Ethics Advisory Opinion No. 108
June 20, 2006
Issued By: City Attorney’s Office
May a city employee who is also employed as an adjunct professor for the Alamo Community College District (ACCD) process a street closure request from ACCD system?
A city employee who worked for the Department of Public Works received a street closure request from the Alamo Community College District. The employee works part-time after city duty hours as an adjunct professor for one of the ACCD colleges. The street which is the subject of the closure request is adjacent one of the ACCD colleges at which this employee does not work. The employee asks whether she has a conflict of interest which would preclude her from processing the request.
III. Conflicts of Interest Prohibitions under the Ethics Code
The city’s Ethics Code has two “conflicts-of-interest” provisions. The first states that a city official or employee cannot take any official action that is likely to affect the economic interests of the
1) official or employee;
2) family members within the 2nd degree, and members of the household;
3) businesses in which the official or employee or family members hold an ownership interest;
4) employers of the official or employee or family members;
5) business entities or non-profit organizations for which the official or employee serves in an executive or decision-making capacity;
6) individuals or businesses with whom the official or employee is engaged in business or employment negotiations; and
7) any outside client of the official.
Ethics Code, Section 2-43. When a matter that would affect the employee’s financial interest or the financial interest of her outside employer comes before an employee, the Ethics Code requires the employee recuse himself or herself from any involvement. The employee must advise her supervisor so the matter can be re-assigned and she must also disclose the conflict on a form provided by and filed with the Office of the City Clerk
In this inquiry, the employee’s outside employer, ACCD, is seeking authority to close a street adjacent to one of its campuses. This action would affect ACCD’s financial interests. Accordingly, the employee must recuse herself from any involvement in ACCD’s request.
Because the city employee is employed by ACCD, the same entity that is seeking the street closure permit, the employee must recuse herself from any involvement in ACCD’s request.