Pecuniary Interest

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382. A village trustee who has indicated an interest in seeking the position of village manager would not violate sees. 946.13, 946.12 or 19.59, Stats., by voting on a charter ordinance imposing a residency requirement on the village manager. However, a village ordinance prohibiting board members from voting on any proposed ordinance in which the trustee "may be personally interested other than as a citizen of the village" prohibits the trustee from voting on the charter ordinance imposing a residency requirement on the village manager. 10/21/97.

383. Trustee who applied for the position of ordinance prosecutor for the village before resigning from office probably violated provision in sec. 946.13, Stats., prohibiting public officials, in their private capacity, from negotiating, bidding for or entering into a contract in which the officer has a pecuniary interest, if the officer is authorized to participate in the making of the contract. Sec. 946.13(1)(a), Stats. 5/18/98. This opinion is available upon request from the League office.

384. Where school district's administrator wrote letter indicating school district supported proposed annexation because it would be favorable to the school's tax base, village president employed by school district as teacher did not violate sec. 19.59, Stats., by voting on the annexation because the school was not an organization with which the president was associated, as defined by sec. 19.42(2) and (11), and teacher's continued employment and any emoluments of employment could not reasonably be viewed as influencing the president's vote or as a reward for the president's vote on the matter. 4/9/01.

385. While the potential for conflict of interest is a relevant consideration for appointing authorities reviewing potential appointees' qualifications for a public office or position, conflict of interest laws do not prevent a person from being appointed because of an actual or potential conflict of interest. Conflict of interest laws therefore do not prohibit an executive director of a privately-funded, non-profit organization that promotes a city's downtown or central business district from being appointed to a city committee that is responsible for administering commercial property rehabilitation loans made available through CDBG monies. 5/31/01.

386. Although § 66.0501(2), Stats., requires only that a governing body member resign before being appointed in order to be eligible to hold an office or position the selection to which is vested in the governing body and which was not created during the member's term, a governing body member should resign prior to applying to ensure that he or she does not violate §§ 946.13(1)(a) and 19.59(1)(a) Stats. 10/29/01.

387. Federal Transportation Authority's requirement that grant recipients maintain a written code of standards of conduct governing the performance of employees and officers engaged in the award and administration of contracts did not necessarily preclude mayor's employment by local taxi service subsidized by state and federal funds where mayor abstained from all discussion and action pertaining to taxi service. The city council could define "substantial interest" or "personally benefiting interest" so as to exclude an interest in an indirect contract where the city officer or employee's interest is limited to wages earned for hours worked. 1/22/02.

388. Assumption of additional duties and responsibilities of vacant village administrator position by mayor does not permit mid-term salary increase for mayor since such action is prohibited by Wis. Stat. sec. 66.0505 and lawfulness of city attorney salary increase for same reasons is guided by Wis. Stat. 62.09(6)(b) and depends on whether city attorney is appointed for definite or indefinite term.

389. 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.

389R. 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.

390. Although a very close question, and slightly different facts might lead to a different conclusion, a trustee who performs zoning permit review work, representing 10% of his total private workload, for the village as an employee of an engineering firm pursuant to a contract between the village and the engineering firm may avoid a violation of sec. 946.13(1)(a) and (b), Stats., if he abstains from all official participation on such contracts between his employer and the village. 3/4/03.

391. Alderperson employment as lead mail clerk by company seeking development agreement with city is insufficient by itself to establish a violation of Wis. Stat. secs.19.59(1)(a), 19.59(1)(b), (19.59(1)(br), 19.59(1)(c)1, or 19.59(1)(c)2. 1/31/13.

392. Alderperson employed as lead mail clerk by company seeking development agreement with city has an indirect interest in the agreement and will therefore violate Wis. Stat. sec. 946.13(1)(a) if he, in his private capacity, actively participates in the development or negotiation of the agreement or  if facts establish an identity of interest between the alderperson and the company. 1/31/13.

393. Alderperson employed as lead mail clerk by company seeking development agreement with city has an indirect interest in the agreement and will therefore violate Wis. Stat. sec. 946.13(1)(b) if he, as a public official, takes any action in such capacity that constitutes participation in the making of the agreement or requires the exercise of discretion related to the agreement. 1/31/13.