by Max Brantley
A fellow interested in good government sent me this statute:
Subject: Violation of Arkansas State Statue 14047-137
14-47-137.Prohibited actions by officers or employees.
(a)(1)No officer or employee elected or appointed in any city shall be interested, directly or indirectly, in any contract or job for work or materials, or the profits thereof, or service to be furnished or performed for the city unless the board of directors of the city shall have enacted an ordinance specifically permitting an officer or employee to conduct business with the city and prescribing the extent of this authority.
(c)Any person violating the provisions of this section shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and fined in a sum of not less than two hundred fifty dollars ($250) nor more than five thousand dollars ($5,000), and every such contract or agreement shall be void.
Didn't I just read about a couple of members of the Little Rock Planning Commission (now former members) whose company got a contract to do city demolition work, without an ordinance permitting the business? I didn't know the codification of the city's conflict of interest rule included a penalty for violation. Will the law be enforced, the reader asks? An ordinance pending before the board to allow a way around such conflicts in the future couldn't fix this retroactively, I don't think. Could be a knotty problem.