Continuous Employment Nepotism Exception
Re: Whether an employee with consistent but periodic delivery of employment services qualifies for the nepotism continuous employment exception in Government Code section 573.062 (RQ-1125-GA).
Submitted by Jeri Yenne
Brazoria County Criminal District Attorney
Summary, Opinion No. GA-1024: An at-will employee who consistently but periodically delivers employment services may qualify for the continuous employment nepotism exception under Government Code section 573.062, provided that his employment was continuous. Whether employment is continuous depends on the underlying circumstances of the employment relationship and is a determination to be made by the employer in the first instance. Once the continuous-employment exception is satisfied, it exempts an individual from the nepotism prohibition of section 573.041 only until the employment relationship is broken.
State Employee Seeking County Office
Re: Whether a state employee may run for and assume an elected county office (RQ-1128-GA).
Submitted by Ryan Guillen
Chair, Committee on Culture,
Recreation & Tourism
Texas House of Representatives
Summary, Opinion No. GA- l026: Texas statutes do not prohibit a state employee from becoming a candidate for elected county office. The federal Hatch Act, however, prohibits a state employee from becoming a candidate for elective office if the salary of the employee is paid completely by federal funds. Article 16, subsection 40(b) of the Texas Constitution does not prohibit a state employee from assuming elected county office.
Justice of the Peace
Re: Whether a justice of the peace may serve as a court-appointed investigator for an indigent defendant in a felony case (RQ-1131-GA).
Submitted by Michael B. Murray
District Attorney, 35th Judicial District
Summary, Opinion No. GA-1030: Chapter 27 of the Government Code does not directly prohibit a justice of the peace from simultaneously serving as a court-appointed investigator. Whether the Code of Judicial Conduct prohibits such dual service is a question for the State Commission on Judicial Conduct to determine in the first instance. Whether any particular instance of this dual service creates an impermissible conflict of interest or loyalty is not a question we address here. H