40 OAG 488 (1951)  TOP  488  489  END

Schools and School Districts
School Board Members
Public Officers
Malfeasance

Section 348.28, Stats., applies to contracts
for personal services. It probably prohibits
school boards from contracting with wives,
husbands and minor children of members of
such board.

December 18, 1951.

V.E. KIMBALL,
Assistant State Superintendent of
Public Instruction.

You have requested an opinion on the
following questions:

1.   Do the provisions of Section 348.28,
     Stats.,  prohibit school district boards
     from contracting with themselves to
     perform services for the district
     for compensation in excess of
     their salaries as board members?

2.   Do the provisions of Section 348.28
     prohibit school boards from contracting
     with school board members -  wives,
     husbands and minor children to
     perform services for the district?

Section 348.28, Stats.,
provides in part as follows:

     348.28(1)

     Any officer, agent or clerk of . . .
     any school district . . . who shall
     have, reserve or acquire any pecuniary
     interest, directly or indirectly,
     present or prospective, absolute or
     conditional, in any way or manner
     . . . in any contract . . . in
     relation to any public service . .
     shall be imprisoned in the county
     jail not more than one year, or
     in the state prison not more
     than 5 years, or fined not
     exceeding $500.

     348.28(2)

     The provisions of this section shall
     not apply . . . to any contract, not
     exceeding $1,000 in any one year . . .

     348.28(3)

     Any contract, to which the state or any
     county, city, village, town, school
     board or school district is a party,
     entered into in violation of the
     provisions of this section, shall be
     absolutely null and void and the
     state, county, city, village, town,
     school board or school district
     shall incur no liability
     whatever thereon.

The answer to your first question is "Yes,"
if the amount exceeds $1,000 in any one year.

The statute applies to contracts
for personal service.

Henry v. Dolen, (1925)
186 Wis. 622, 625,
203 N. W. 369.

The answer to your second question is that
this office has previously in well considered
opinions stated that the statute "probably"
applies to a member of the school board which
contracts with his wife or minor child for
personal services, on the ground that the
school board member has an indirect interest
in the contract.

20 OAG. 862;
24 OAG. 113.

40 OAG 488 (1951)  TOP  488  489  END

The reasoning of those opinions applies
as well to the case of a wife who is a
member of a school board which enters
into a contract with her husband.

Again the exclusion of contracts not in
excess of $1,000 per year applies.

WAP

40 OAG 488 (1951)  TOP  488  489  END