Can an elected official hire a relative?
It depends. Anytime a person who makes final decisions on employment thinks of hiring a relative, the nepotism prohibitions in Chapter 573 of the Government Code must be considered. An elected or appointed officer is prohibited from appointing or hiring a person related to the officer within the third degree by consanguinity (blood) or the second degree by affinity (marriage). See our nepotism charts for clarification. In this scenario, a niece-in-law falls outside the prohibited relationship (4th degree by affinity). She may be hired. See our Pitfalls and Perils of Public Office handbook for more information.