The general rule is that use of public resources for either personal or political gain is prohibited (Penal Code § 424 & Gov. Code § 8314)
- May not use public resources such as staff time, office equipment, and office supplies for personal purposes.
- May not send Mass Mailings at public expense.
- May not accept payments for speeches, articles, and attendance.
- May not parlay positions as public servants into future job opportunities.
Basic Fair Political Practices Rule:
“No public official shall make, participate in, or use his or her official position to influence a governmental decision in which he or she has a financial interest.”
Government Code Section 87110
Deciding whether you have a disqualifying conflict of interest depends just as much, if not more, on the fact of a person’s particular situation as it does the law.
How Do You Disqualify Yourself?
Identify the conflict on the record. Leave the room.
What Happens If You Do Not Disqualify Yourself?
- Violation a Misdemeanor
- Loss of Office
- Action Rescinded
- Incarceration for six months
- Civil Penalties/Restitution – Fines from $5,000 to $ 250,000 or more plus Attorney Fees
Do not be afraid to ask for advice. Please consult your agency’s legal counsel or contact the FPPC. For more information, contact our office at 831.646.1502 or firstname.lastname@example.org or refer to www.fppc.ca.gov