Attorney General Opinions

August 11, 2017

Legislative News

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​Attorney General Opinions

TAC has highlighted recent Attorney General Opinions of interest to counties.

KP-0157 Whether relatives of a public official may perform uncompensated work for the official’s office without violating nepotism laws if the relatives receive reimbursement of actual expenses or a per diem expense payment (RQ-0147-KP) Summary: Section 573.041 of the Government Code prohibits a public official from appointing certain relatives to positions compensated with public funds. The reimbursement of expenses, however, is not compensation. Thus, a public official may appoint a close relative to a volunteer position that provides reimbursement for incurred expenses but no compensation.

​KP-0158 Whether the State may obtain a waiver of a defendant’s right to seek expunction of the record of arrest for the offense for which it places the defendant in pretrial diversion (RQ-0148-KP) Summary: Article 1.14 of the Code of Criminal Procedure allows a person to waive the right to seek expunction of arrest records and files as a condition in a pretrial diversion agreement, provided the waiver is voluntarily, knowingly, and intelligently made.

KP-0159 Whether certain expenditures of commissary proceeds violate section 351.0415 of the Local Government Code (RQ-0149-KP) Summary: Local Government Code section 351.0415 limits an expenditure of commissary proceeds to items or services that benefit inmates. Because of the sheriff's exclusive authority over commissary proceeds under section 351.0415, the propriety of an expenditure from those funds is a question for the sheriff to determine in the first instance subject to administrative review by the Commission on Jail Standards or judicial review for abuse of discretion.

KP-0160​ Whether a commissioners court may enter an order authorizing the treasurer to pay certain types of claims and bills prior to presenting the actual claims or bills to the commissioners court (RQ-0150-KP​) Summary: Under sections 113.041, 115.021, and 115.022 of the Local Government Code, the commissioners court must approve claims, and the treasurer and auditor do not have the authority to pay claims without the commissioners court's approval. A commissioners court cannot delegate to the county treasurer the commissioners court's duty and authority to approve payment of county claims. Provided it complies with any statute applicable to the particular subject matter, a commissioners court may review and direct payment of payroll and claims at a meeting called for a day other than the commissioners court's regular meeting day. ​​