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

Note:  Included opinions are from February 11, 2014 through March 10, 2014.

Opinion No. GA-1043 (Recall):  An individual officeholder who is the subject of a recall petition would generally have standing to file a declaratory action to establish the sufficiency of the recall petition. Whether any particular city can likewise establish standing to challenge the sufficiency of a recall petition is for a court to determine. The existence of challenges to the sufficiency of a recall petition does not relieve a city council of its duty to order a recall election if the city charter so requires. To the extent that a court has already acted to resolve any particular recall dispute, it is not for this office to question the court’s action.

Ethics Advisory Opinion No. 516 (Political Advertising):  A city may not use its resources to create or maintain political advertising bearing the name of a political committee pursuant to an “adopt-a-park” program whereby the city purchases and displays within the park a sign that includes the name of the political committee in exchange for the political committee’s clean-up activities within the park.