Summary of Advisory Opinion 6

Summary of Advisory Opinion 6; Request of DeKalb County Planning Commission Member Robert F. Dallas for Advisory Opinion > November 12, 2003

Facts

Robert Dallas is a member of the DeKalb County Planning Commission. Mr. Dallas is also a lawyer specializing in employment law.   Mr. Dallas was contacted by a former DeKalb County Planning Department employee seeking representation on the appeal of that employee’s termination from the Planning Department. Mr. Dallas consented to this representation and filed the appeal with the Human Resources and Merit System Director. The appeal was denied.

Issue

Mr. Dallas has requested an Advisory Opinion as to whether his membership in the DeKalb County Planning Commission prohibits him from further representing his client in any employment action brought against DeKalb County.

Conclusion

The Board of Ethics found that, as a member of the DeKalb County Planning Commission, Mr. Dallas was Subject to the DeKalb County Code of Ethics, which prohibits any appearance on behalf of another before any court or before a legislative, administrative, or quasi-judicial board, agency commission, or committee of the state or any county or municipality concerning a contract which may be the subject of an official act or action of DeKalb County.

Discussion

  • 22A(c)(4) of the DeKalb County Ethics Code prohibits any member of the governing authority from representing, advising, or appearing on the personal behalf of any person before any court or before any legislative, administrative, or quasi-judicial board, agency, commission, or committee of this state or of any county or municipality concerning any contract or transaction which is or may be the subject of an official act or action of DeKalb County or otherwise use or attempt to use his or her official position to secure unwarranted privileges or exemptions for himself or herself or other persons.

 

The term “an official act or action of DeKalb County” is specifically defined elsewhere in § 22A(b)(9) as “any legislative, administrative, appointive, or discretionary act of the Commission, the Chief Executive, or a commissioner.