Conflicts of Interest
Conflicts of Interest
Minnesota Statutes Section 15.054 (2010): Public employees not to purchase merchandise from governmental agencies; exceptions; penalty.
No officer or employee of the state or any of its political subdivisions shall sell or procure for sale or possess or control for sale to any other officer or employee of the state or subdivision, as appropriate, any property or materials owned by the state or subdivision except pursuant to conditions provided in this section. Property or materials owned by the state or a subdivision and not needed for public purposes, may be sold to an employee of the state or subdivision after reasonable public notice at a public auction or by sealed response, if the employee is not directly involved in the auction or process pertaining to the administration and collection of sealed responses. Requirements for reasonable public notice may be prescribed by other law or ordinance so long as at least one week's published notice is specified. An employee of the state or a political subdivision may purchase no more than one motor vehicle from the state at any one auction. A person violating the provisions of this section is guilty of a misdemeanor. This section shall not apply to the sale of property or materials acquired or produced by the state or subdivision for sale to the general public in the ordinary course of business. Nothing in this section shall prohibit an employee of the state or a political subdivision from selling or possessing for sale public property if the sale or possession for sale is in the ordinary course of business or normal course of the employee's duties.
Minnesota Statutes Section 15.43 (2010): Acceptance of advantage by state employee; penalty.
Subdivision 1. Financial interest of agents. No employee of the state or of the University of Minnesota in direct contact with suppliers or potential suppliers to the state or the university, or who may directly or indirectly influence a purchasing decision or contract by establishing specification, testing purchased products, evaluating contracted services, or otherwise has official involvement in the purchasing or contracting process may:
(1) Have any financial interest or have any personal beneficial interest directly or indirectly in contracts or purchase orders for goods or services used by, or purchased for resale or furnished to a department or agency of the state or the university; or
(2) Accept directly or indirectly from a person, firm, or corporation to which a contract or purchase order has been or may be, awarded, a rebate, gift, money, or anything of value other than items of nominal value. No such employee may further accept any promise, obligation or contract for future reward.
Subd. 2. Textbooks exempted. Textbooks, software, and other course materials authored by an employee of the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities or of the University of Minnesota may be used as required course material. Instructors in state institutions and at the university may accept free samples of textbooks and related teaching materials.
Subd. 3. Other exemptions. The commissioners of human services and corrections may by rule prescribe procedures for the acceptance of gifts from any person or organization, provided that such gifts are accepted by the commissioner, or a designated representative of the commissioner, and that such gifts are used solely for the direct benefit of patients or inmates under the jurisdiction of the accepting state officer.
Subd. 4. Penalties. A violation of this section is a misdemeanor.
Minnesota Statutes Section 15.435 (2010): Airline Travel Credit
(a) Whenever public funds are used to pay for airline travel by an elected official or public employee, any credits or other benefits issued by any airline must accrue to the benefit of the public body providing the funding. In the event the issuing airline will not honor a transfer or assignment of any credit or benefit, the individual passenger shall report receipt of the credit or benefit to the public body issuing the initial payment within 90 days of receipt.
(b) By July 1, 1993, the appropriate authorities in the executive, legislative, and judicial branches of the state and the governing body of each political subdivision shall develop and implement policies covering accrual of credits or other benefits issued by an airline whenever public funds are used to pay for airline travel by a public employee or an elected or appointed official. The policies must apply to all airline travel, regardless of where or how tickets are purchased. The policies must include procedures for reporting receipt of credits or other benefits.
Minnesota Statutes Section 16A.138 (2010): Officials not to exceed appropriation.
When there has been an appropriation for any purpose it shall be unlawful for any state board or official to incur indebtedness on behalf of the board, the official, or the state in excess of the appropriation made for such purpose. It is hereby made unlawful for any state board or official to incur any indebtedness in behalf of the board, the official, or the state of any nature until after an appropriation therefor has been made by the legislature. Any official violating these provisions shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and the governor is hereby authorized and empowered to remove any such official from office.
Minnesota Statutes Section 16A.139 (2010): Misappropriation of money.
(a) No official or head of any state department in the executive, legislative, or judicial branches, or any employee of a state department in those branches, may intentionally use money appropriated by law, or fees collected knowing that the use is for a purpose other than the purpose for which the money was appropriated. Unless a greater penalty is specified elsewhere in law, a person who violates this paragraph is guilty of a gross misdemeanor.
(b) A violation of paragraph (a) by a head of a department, or any state official, is cause for immediate removal of the official or head of a state department from the position held with the government of this state. A criminal conviction under paragraph (a) is not a prerequisite for removal. This paragraph does not apply to a judge, a constitutional officer, or a legislator, except as potential grounds for expulsion, impeachment, or recall in the manner specified in article IV, section 7, and article VIII of the Minnesota Constitution.
Minnesota Statutes Section 43A.32 (2010): Political activities.
Subdivision 1. Prohibition. No employee shall, directly or indirectly, during hours of employment solicit or receive funds for political purposes, or use official authority or influence to compel an employee in the classified service to apply for membership in or become a member of any political organization, to pay or promise to pay any assessment, subscription, or contribution or to take part in any political activity.
Subd. 2. Leaves of absence for elected public officials, candidates. Except as herein provided any officer or employee in the classified service shall:
(a) Take leave of absence upon assuming an elected federal office or an elected state office other than state legislative office or, if elected to state legislative office, during times that the legislature is in session;
(b) Take leave of absence upon assuming any elected public office other than enumerated in clause (a), if, in the opinion of the commissioner, the holding of the office conflicts with regular state employment; and
(c) Upon request, be granted leave of absence upon becoming a candidate, or during the course of candidacy, for any elected public office.
All requests for opinions of the commissioner and all opinions from the commissioner under the provisions of clause (b) shall be in writing and shall be delivered by mail or by use of a facsimile machine.
The commissioner shall issue an opinion under the provisions of clause (b) within seven calendar days of receipt of the request.
Subd. 3. Leave of absence. No executive branch officer or employee in the unclassified service who is covered by a collective bargaining agreement, and no executive branch officer or employee in the classified service, may be required to take a leave of absence upon becoming a candidate, or during the course of candidacy, for any elected public office. Said officers and employees shall take leave of absence upon assuming an elected federal office or an elected state office other than state legislative office or, if elected to state legislative office, during times that the legislature is in session.