED ACTS; PENALTY. (a) A local public official commits an offense if the official knowingly:

(1) violates Section 171.004;

(2) acts as surety for a business entity that has work, business, or a contract with the governmental entity; or

(3) acts as surety on any official bond required of an officer of the governmental entity.

(b) An offense under this section is a Class A misdemeanor.

Acts 1987, 70th Leg., ch. 149, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1987. Amended by Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 1, Sec. 40(a), eff. Aug. 28, 1989.

Sec. 171.004. AFFIDAVIT AND ABSTENTION FROM VOTING REQUIRED. (a) If a local public official has a substantial interest in a business entity or in real property, the official shall file, before a vote or decision on any matter involving the business entity or the real property, an affidavit stating the nature and extent of the interest and shall abstain from further participation in the matter if:

(1) in the case of a substantial interest in a business entity the action on the matter will have a special economic effect on the business entity that is distinguishable from the effect on the public; or

(2) in the case of a substantial interest in real property, it is reasonably foreseeable that an action on the matter will have a special economic effect on the value of the property, distinguishable from its effect on the public.

(b) The affidavit must be filed with the official record keeper of the governmental entity.

(c) If a local public official is required to file and does file an affidavit under Subsection (a), the official is not required to abstain from further participation in the matter requiring the affidavit if a majority of the members of the governmental entity of which the official is a member is composed of persons who are likewise required to file and who do file affidavits of similar interests on the same official action.

Acts 1987, 70th Leg., ch. 149, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1987. Amended by Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 1, Sec. 40(a), eff. Aug. 28, 1989.

Sec. 171.005. VOTING ON BUDGET. (a) The governing body of a governmental entity shall take a separate vote on any budget item specifically dedicated to a contract with a business entity in which a member of the governing body has a substantial interest.

(b) Except as provided by Section 171.004(c), the affected member may not participate in that separate vote. The member may vote on a final budget if:

(1) the member has complied with this chapter; and

(2) the matter in which the member is concerned has been resolved.

Acts 1987, 70th Leg., ch. 149, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1987. Renumbered from Sec. 171.006 and amended by Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 1, Sec. 40(a), eff. Aug. 28, 1989.

Sec. 171.006. EFFECT OF VIOLATION OF CHAPTER. The finding by a court of a violation under this chapter does not render an action of the governing body voidable unless the measure that was the subject of an action involving a conflict of interest would not have passed the governing body without the vote of the person who violated the chapter.

Acts 1987, 70th Leg., ch. 149, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1987. Renumbered from Sec. 171.008 by Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 1, Sec. 40(a), eff. Aug. 28, 1989.

Sec. 171.007. COMMON LAW PREEMPTED; CUMULATIVE OF MUNICIPAL PROVISIONS. (a) This chapter preempts the common law of conflict of interests as applied to local public officials.

(b) This chapter is cumulative of municipal charter provisions and municipal ordinances defining and prohibiting conflicts of interests.

Amended by Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 1, Sec. 40(a), eff. Aug. 28, 1989." http://www.statutes.legis.state.tx.us/Docs/LG/htm/LG.171.htm

Now on to Nepotism

TEXAS GOVERNMENT CODE

"TITLE 5. OPEN GOVERNMENT; ETHICS

SUBTITLE B. ETHICS

CHAPTER 573. DEGREES OF RELATIONSHIP; NEPOTISM PROHIBITIONS

SUBCHAPTER A. GENERAL PROVISIONS

Sec. 573.001. DEFINITIONS. In this chapter:

(1) "Candidate" has the meaning assigned by Section 251.001, Election Code.

(2) "Position" includes an office, clerkship, employment, or duty.

(3) "Public official" means:

(A) an officer of this state or of a district, county, municipality, precinct, school district, or other political subdivision of this state;

(B) an officer or member of a board of this state or of a district, county, municipality, school district, or other political subdivision of this state; or

(C) a judge of a court created by or under a statute of this state.

Added by Acts 1993, 73rd Leg., ch. 268, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1993.

Sec. 573.002. DEGREES OF RELATIONSHIP. Except as provided by Section 573.043, this chapter applies to relationships within the third degree by consanguinity or within the second degree by affinity.

Added by Acts 1993, 73rd Leg., ch. 268, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1993.

SUBCHAPTER B. RELATIONSHIPS BY CONSANGUINITY OR BY AFFINITY

Sec. 573.021. METHOD OF COMPUTING DEGREE OF RELATIONSHIP. The degree of a relationship is computed by the civil law method.

Added by Acts 1993, 73rd Leg., ch. 268, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1993.

Sec. 573.022. DETERMINATION OF CONSANGUINITY. (a) Two individuals are related to each other by consanguinity if:

(1) one is a descendant of the other; or

(2) they share a common ancestor.

(b) An adopted child is considered to be a child of the adoptive parent for this purpose.

Added by Acts 1993, 73rd Leg., ch. 268, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1993.

Sec. 573.023. COMPUTATION OF DEGREE OF CONSANGUINITY. (a) The degree of relationship by consanguinity between an individual and the individual's descendant is determined by the number of generations that separate them. A parent and child are related in the first degree, a grandparent and grandchild in the second degree, a great-grandparent and great-grandchild in the third degree and so on.

(b) If an individual and the individual's relative are related by consanguinity, but neither is descended from the other, the degree of relationship is determined by adding:

(1) the number of generations between the individual and the nearest common ancestor of the individual and the individual's relative; and

(2) the number of generations between the relative and the nearest common ancestor.

(c) An individual's relatives within the third degree by consanguinity are the individual's:

(1) parent or child (relatives in the first degree);

(2) brother, sister, grandparent, or grandchild (relatives in the second degree); and

(3) great-grandparent, great-grandchild, aunt who is a sister of a parent of the individual, uncle who is a brother of a parent of the individual, nephew who is a child of a brother or sister of the individual, or niece who is a child of a brother or sister of the individual (relatives in the third degree).

Added by Acts 1993, 73rd Leg., ch. 268, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1993.

Sec. 573.024. DETERMINATION OF AFFINITY. (a) Two individuals are related to each other by affinity if:

(1) they are married to each other; or

(2) the spouse of one of the individuals is related by consanguinity to the other individual.

(b) The ending of a marriage by divorce or the death of a spouse ends relationships by affinity created by that marriage unless a child of that marriage is living, in which case the marriage is considered to continue as long as a child of that marriage lives.

(c) Subsection (b) applies to a member of the board of trustees of or an officer of a school district only until the youngest child of the marriage reaches the age of 21 years.

Added by Acts 1993, 73rd Leg., ch. 268, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1993. Amended by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 260, Sec. 32, eff. May 30, 1995.

Sec. 573.025. COMPUTATION OF DEGREE OF AFFINITY. (a) A husband and wife are related to each other in the first degree by affinity. For other relationships by affinity, the degree of relationship is the same as the degree of the underlying relationship by consanguinity. For example: if two individuals are related to each other in the second degree by consanguinity, the spouse of one of the individuals is related to the other individual in the second degree by affinity.

(b) An individual's relatives within the third degree by affinity are:

(1) anyone related by consanguinity to the individual's spouse in one of the ways named in Section 573.023(c); and

(2) the spouse of anyone related to the individual by consanguinity in one of the ways named in Section 573.023(c).

Added by Acts 1993, 73rd Leg., ch. 268, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1993.

SUBCHAPTER C. NEPOTISM PROHIBITIONS

Sec. 573.041. PROHIBITION APPLICABLE TO PUBLIC OFFICIAL. A public official may not appoint, confirm the appointment of, or vote for the appointment or confirmation of the appointment of an individual to a position that is to be directly or indirectly compensated from public funds or fees of office if:

(1) the individual is related to the public official within a degree described by Section 573.002; or

(2) the public official holds the appointment or confirmation authority as a member of a state or local board, the legislature, or a court and the individual is related to another member of that board, legislature, or court within a degree described by Section 573.002.

Added by Acts 1993, 73rd Leg., ch. 268, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1993.

Sec. 573.042. PROHIBITION APPLICABLE TO CANDIDATE. (a) A candidate may not take an affirmative action to influence the following individuals regarding the appointment, reappointment, confirmation of the appointment or reappointment, employment, reemployment, change in status, compensation, or dismissal of another individual related to the candidate within a degree described by Section 573.002:

(1) an employee of the office to which the candidate seeks election; or

(2) an employee or another officer of the governmental body to which the candidate seeks election, if the office the candidate seeks is one office of a multimember governmental body.

(b) The prohibition imposed by this section does not apply to a candidate's actions taken regarding a bona fide class or category of employees or prospective employees.

Added by Acts 1993, 73rd Leg., ch. 268, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1993.

Sec. 573.043. PROHIBITION APPLICABLE TO DISTRICT JUDGE. A district judge may not appoint as official stenographer of the judge's district an individual related to the judge or to the district attorney of the district within the third degree.

Added by Acts 1993, 73rd Leg., ch. 268, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1993.

Sec. 573.044. PROHIBITION APPLICABLE TO TRADING. A public official may not appoint, confirm the appointment of, or vote for the appointment or confirmation of the appointment of an individual to a position in which the individual's services are under the public official's direction or control and that is to be compensated directly or indirectly from public funds or fees of office if:

(1) the individual is related to another public official within a degree described by Section 573.002; and

(2) the appointment, confirmation of the appointment, or vote for appointment or confirmation of the appointment would be carried out in whole or partial consideration for the other public official appointing, confirming the appointment, or voting for the appointment or confirmation of the appointment of an individual who is related to the first public official within a degree described by Section 573.002.

Added by Acts 1993, 73rd Leg., ch. 268, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1993.

SUBCHAPTER D. EXCEPTIONS

Sec. 573.061. GENERAL EXCEPTIONS. Section 573.041 does not apply to:

(1) an appointment to the office of a notary public or to the confirmation of that appointment;

(2) an appointment of a page, secretary, attendant, or other employee by the legislature for attendance on any member of the legislature who, because of physical infirmities, is required to have a personal attendant;

(3) a confirmation of the appointment of an appointee appointed to a first term on a date when no individual related to the appointee within a degree described by Section 573.002 was a member of or a candidate for the legislature, or confirmation on reappointment of the appointee to any subsequent consecutive term;

(4) an appointment or employment of a bus driver by a school district if:

(A) the district is located wholly in a county with a population of less than 35,000; or

(B) the district is located in more than one county and the county in which the largest part of the district is located has a population of less than 35,000;

(5) an appointment or employment of a personal attendant by an officer of the state or a political subdivision of the state for attendance on the officer who, because of physical infirmities, is required to have a personal attendant;

(6) an appointment or employment of a substitute teacher by a school district;

(7) an appointment or employment of a person by a municipality that has a population of less than 200; or

(8) an appointment of an election clerk under Section 32.031, Election Code, who is not related in the first degree by consanguinity or affinity to an elected official of the authority that appoints the election judges for that election.

Added by Acts 1993, 73rd Leg., ch. 268, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1993. Amended by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 76, Sec. 5.07(a), eff. Sept. 1, 1995; Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 260, Sec. 33, eff. May 30, 1995; Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 165, Sec. 31.01(48), eff. Sept. 1, 1997; Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 1026, Sec. 1, eff. June 18, 1999.

Amended by:

Acts 2011, 82nd Leg., R.S., Ch. 1002 (H.B. 2194), Sec. 14, eff. September 1, 2011.

Sec. 573.062. CONTINUOUS EMPLOYMENT. (a) A nepotism prohibition prescribed by Section 573.041 or by a municipal charter or ordinance does not apply to an appointment, confirmation of an appointment, or vote for an appointment or confirmation of an appointment of an individual to a position if:

(1) the individual is employed in the position immediately before the election or appointment of the public official to whom the individual is related in a prohibited degree; and

(2) that prior employment of the individual is continuous for at least:

(A) 30 days, if the public official is appointed;

(B) six months, if the public official is elected at an election other than the general election for state and county officers; or

(C) one year, if the public official is elected at the general election for state and county officers.

(b) If, under Subsection (a), an individual continues in a position, the public official to whom the individual is related in a prohibited degree may not participate in any deliberation or voting on the appointment, reappointment, confirmation of the appointment or reappointment, employment, reemployment, change in status, compensation, or dismissal of the individual if that action applies only to the individual and is not taken regarding a bona fide class or category of employees.

Added by Acts 1993, 73rd Leg., ch. 268, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1993.

SUBCHAPTER E. ENFORCEMENT

Sec. 573.081. REMOVAL IN GENERAL. (a) An individual who violates Subchapter C or Section 573.062(b) shall be removed from the individual's position. The removal must be made in accordance with the removal provisions in the constitution of this state, if applicable. If a provision of the constitution does not govern the removal, the removal must be by a quo warranto proceeding.

(b) A removal from a position shall be made immediately and summarily by the original appointing authority if a criminal conviction against the appointee for a violation of Subchapter C or Section 573.062(b) becomes final. If the removal is not made within 30 days after the date the conviction becomes final, the individual holding the position may be removed under Subsection (a).

Added by Acts 1993, 73rd Leg., ch. 268, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1993." http://www.statutes.legis.state.tx.us/Docs/GV/htm/GV.573.htm

Sec. 573.083. WITHHOLDING PAYMENT OF COMPENSATION. A public official may not approve an account or draw or authorize the drawing of a warrant or order to pay the compensation of an ineligible individual if the official knows the individual is ineligible.

Added by Acts 1993, 73rd Leg., ch. 268, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1993.

Sec. 573.084. CRIMINAL PENALTY. (a) An individual commits an offense involving official misconduct if the individual violates Subchapter C or Section 573.062(b) or 573.083.

(b) An offense under this section is a misdemeanor punishable by a fine not less than $100 or more than $1,000.

Added by Acts 1993, 73rd Leg., ch. 268, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1993.

Sec. 171.010. PRACTICE OF LAW. (a) For purposes of this chapter, a county judge or county commissioner engaged in the private practice of law has a substantial interest in a business entity if the official has entered a court appearance or signed court pleadings in a matter relating to that business entity." http://www.statutes.legis.state.tx.us/Docs/GV/htm/GV.573.htm

Please do not hesitate to ask me any additional questions that you may have with regard to this matter as it would be my pleasure to assist you.

If you would be kind enough to rate my service positively so I will receive credit for my time and work I would appreciate it.

YOU DO NOT NEED TO PROVIDE A NEGATIVE RATING TO RECEIVE A REFUND.

Customer: replied 2 months ago.
I'm more confused now.
Expert:  Attorney2 replied 2 months ago.

You cannot hire family.

Expert:  Attorney2 replied 2 months ago.

You stated

We have a Special Utility District, and the GMC has hired his father to work directly under him. Is this legal? This is nepotism. This is not permitted under the law.

If the local government won't take action the Attorney General will. Y

Customer: replied 2 months ago.
I'm confused by all this
Expert:  Attorney2 replied 2 months ago.

Did you not ask if the father could be hired by the son?

Customer: replied 2 months ago.
The father has been hired by his son
Expert:  Attorney2 replied 2 months ago.

Did you ask if this was legal?

Expert:  Attorney2 replied 2 months ago.

Are you still with me?

"The technical definition of nepotism is "bestowal of patronage by public officers in appointing others to positions by reason of blood or marital relationship."

Nearly half the states restrict nepotism to varying degrees - prohibiting a legislator from hiring a relative either through statute or by constitution. In states where the practice is not prohibited, states have conflict-of-interest laws, which may restrict nepotism depending on interpretation of the law. Many states regulate the degree of relationship between legislators and the relative they wish to hire. A number of states with no specific nepotism prohibition have established hiring guidelines for legislators." http://www.ncsl.org/research/ethics/50-state-table-nepotism-restrictions.aspx

Customer: replied 2 months ago.
still here. So who do I first contact ,the AG?
Expert:  Attorney2 replied 2 months ago.

You let the local government know first and if they do not correct the situation the AG would be the next step. Nepotism is a huge problem in government not to mention unfair and stacks the deck against the citizens.

AG contact https://texasattorneygeneral.gov/

Expert:  Attorney2 replied 2 months ago.

The attorneys do not receive credit for their work unless the customer rates them positively. If you would be kind enough to rate me positively so I will receive credit for my work I would appreciate. If you were unhappy let me know so I can request a refund for you.

Expert:  Attorney2 replied 2 months ago.

Please ignore the additional services post.

Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 2 months ago.
Thank you for your question. I look forward to working with you to provide you the information you are seeking for educational purposes only.
I am a DIFFERENT CONTRIBUTOR, your previous expert has left. Do you still require assistance with additional information?
Customer: replied 2 months ago.
No!!!!
Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 2 months ago.
Good luck to you. Have a wonderful day.