Compatibility of Offices

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599. Concludes that village board's decision to replace retiring village attorney with two attorneys, one to prosecute ordinance violations and one to serve as general legal counsel, did not constitute creating a new position for purposes of sec. 66.11(2), Stats. Therefore, sec. 66.11(2), Stats., does not preclude a trustee from being appointed prosecuting attorney as long as the trustee resigns from the board before being appointed to the position. 5/18/98.

600. The Code of Judicial Conduct, Supreme Court Rule Ch. 60, prohibits municipal judges from holding more than one office of public trust and prohibits a judge from becoming a candidate for a federal, state or local nonjudicial elective office without first resigning his or her judgeship. 3/31/99.

601. If the post of assistant fire chief constitutes a "volunteer firefighter" under sec. 66.11(4) , Stats., then the same person may simultaneously serve as mayor and as assistant fire chief as long as the person is not paid more than $2,500 in compensation per year for serving as a firefighter. If the assistant fire chief is listed or classified under a city's ordinances as a city office, then that office would be incompatible with the office of mayor and sec. 66.11(4), Stats., would not apply. However, if, as is more likely, the office of assistant fire chief is not listed or classified under a city's ordinances as an office, then it is better characterized as a position of employment and covered by the exemption created by sec. 66.11(4), Stats., for "volunteer firefighters." 1/12/00.

602. Employment as police officer is incompatible with serving on common council and neither sec. 164.015, Stats., which guarantees law enforcement officers the right to engage in political activity when off duty, nor sec. 164.06, Stats., which provides that no municipality may prohibit a law enforcement officer from being a candidate for any elective office, removes that incompatibility. 4/12/01.

603. Offices of Village Clerk and Clerk for an abutting town are incompatible. 3/31/01.

604. Member of common council or village board can simultaneously serve as county supervisor. Tracks history of sec. 59.10(4), Stats. 4/14/02.

605. Discusses various ethics and conflict of interest laws and rules applicable to local government officials and employees and provides some hypothetical situations with answers. 10/31/02.

605R. Discusses various ethics and conflict of interest laws and rules applicable to local government officials and employees and provides some hypothetical situations with answers. Updated 12/30/11.

606. Office of trustee is incompatible with office of municipal judge because of village board's substantial control over municipal court and because it violates basic tenet of our government which requires separation of power between legislative and judicial branches. Trustee can run for the office but if elected would need to resign as trustee before qualifying for and assuming the office of municipal judge. If the office of municipal judge is newly created, however, and is initially filled by appointment under the limited circumstances permitted by Wis. Stat. sec. 17.245, sec. 66.0501(2) makes the trustee ineligible for appointment to the office of municipal judge during the entire term for which he or she was elected to office, even if he or she resigns as trustee. Interpreting the phrase "during the term for which the member is elected" in sec. 66.0501(2) as merely a prohibition on dual office holding would render the phrase meaningless. 12/7/06.

607. The paid fire chief of an organization that: provides fire protection and ambulance services to a city and two towns; is funded by taxpayer money and; is governed by a board of directors that is comprised of three city council members and four town board members is, at a minimum, a public position subject to the incompatibility doctrine.

608. The same person may not hold the office of city alderperson and the position of fire chief for an organization that: provides fire protection and ambulance services to a city and two towns; is funded by taxpayer money and; is governed by a board of directors that is comprised of three city council members and four town board members.