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Local Government and School Accountability

Protecting the Public’s Interest

A Tutorial on Local Government Ethics and Transparency in New York State

Module 3 - Case Studies on Conflicts of Interest

Situation 5

The clerk in the town highway superintendent’s office is married to the owner of an equipment repair shop, who operates the business as a sole proprietorship. The clerk’s duties include keeping a record of all highway purchases and checking invoices for accuracy before they are approved by the highway superintendent. It is probable that the town will do business in excess of $750 with the repair shop.

Does the highway department clerk have a prohibited interest in a contract? Why or why not? If she does not, are there any other issues with which the town should be concerned?

  Next: Discussion of Situation 5