By John Pinkney
The city attorney announced that Government Code Section 1090 is for board and committee members. Section 1090 is one of the primary statues that involve a conflict of interest. This law stops public officials from issuing a public contract in the same capacity when the official also holds a financial stake in the contract.
Purpose of Section 1090
The purpose of Section 1090 is to make sure those who serve the public are not divided in their loyalties. It is important that a Coachella Valley public law attorney understand the rules and guidelines of such an important document for municipal and public law. The courts warn public officials not to influence or participate in the forming of a contract if they also have a financial stake in it.
What is Remote Interest?
Under Section 1090, these types of financial benefits listed will help determine what activities are not allowed. There may be an exception if there is remote interest involved. Remote interest occurs when the public official with the financial stake cannot participate in the actual transaction, but allows the neighborhood council board to do so.
A non-interest is also possible if the person with the financial stake participates in the transaction, as well as the neighborhood council board, however this is only possible if a certain disclosure gets made.
Contracts Are Required
Section 1090 oversees different public contracts, such as leases, consulting services, and development agreements. The neighborhood council board requires contracts, such as supplies and office space that must meet the standards of the city’s contracting process. A neighborhood council board member cannot escape a Section 1090 violation by resigning before the contract is approved.