Is a citizen member of a municipally
created committee or commission a “public officer” for purposes of Wis.
Stat. sec. 895.46, which requires a municipality to indemnify or pay any
judgment for damages and costs entered against a “public officer” for
acts performed within the officer’s scope of employment?
Generally speaking, members of all municipal boards, commissions and
committees are considered public officers within the meaning of sec.
895.46, the indemnification statute. See 74 Op. Att’y Gen. 208 (1985)
(members of joint commissions created under sec. 66.30 (now sec.
66.0301), are public officers for purposes of sec. 895.46.) Also, Wis.
Stat. sec. 62.09(1), makes clear that a city’s officers include “such
other officers or boards as are created by law or by the council.”