City of San Antonio

Office of the City Attorney

Ethics Advisory Opinions

 

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Number

Date

Questions

001

Jan. 15, 1999

Whether the provisions of free office space by Yanaguana Cruises, Inc. to the San Antonio Parks Foundation whose Executive Director is a member of the Downtown Advisory Board and is the Co-Chair of the San Antonio River Oversight Committee presents conflicts or problems under the Ethics Code effective January 1, 1999

001

Jan 15, 1999

Whether the Executive Director of the San Antonio Parks Foundation is required to register as a lobbyist under the Ethics Code

002

Jan 21, 1999

Whether the Ethics Code of the City of San Antonio, effective January 1, 1999, applies to board members of the Alamo Workforce Development, Inc. ("AWD").

003

Feb. 8, 1999

Under what circumstances is a City Councilmember required to abstain from a matter involving a client of his/her client?

004

Feb. 22, 1999

May a State Representative appoint a San Antonio Municipal Court judge to serve on the Board of Directors of a Tax Increment Finance project that is brought forth by petition?

005

Feb. 23, 1999

Whether a trip to examine the day to day operations of a privatized airport facility may be paid by a potential bidder should the City Council agree to privatize the airport of the City of San Antonio and related question.

006

Feb. 23, 1999

May an individual whose firm does work for the San Antonio Water Systems and the City of San Antonio serve as a member of the Capital Improvements Advisory Board

007

Feb. 24, 1999

Whether an organization may pay a member of a commission that is more than advisory in nature from its various funding sources for services rendered.

008

Feb. 26, 1999

Whether a City employee serving on a Team for the Community Building and Neighborhood Planning Program may review applications for such program where he resides within the planning area of one of the applicants.
009

Mar. 9, 1999

Whether the San Antonio Housing Trust may request its board members who are also board members of the San Antonio Housing Trust Reinvestment Corporation to serve on the Board of Directors of a Tax Increment Finance project or, in the alternative, its employees or agents.
010

 August 2, 1999

Whether a City employee and member of a City Commission may serve as Executive Director of the ABC Fund.

011

Mar. 8, 1999

Whether a City employee may serve on the board of directors of his neighborhood association.

012

Mar. 8, 1999

Whether a City employee may serve on the board of directors of a non-profit organization.

013

Mar. 11, 1999

Whether an organization may hire a member of a City of San Antonio Board to be the Executive Director of the organization.

014

Mar. 17, 1999

Whether the City of San Antonio may enter into a contract with a company which employs the stepson of a Department Director and related question.

015

Mar. 30, 1999

Whether a member of the Board of Adjustment may purchase houses from an individual who appears frequently before the Board.

016

Apr. 9, 1999

Whether a brother of a City official who is also a member of the Historic and Design Review Commission may participate in the San Antonio Bike Rack Design Competition.

017

Mar. 18, 1999

Whether, under the City of San Antonio Ethics Code, the Executive Director of the ABC Organization who is also a board member of one of the City’s Advisory Committees may represent XYZ Neighborhood Association in its application for planning services under the Community Building and Neighborhood Planning Program and related questions.

018

Mar. 23, 1999

Under what circumstances is a City employee who serves on the Board of the Humane Society of Bexar County required to abstain from matters involving the Humane Society?
019

Mar. 22, 1999

Whether an individual whose company appears before the Board of Adjustment of the City of San Antonio may serve as a member of that Board.
020

Apr. 19, 1999

Whether a City employee in the Planning Department may act as lead staff or as a small group facilitator for a neighborhood planning effort where he resides within the planning area and whether the employee may participate in the neighborhood’s planning efforts.
021

Apr. 19, 1999

Whether the Director of Finance may serve on the Board of a local non-profit organization that receive monies from Alamo Workforce Development, Inc.

022

May 24, 1999

Whether a City employee may accept honorariums or reimbursements of expenses incurred during volunteer activities.
(See Texas Penal Code § 36.07 limiting application of this opinion)

023

May 19, 1999

Whether a City Councilmember may solicit potential sponsors for his book and related question.

024

June 4, 1999

Whether an employee who terminates his position with the City may accept employment with a company with which the City contracts to provide housekeeping and conversion services.

025

June 14, 1999

Whether a City employee may advertise as a Realtor in the City Beat.

026

June 16, 1999

Whether an individual who sits on the Greater Kelly Development Corporation may lobby members of the City Council.

027

June 21, 1999

Whether a City employee may submit a proposal to perform work for a company under contract with VIA Metropolitan Transit.

028

August 23, 1999

Whether a City employee may receive financing under the City’s rental housing rehabilitation program and whether a former City employee may contract with the City to provide services.
029

July 27, 1999

Whether the City of San Antonio may employ the spouse or other relatives of a City Councilmember.
030

September 30, 1999

Whether City employees at the Carver Community Center may be employed by the Carver Development Board.
031

August 23, 1999

Whether a member of the zoning commission may accept employment with a political consultant for the Spurs.
032 August 27, 1999

Whether, upon termination with the City, an individual may provide engineering services to a company that plans to submit interest statements for capital improvement projects with the City of San Antonio.

033 September 14, 1999 Whether a City Councilmember’s Administrative Aide may serve as a member of the Greater Kelly Development Corporation.
034

October 4, 1999

Whether a City Councilmember may serve as a member of the Greater Kelly Development Corporation. (See Texas Attorney General Opinion JC-225 issued May 22, 2000 reaching contrary conclusion)

035 October 6, 1999

Whether a member of the zoning commission who resides in the general vicinity of a proposed zoning change may participate in the discussion of and voting on said change.

036

October 25, 1999

Whether, upon termination with the City, an individual may provide consulting services to a company that provides parking equipment products, parts and services to the City of San Antonio.
No. 37 January 19, 2000

Whether members of the Zoning Commission and/or the Planning Commission may participate in mediating or contributing to the development of a property which has an application pending before the Commission. 

No. 38 January 4, 2000 Whether an individual who serves as a member of the Zoning Commission and the City’s Tax Phase-In Committee may be hired as an administrative aide to a City Councilmember.
No. 39 January 31, 2000 Whether a uniformed City employee may serve as City Manager for the City of Pleasanton.
No. 40 February 8, 2000

Whether the Chairperson of the Planning Commission must recuse himself from participating in a matter involving real property set to come before the Commission.

No. 41 March 24, 2000 Whether, upon termination with the City, an individual may be employed by a company providing consulting services to the City of San Antonio.
No. 42 April 17, 2000 Whether a member of the Historic and Design Review Commission may provide estimates to applicants coming before the Commission once they have completed the application process.
No. 43 April 26, 2000 Whether the employer of a member of the San Antonio Local Development Company who is also a former member of the Citizen Advisory Action Board may submit a bid for the private process service contract with the San Antonio Police Department.
No. 44 May 2, 2000

Whether a member of the Planning Commission who is also a member of the Board of Appeals may serve on the Board of Trustees of the San Antonio Water System; and

If appointed, whether a conflict of interest exists where the engineering firm that is owned by the member’s brother and that employs his sister in law, a former SAWS employee, contracts with the SAWS.

No. 45 July 3, 2000 Whether a City employee may contract with the City of San Antonio to provide maintenance for the trees at Espada Park.
No. 46 August 28, 2000 Whether the San Antonio Area Foundation may establish a scholarship in the name of a City Councilmember.
No. 47 September 18, 2000 Whether a former City Councilmember who is also a current City official may visit with City staff given his employment and positions.
No. 48 October 11, 2000 Whether a City employee who owns and operates a company may contract with an entity that has received funding through another City Department.
No. 49 December 5, 2000

Whether former City employees may communicate with current City employees; and

Whether current City officials or employees are required to report possible violations of the Ethics Code, and, if not, the proper course of action in such situations.

No. 50 March 20, 2001 Whether members of a Tax Increment Finance Board are required to file Financial Disclosure Forms pursuant to Part G of the Ethics Code of the City of San Antonio.
No. 51 February 5, 2001 Whether the company in which a member of the Planning Commission owns more than 10% may contract with various entities.
No. 52 March 26, 2001 Whether an Assistant Director of a City Department may serve on the Carver Development Board.
No. 54 May 7, 2001 Whether members of City boards and commissions who meet with City staff regarding project related issues are lobbying as that term is defined in the Ethics Code.
No. 55  May 18, 2001 Whether a City employee may serve on the Alameda Museum Board.
No. 56 December 14, 2001 Whether an employee of the Fire Department may contract with the City of San Antonio to sell uniform items.
No. 57 January 9, 2002 Whether a City employee may teach classes at local colleges and universities and related question.
No. 58 September 9, 2002 Whether the Neighborhood Action Department may provide funding to a former City official through its Environmental Protection Agency Brownfields grant funds.
No. 59 April 29, 2002 Whether a member of a City Commission may promote an event sponsored by a client before the Commission and/or City staff providing support to the Commission.
No. 60 May 2, 2002 Whether a City employee may run for Fiesta Mud Queen.
No. 61 May 9, 2002 Whether the employer of a commissioner on the San Antonio Housing Authority may contract with the SAHA under the Ethics Code of the City of San Antonio.
No. 62 May 13, 2002 Whether a business owned by a member of the GKDA may contract with the City of San Antonio.
No. 63 May 28, 2002 Whether an employee of the City who also serves as the Executive Director of Keep San Antonio Beautiful may attend meetings as the director on City time and other related question.
No. 64   Withdrawn.
No 65 May 30, 2002 Whether, upon termination with the City, an individual may provide consulting services to the City of San Antonio.
No. 66 September 9, 2002 May a director of the Small Business Economic Development Advocacy Advisory Committee (SBEDA) obtain a loan from San Antonio Local Development Company (SALDC)?
No. 67 September 9, 2002 Does the City Ethics Code permit a member of the City’s Affirmative Action Advisory Committee to volunteer in a political campaign for a state office?
No. 68 September 17, 2002 May a former Director of the San Antonio Local Development Company (SALDC) sell a business to a buyer who seeks financingfor the purchase from SALDC?
No. 69 September 18, 2002

Whether an employee of the Neighborhood Action Department can participate in City’s Lead-Based Paint Program.

No. 70 January 31, 2003

May a uniformed employee accept a cash award from a private business?

No. 71 March 13, 2003

Can city employees serve on the Downtown Advisory Board? And if so, may they attend Downtown Advisory Board meetings during city business hours?

No. 72 March 17, 2003

May a trustee for the San Antonio Water System (SAWS)  1) make a campaign contribution to a City Council candidate; and 2) actively campaign for a City Council candidate?

No. 73 March 30, 2003

May a Zoning Commissioner host a fundraiser for an incumbent Council Member? 

May a Zoning Commissioner represent or lobby for an architectural firm before a school board?

No. 74 June 15, 2003

May a member of the San Antonio Local Development Company (SALDC) lease retail space from the City of San Antonio?

No. 75 June 17, 2003

May the City of San Antonio purchase firefighting equipment through a subcontract that a city firefighter manufactures and holds a patent on?

No. 76 August 1, 2003

May a city employee and members of his family who own a restaurant business enter into a contract with the city to provide catering services?

No. 77 August 14, 2003

May a city employee purchase a business using a loan from the Small Business Administration (SBA) that is being administered through the San Antonio Local Development Company (SALDC)?

No. 78 August 20, 2003

1)  When must a city official recuse himself from official action that may affect his non-city employer or business interests?

2)  What other limitations does the Ethics Code impose regarding a city official’s actions concerning his non-city employer or business interests?

No. 79 September 4, 2003

May a City Council Administrative Assistant serve as a member of the Metropolitan Transit Authority?

No. 80 October 15, 2003

May city staff accept an invitation from a city contractor to attend a private party that includes dinner?

No. 81 January 9, 2004

May a city employee accept an invitation for free admission to a reception sponsored by a non-profit organization?

No. 82 January 16, 2004

May a city employee accept hotel accommodation paid by a non-profit organization in connection with an event co-hosted by the City of San Antonio and the non-profit organization?

No. 83 January 27, 2004

Must a city commission member recuse himself from official action on a matter that would affect the financial interests of a non-profit organization for which the official formerly served as a member of its board?

No. 84 February 25, 2004

May a city employee serve on a hospital board outside of Bexar County?

No. 85 March 15, 2004

May a city employee who chauffeurs for the city accept outside employment with a private business that provides chauffeuring services?

No. 86 March 15, 2004

May a city employee accept payment of travel expenses and admission to attend an event related to the employee's official duties paid for by a private sector business?

No. 87 March 25, 2004

May a city official or employee accept an invitation to a reception for a sporting event?

No. 88 June 1, 2004

May the city sell surplus office equipment to city employees?

No. 89 June 28, 2004

May a city employee seek a contract with the City of San Antonio to sell products and services from his home-based business?

No. 90 July 2, 2004

May a city department contract with a business for which a city employee serves as an agent?

No. 91 September 1, 2004

May a city employee purchase real estate and enter into a development contract with the San Antonio Development Authority (SADA)?

No. 92 October 12, 2004

May a city employee serve on the board of directors of a homeowners' association?

No. 93 December 29, 2004

May a city employee accept a ticket to a sports event from a person who does business with the city?

No. 94 April 4, 2005

May a member of a city board that is more than advisory in nature or his business contract with the City of San Antonio?

No. 95 May 18, 2005

Does a city employee have a conflict of interest or an interest in a prohibited contract if his father is an employee of an entity that is seeking a contract with the City of San Antonio?

No. 96 May 26, 2005

May a city employee contract with the city to provide services as an independent consultant?

No. 97 August 30, 2005

Can a city board member represent a non-profit organization that wishes to seek action by the same board?

No. 98 September 7, 2005

May a city official accept a gift worth more than $100 from a personal friend? If so, is the official required to report the receipt of the gift?

No. 99 September 23, 2005

May a spouse of an individual who has an ownership interest in business that contacts with the city serve on a city board that is more than advisory in nature?

No. 100 October 3, 2005

May a city employee accept complimentary registration to a conference which she is attending in connection with her official duties?

No. 101 October 5, 2005

Must political contributions to City Councilmembers from a political action committee of an entity seeking a discretionary city contract be disclosed on the discretionary contracts disclosure form?

No. 102 October 13, 2005

May a city employee process payment to a city contractor if the employee has a part-time job with the contractor?

No. 103 November 14, 2005

May a city employee accept a discount offered to all city employees?

No. 104 December 22, 2005

May city employees accept gifts in exchange for selecting a vendor to make purchases?

No. 105 March 7, 2006

May a city staff member accept the payment of expenses for an out-of-state trip paid for by a federal governmental entity?

No. 106 March 13, 2006

May a city employee submit a response to a “Request for Proposal” (RFQ) offered by the city?

No. 107 June 7, 2006

Can city employee accept free admission to a class offered by a city vendor that is not related to city duties?

No. 108 June 20, 2006

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?

No. 109 August 31, 2006

Does the Ethics Code prohibit a former city employee from being hired by the city on a contract basis after he leaves city service?

No. 110 September 28, 2006

May a member of the Historic Design and Review Commission (HDRC) work on a project in his regular course of non-city employment if that project will ultimately be presented to the HDRC? May the member present the project for review to the HDRC?

No. 111 November 16, 2006 May business owned by family members of a Zoning Commissioner seek and accept contracts with the city?
No. 112 January 4, 2007 May a city employee accept a hunting trip from a city vendor where the employee has no involvement in the selection of vendors?
No. 113 January 15, 2007 May a city employee accept outside employment with an organization that is funded by the city to provide educational services to the community?
No. 114

March 7, 2007

May a city employee accept the payment of travel costs and an honorarium for predicating in a panel at a conference held by a governmental organization?

No. 115 March 13, 2007

May a potential city vendor provide a sample of its product to a city employee so that the employee can evaluate the product for potential purchase by the city?

No. 116 March 13, 2007

May library employees accept small gifts of jewelry from a patron who wishes to express appreciation for courteous service by staff?

No. 117 March 16, 2007

May a city employee accept contract with the city to provide consultation services?

No. 118 May 3, 2007

May a city employee subcontract with his sibling’s business in connection with a contract the sibling has with the city?

No. 119 June 7, 2007

May a city employee seek a contract with the city to provide furniture refinishing services?

No. 120 June 18, 2007

May a city official accept a position on the board of trustees of a local university?

No. 121 May 3, 2007

May city staff members accept coverage of expenses paid by a city vendor to attend a trade show featuring products of interest and under consideration for purchase by the department?

No. 122 August 31, 2007

May an employee accept contract employment with the city after retiring from city service?

No. 123 October 22, 2007

May a city employee who is a “specified employee” under Section 2-78 of the Ethics Code contract with the city to provide catering services?

2008-01 February 19, 2008

May a city employee engage in outside employment as a consultant for other municipalities providing a type of service similar to his work for the city?

2008-02 February 21, 2008

May a former member of an advisory city board represent private interests before his former board after leaving city service?

2008-03 May 7, 2008

May a city employee accept invitations to social events, including meals, from actual or potential city vendors during a business-related trade show?

2008-04 June 23, 2008

May a former city employee accept employment with a non-profit organization that seeks funding from the city through grant applications?

2008-05 July 17, 2008

May a city employee about to retire arrange to contract with the city to continue providing his services as a consultant after leaving city employment?

2008-06 July 31, 2008

May a city employee accept an invitation to visit a city vendor’s production facility in another state to review innovations made in products typically purchased by the city?

2008-07 August 18, 2008

May a company who has an employee whose spouse is an executive-level city employee contract with the city?

2008-08 August 19, 2008

May a former city official purchase real estate from the City of San Antonio?

2008-09 October 23, 2008

Is a member of a city advisory board a “city official” for purposes of the Ethics Code? May a member of an advisory board appear before that board on behalf of his employer or other outside organization with which he is associated to present an application for a city grant program? May a member of an advisory board speak for this outside organization, participate in the question and answer portion of the advisory board meetings, or speak to other individual advisory board members in settings other than advisory board meetings?

2008-10 December 10, 2008

May a city employee attend holiday events hosted by entities that contract with the city?

2009-01 January 6, 2009

Does the City Charter or Ethics Code prohibit an executive officer of a business that contracts with the city from serving on a more-than-advisory board?

2009-02 February 5, 2009

May a city employee accept the donation of office equipment by a city contractor?

2009-03 March 6, 2009

May an employee accept outside employment with another entity performing work similar to that which he provides to the city?

2009-04 May 11, 2009

May the employee of a city contractor be appointed to serve on a more-than-advisory city board? If appointed, would that employee’s service on the more-than-advisory board preclude the employer from seeking or holding contracts with the city?

2009-05 May 12, 2009

May a former city employee work for a business that subcontracts on a city contract? If so, may the former employee attend public meetings regarding that contract?

2009-06 June 12, 2009

May a city employee volunteer to assist a citizen outside of work hours?

2009-07 August 20, 2009

May a city official or employee serve as a reference for a private citizen?

2009-08 September 24, 2009

May city staff solicit donations from city contractors for charitable or civic purposes?

2009-09 October 8, 2009

May a city official or employee accept transportation for city-related business from a private citizen?

2010-01 February 2, 2010 May the city hire a former employee on an as-needed contract basis?
2010-02 March 12, 2010 May a city board member appear before City Council to provide his personal opinion on a matter not pertaining to the board on which he serves?
2010-03 May 14, 2010 Does the Ethics Code prohibit city officials or employees from giving gifts to other city officials or employees?
2010-04 May 25, 2010 May a firm in which a member of a more-than-advisory board owns less than 10% interest subcontract on a contract with the city?
2010-05 July 13, 2010 May a city employee accept a half-priced admission to a conference related to the city duties of the employee from a city vendor?
2010-06 August 18, 2010 May a city employee accept a door prize that exceeds $50 in value that was awarded at a conference from a city vendor?
2010-07 September 20, 2010 May a city employee accept financial assistance from an organization that seeks action from the city from time to time?
2010-08 December 2, 2010

May a city employee submit an application to the city for a city program on behalf of himself or his family members?

May a city employee submit an application for a city program on behalf of another person or private sector organization as a volunteer?

2010-09 December 10, 2010 Is a campaign contribution a “contact” that violates the Ethics Code provision that prohibits those seeking contracts from contacting city officials or employees during the contract evaluation period?
2010-10 December 10, 2010 Is a campaign contribution from an attorney made before he or she was retained to assist in seeking a “high-profile” contract with the city a violation of the contribution “black out” provision of the city’s Municipal Campaign Finance Regulations?
2011-01 January 3, 2011 May a city employee evaluate a proposal submitted by a firm that employs the child of the employee?
2011-02 January 28, 2011 May a City-appointee to the Metropolitan Transit Board of Trustees board sell insurance to members of other city-created boards and commissions?
2011-03 February 15, 2011 May City staff accept complimentary Sea World Tickets from the company as part of their participation in an animal adoption event?
2011-04 March 31, 2011 May the spouse of a member of the City’s Cultural Arts Board apply for and receive arts funding from the City?
2011-05 May 31, 2011 May a former city employee enter into a discretionary contract with the City within one year of the termination of their employment with the City?
2011-06 May 4, 2011 May an employee of the Animal Care Services Department accept complimentary tickets to a movie premiere from a former animal rescuer?
2011-07 September 23, 2011 May a city employee who owns an outside business enter into a contract to provide services to the City through his outside business?
2011-08 June 16, 2011 May a city official accept an invitation to participate in a golf tournament, if the entity inviting the employee is not doing or seeking to do business with the City, and is not registered as a lobbyist?
2011-09 October 3, 2011 May a former city employee provide professional engineering services as a component of a discretionary contract with the city?
2011-10 November 21, 2011 May a city employee attend a holiday party given by a company who has a contract with the city?