City of San Antonio, Texas
Ethics Advisory Opinion No. 85
March 15, 2004
Issued By: City Attorney’s Office
May a city employee who chauffeurs for the city accept outside
employment with a private business that provides chauffeuring
II. Factual Background
A city employee is employed as a chauffer for a department that provides transportation services to citizens. He has inquired whether the Ethics Code would prohibit him from accepting a chauffer position with a private business. His hours of outside employment would not conflict with his scheduled city duty hours. Also, this private business does not and has not sought any business or contractual relationships with the city.
III. The Ethics Code Provisions
Section 2-48 of the City Code (Ethics Code) regarding outside employment provides:
(a) General Rule. A city official or employee shall not solicit, accept, or engage in concurrent outside employment which could reasonably be expected to impair independence of judgment in, or faithful performance of, official duties.
(b) Special Application. The following special rule applies in addition to the general rule: A city official or employee shall not provide services to an outside employer related to the official’s or employee’s city duties.
(c) Other Rules. The general rule stated above applies in addition to all other rules relating to outside employment of city officials and employees, including requirements for obtaining prior approval of outside employment as applicable.
The proposed outside employment is of a similar nature as the individual’s city employment, i.e. chauffering services. However, there is no indication from the facts presented that the individual’s work for the private business overlaps or is connected in any way with his work for the city. Accordingly, the Ethics Code would not preclude the employee from engaging in this outside employment.
In addition, under Personnel Rule XXIV, the employee must obtain written approval from his department before engaging in the outside employment. Assuming that the outside employment will not interfere with the employee’s work for the city and assuming the department head has approved the additional employment in writing, the employee may accept the additional employment.
The employee may accept employment as a chauffeur outside his duty hours for the city, so long as he complies with personnel rules concerning outside employment.