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September 13, 2013

Arranging trips for “senior citizens” living in the jurisdiction


Arranging trips for “senior citizens” living in the jurisdiction
Informal Opinions of the Attorney General 87-18

A number of New York State towns and villages have a senior citizen division that organize or provide various recreational opportunities for their senior residents. Such activities may include offering day trips to nearby locations and multi-day trips to more distant places.

In response to an inquiry from a municipality that wished to use the services of a travel agency in making arrangements for such trips, the Attorney General concluded that “a prohibited conflict of interest exists” should a municipal employee “charged with arranging tourist travel" on behalf of the jurisdiction senior citizen "accepts a free trip from the travel agency that sponsor the trip.”

The Attorney General explained that “When one of the travel agencies sponsoring these trips offers a free trip to the leader, we believe that an appearance of impropriety results.”

In addition to the possibility of a “common law conflict of interest” that may be operative in this instance, the Attorney General noted that “acceptance of the free trip by the leader would probably violate Section 805-a of the General Municipal Law.”
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