Providing for the representation and indemnification of public officers and employees of political subdivisions of the State and similar entities in the event they are sued
Informal Opinions of the Attorney General; 2011-9
Concluding that the Independent Livery Drivers Fund was not a public entity, the Attorney General said that benefits available to officers and employees set out in Public Officers Law §18,* providing for the representation and indemnification of public officers and employees, could not be claimed by members of the Fund’s Board of Directors.
§18, explained the Attorney General, provides that a public entity may adopt a local law, by-law, resolution, rule or regulation to indemnify and save harmless its employees from liability in the event there is a judgment against them resulting of an act or omission as a result of the individual acting within the scope of his or her public employment or duties.
However, a public entity, for the purposes of §18, means a county, city, town, village or any other political subdivision or civil division of the state, a school district, a BOCES or other entity operating a public school, a college, community college or university, a public improvement or special district, a public authority, commission, agency or a public benefit corporation. It also includes “any other separate corporate instrumentality or unit of government.” The Fund, said the Attorney General, was not such a public entity.
* §17 of the Public Officers Law provides similar protections for officers and employees of the State as the employer.