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Public Officers
Malfeasance
Mayor
Town Clerk
 

Mayor of city who is also stockholder in bank
that, as highest bidder, purchased from city
bonds to amount of $10,000, paying therefor
$10,050, is liable to punishment under
Section 348.28, Stats., for being
interested in contract with city.

Town clerk, who has no vote in matter and is
not stockholder in bank, has not such
interest in contract as to make him
liable under said Section 348.28.

June 13, 1932.

ALBERT G. HAWLEY,

District Attorney, Darlington, Wisconsin.

You have submitted the following facts for an
opinion: The city of X - sold to the A - and
B - Bank of X - a bond issue.

Prior to that sale these bonds were
advertised in a local paper and you have
been informed that they were also advertised
in other papers; sealed bids were submitted;
two bids were submitted, one of 97% on the
dollar, and the other, the bank's bid of
$50.00 above par value or $10,050
for $10,000 in bonds.

You state that you have no information
that there was any irregularity
in the issuing of the bonds.

The complainant was the low bidder.

Bids were submitted to open council and
passed by them. You also state that at
the time the said bonds were sold as
above stated Mr. Y - was mayor of the
city of X - and was also a stockholder
and a member of the board of directors
of the purchasing bank; also, at said
time Mr. Z - was city clerk and also
assistant cashier of said purchasing bank,
but not a stockholder in said bank.

You submit two questions.

1.   Is Mr. Y - , who was both mayor and
     stockholder of said purchasing bank
     at the time of the said sale, liable
     criminally under section 348.28 of
     the Wisconsin statutes? "

You state that the mayor would not have a
vote on the question of accepting or
rejecting the bid of the bank, except
in the case of a tie vote, which did
not happen in this case; that the mayor,
however, was present and presiding at
the meeting of the council when
the bid was accepted.

21 OAG 626 (1932)  TOP  626 627 END

Your first question must be
answered in the affirmative.

The mayor was a stockholder in the bank and
has a direct financial interest in the
purchase of said bonds by the bank.

Your second question reads:

2.   Is Mr. Z - , who was city clerk and also
     assistant cashier of said bank at the
     time of said sale, liable criminally
     under section 348.28 of the
     Wisconsin statutes?

The city clerk was not a stockholder in
the bank and therefore has no interest
in the purchase of this bond.

His salary or the amount of his salary is not
influenced by the purchase of these bonds.

He has no vote in selling the bonds to
the bank or in accepting their bid.

He is merely a ministerial officer.

I am of the opinion that he is not
liable under said section.

Your second question must be answered "No."

JEM
21 OAG 626 (1932)  TOP  626 627 END