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State of New York vs. COVID-19 - Governor Andrew M. Cuomo periodically updates New Yorkers on the state's progress during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. The latest reports of the number of new cases, the percentage of tests that were positive and many other relevant data points concerning COVID-19 are available at forward.ny.gov.

N.B. §22 of the New York State's General Construction Law, in pertinent part, provides that “Whenever words of the masculine or feminine gender appear in any law, rule or regulation, unless the sense of the sentence indicates otherwise, they shall be deemed to refer to both male or female persons.” NYPPL applies this protocol to individuals referred to in a decision self-identifying as LGBTQA+.

January 19, 2011

The ground rules for individual holding two public offices simultaneously

The ground rules for individual holding two public offices simultaneously
Informal Opinions of the Attorney General, Informal Opinion 2000-9

Wondering if an attorney may simultaneously hold two different public offices? The answer: it depends on the situation!

The Attorney General recently advised Columbia County Attorney Beth A. O’Connor that an assistant county attorney could also serve as the mayor of a city located within the County (Informal Opinion 2000-9).

In contrast, the attorneys for Jefferson-Lewis BOCES were told that the office of district attorney was incompatible with that official’s membership on a BOCES or school board within his or her jurisdiction. [Informal Opinion 2000-13].

The standard applied by the Attorney General, citing Ryan v Green, 58 NY 295, is that except where prohibited by law, one person may hold two offices simultaneously unless they are incompatible.

What constitutes incompatibility for the purposes of dual office holding? Two offices are incompatible if one office is subordinate to the other or if there is an inherent inconsistency between the duties of the two offices.

In the assistant county attorney/mayor situation the Attorney General indicated that the two positions were compatible and based on the representation that the assistant county attorney would not engage in any legal matters involving the city, the duties of the two positions did not appear inconsistent.

In the district attorney/BOCES-school board situation, the Attorney General said that there appeared to be a conflict between the two offices in view of the district attorney’s broad discretion in determining when and in what manner to investigate suspected crimes. In addition, the Attorney General said that in view of the policy making functions involved in the BOCES/school board position, this dual office holding raises questions as to whether the district attorney can impartially carry out his [or her] broad prosecutorial discretion and, therefore, tends to undermine public confidence in the integrity of government.

In another dual office situation, the Attorney General concluded that an individual could simultaneously serve as a town assessor and as a member of a school board of a district that included the town [Informal Opinion 2000-14] because a town assessor determines the value of real property for the purposes of taxation while a school board member determines policy for the district.


Public Personnel Law E-books

The Discipline Book - A concise guide to disciplinary actions involving public employees in New York State set out in a 700 page e-book. For more information click on https://booklocker.com/books/5215.html

A Reasonable Disciplinary Penalty Under the Circumstances - A 442-page e-book focusing on determining an appropriate disciplinary penalty to be imposed on an employee in the public service in instances where the employee has been found guilty of misconduct or incompetence. Now available in two formats - as a large, paperback print edition and as an e-book. For more information click on http://booklocker.com/books/7401.html

The Layoff, Preferred List and Reinstatement Manual - A 645 page e-book reviewing the relevant laws, rules and regulations, and selected court and administrative decisions. For more information click on http://booklocker.com/books/5216.html

Disability Leave for fire, police and other public sector personnel - A 1098 page e-book focusing on disability benefits available to public officers and employees employed by New York State and its political subdivisions. For more information click on http://booklocker.com/books/3916.html