ATTORNEY GENERAL

Opinions

Opinion No. KP-0157

The Honorable James M. Tirey

Hale County Attorney

500 Broadway, Suite 340

Plainview, Texas 79072

Whether relatives of a public official may perform uncompensated work for the official's office without violating nepotism laws if the relatives receive reimbursement of actual expenses or a per diem expense payment (RQ-0147-KP)

S U M M A R Y

Section 573.041 of the Government Code prohibits a public official from appointing certain relatives to positions compensated with public funds. The reimbursement of expenses, however, is not compensation. Thus, a public official may appoint a close relative to a volunteer position that provides reimbursement for incurred expenses but no compensation.

For further information, please access the website at www.texasattorneygeneral.gov or call the Opinion Committee at (512) 463-2110.

TRD-201702937

Amanda Crawford

General Counsel

Office of the Attorney General

Filed: August 4, 2017


Opinions

Opinion No. KP-0158

The Honorable Mark A. Gonzalez

Nueces County District Attorney

Nueces County Courthouse

901 Leopard, Room 206

Corpus Christi, Texas 78401-3681

Re: Whether the State may obtain a waiver of a defendant's right to seek expunction of the record of arrest for the offense for which it places the defendant in pretrial diversion (RQ-0148-KP)

S U M M A R Y

Article 1.14 of the Code of Criminal Procedure allows a person to waive the right to seek expunction of arrest records and files as a condition in a pretrial diversion agreement, provided the waiver is voluntarily, knowingly, and intelligently made.

Opinion No. KP-0159

Mr. Brandon S. Wood

Executive Director

Texas Commission on Jail Standards

Post Office Box 12985

Austin, Texas 78711

Re: Whether certain expenditures of commissary proceeds violate section 351.0415 of the Local Government Code (RQ-0149-KP)

S U M M A R Y

Local Government Code section 351.0415 limits an expenditure of commissary proceeds to items or services that benefit inmates. Because of the sheriff's exclusive authority over commissary proceeds under section 351.0415, the propriety of an expenditure from those funds is a question for the sheriff to determine in the first instance subject to administrative review by the Commission on Jail Standards or judicial review for abuse of discretion.

Opinion No. KP-0160

The Honorable David P. Weeks

Walker County Criminal District Attorney

1036 11th Street

Huntsville, Texas 77340

Re: Whether a commissioners court may enter an order authorizing the treasurer to pay certain types of claims and bills prior to presenting the actual claims or bills to the commissioners court (RQ-0150-KP)

S U M M A R Y

Under sections 113.041, 115.021, and 115.022 of the Local Government Code, the commissioners court must approve claims, and the treasurer and auditor do not have the authority to pay claims without the commissioners court's approval. A commissioners court cannot delegate to the county treasurer the commissioners court's duty and authority to approve payment of county claims. Provided it complies with any statute applicable to the particular subject matter, a commissioners court may review and direct payment of payroll and claims at a meeting called for a day other than the commissioners court's regular meeting day.

For further information, please access the website at www.texasattorneygeneral.gov or call the Opinion Committee at (512) 463-2110.

TRD-201703022

Amanda Crawford

General Counsel

Office of the Attorney General

Filed: August 9, 2017