2021 Georgia Code
Title 16 - Crimes and Offenses
Chapter 10 - Offenses Against Public Administration
Article 1 - Abuse of Governmental Office
§ 16-10-9. Acceptance of Office or Employment in More Than One Branch of Government

Universal Citation: GA Code § 16-10-9 (2021)
  1. It shall be unlawful for:
    1. Members of the General Assembly to accept or hold office or employment in the executive branch of the state government or any agency thereof or in the judicial branch of the state government;
    2. Judges of courts of record or their clerks and assistants to accept or hold office or employment in the executive branch of the state government or any agency thereof or in the legislative branch of the state government; or
    3. Officers or employees of the executive branch of the state government to accept or hold office or employment in the legislative or judicial branches of the state government.
  2. A person who knowingly disburses or receives any compensation or money in violation of this Code section is guilty of a misdemeanor.
  3. Nothing in this Code section shall be construed to apply to any officer or employee of the executive branch who has taken a leave of absence without pay from his post for temporary service as an employee of the legislative branch while it is in session and during the authorized stay-over period.

(Ga. L. 1959, p. 34, § 7; Ga. L. 1961, p. 42, § 1; Code 1933, § 26-2309, enacted by Ga. L. 1968, p. 1249, § 1.)

Cross references.

- Separation of legislative, judicial, and executive powers of government, Ga. Const. 1983, Art. I, Sec. II, Para. III.

JUDICIAL DECISIONS

Former Code 1933, § 26-2309 (see now O.C.G.A. § 16-10-9) was an attempt to prevent obvious conflicts of interest inherent in situations where an individual serves concurrently in two branches of state government. Galer v. Board of Regents of Univ. Sys., 239 Ga. 268, 236 S.E.2d 617 (1977).

Restrictions imposed on employees of executive branch by former Code 1933, § 26-2309 (see now O.C.G.A. § 16-10-9) were reasonable and justifiable. Galer v. Board of Regents of Univ. Sys., 239 Ga. 268, 236 S.E.2d 617 (1977).

OPINIONS OF THE ATTORNEY GENERAL

Editor's notes.

- In light of the similarity of the statutory provisions, opinions under former Code 1933, § 26-5009, and Ga. L. 1959, p. 34, § 7 are included in the annotations for this Code section.

Former Code 1933, § 26-2309 (see now O.C.G.A. § 16-10-9) did not prohibit one from holding two employments in same branch of state government; the statute prohibited an employee from holding two employments in different branches of state government. 1969 Op. Att'y Gen. No. 69-467; 1971 Op. Att'y Gen. No. 71-101.

Word "services" within meaning of former Code 1933, § 26-5009 (see now O.C.G.A. § 45-10-20) referred to an independent contract or relationship, such as an attorney, architect, consultant, cleaning contractor, etc. The word services as used in that section did not refer to "employment" where a master-servant relationship was created. 1969 Op. Att'y Gen. No. 69-467.

Member of General Assembly cannot hold employment as faculty member of institution within University System of Georgia even where General Assembly member takes leave without pay from the member's regent's employment during legislative sessions; it was the potential for conflicting interests which arose from holding of two positions towards which former Code 1933, § 26-2309 (see now O.C.G.A. § 16-10-9) was directed. 1976 Op. Att'y Gen. No. 76-117.

State Senator in private veterinary practice may be retained by Department of Agriculture for meat inspections. 1974 Op. Att'y Gen. No. 74-156.

Employee of executive branch of state government may not run for justice of the peace since a justice of the peace was a state officer in the judicial branch; this would be a violation of former Code 1933, § 26-2309 (see now O.C.G.A. § 16-10-9), which made it a crime for executive officers or employees to accept employment in judicial branch. 1972 Op. Att'y Gen. No. U72-26.

Clerk of superior court cannot lawfully serve as member of General Assembly. 1965-66 Op. Att'y Gen. No. 66-105 (decided under former Code 1933, § 26-5009, Ga. L. 1959, p. 34, § 7).

Simultaneous service as official court reporter and justice of the peace did not offend former Code 1933, § 26-2309 (see now O.C.G.A. § 16-10-9). 1980 Op. Att'y Gen. No. U80-23.

Court reporter may not hold simultaneous employment with the State Board of Workers' Compensation and a superior court or state court, though the individual may provide court reporting services to those courts provided the role is that of an independent contractor. 1983 Op. Att'y Gen. No. 83-56.

Judge's uncompensated services on advisory council to Department of Human Resources.

- Uncompensated services of juvenile and superior court judges on advisory council to Department of Human Resources would meet letter as well as spirit of both statutory and constitutional provisions relating to separation of powers. 1963-65 Op. Att'y Gen. p. 320 (decided under former Code 1933, § 26-5009, Ga. L. 1959, p. 34, § 7).

Board of commissioners member may hold democratic executive committee office at county or state level. Since state officials are not prevented from holding city or county offices and since positions involved are not ones for which political activity is banned by rules and regulations of merit system, a member of board of commissioners is eligible to hold office on democratic executive committee at either county or state level. 1965-66 Op. Att'y Gen. No. 66-181 (decided under former Code 1933, § 26-5009, Ga. L. 1959, p. 34, § 7).

Solicitors of the municipal court are not within the judicial branch of state government for purposes of the constitutional provision prohibiting one person from simultaneously exercising the functions of more than one of three branches of state government. 1991 Op. Att'y Gen. No. U91-4.

University institution cannot contract for another agency's employee.

- Member institution of the University System of Georgia may not contract for the services of an employee of an agency in another branch of state government. 1993 Op. Att'y Gen. No. 93-24.

Staff member in the judicial branch or General Assembly is prohibited from employment as a graduate research, laboratory, or teaching assistant at any unit of the University System of Georgia. 1997 Op. Att'y Gen. No. 97-1.

RESEARCH REFERENCES

Am. Jur. 2d.

- 63C Am. Jur. 2d, Public Officers and Employees, § 57 et seq.

ALR.

- One acting under authority of emergency or relief board or administration as civil officer within contemplation of constitutional provision against holding two or more offices at same time, 105 A.L.R. 1237.

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