Incompatible Office: What Does It Mean and How Does It Differ from a Conflict of Interest?

What Does Incompatible Office Mean?

Many people understand that a conflict of interest means a public official needs to step down from being involved in a zoning board review or a planning commission case. The term incompatible office, however, is something entirely different.

Incompatible Office occurs when an individual holds two different positions at the same time and one is either subordinate or supervisory to the other. There could also be a contract with different organizations that both of these positions will work with or represent.

How it Differs from Conflict of Interest

A conflict of interest may involve having a financial interest in the outcome of a particular case or event. The person may have a relative involved in a land deal or another case involving a zoning board.

Exceptions to the Incompatible Office Rule

There are several exceptions that can be applied to the Incompatible Office rule. For instance, an individual being a public employee while being on the board of a higher education institution. Exceptions can also involve communities that have populations under a specific amount. Sometimes, a member of a zoning board of appeals can be part of the city planning commission as well.

As a public official it’s extremely important to avoid any type of conflict of interest or incompatible office. Call our Coachella Valley public law attorney and schedule a consultation if you have any questions regarding these issues.

Public Agency and Municipal Law Attorneys of SBEMP


John Pinkney


Lena Wade


Katelyn Empey


Robert L. Patterson


Marguerite Battersby


Vee B. Sotelo


David L. Baron


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