Recent Texas Attorney General and Texas Ethics Commission Opinions of Interest to Cities

Note:  Included opinions are from September 11, 2015 through October 10, 2015. 

Opinion No. KP-0037 (Legal Costs Reimbursement):  Under the common law, the Brown County Commissioners Court has discretion to reimburse the legal expenses incurred by a county commissioner in the defense of a criminal matter for which he was found not guilty. The county must find that the expenditure is primarily for a county purpose and not merely for the commissioner’s personal interest and that the prosecution was for actions taken by the commissioner that were within the scope of his official duties.

Ethics Advisory Opinion No. 532 (Political Advertising):  An officer or employee of a political subdivision may not use letterhead that is created by city staff or with city resources, and that contains the city’s logo and slogan that were designed with city funds, to write and distribute political advertising.