Holding of position of town meeting member.

October 1, 1991

Opinion 91-7

Dear Clerk:

On Friday afternoon, , 1991 you telephoned the Secretary of the Advisory Committee on Ethical Opinions for Clerks of Court requesting advice on an emergency basis. You relayed the following facts to the Secretary. You had just been informed that several people were planning to write your name on the ballot for the position of town meeting member. The local election would be held on . You had not campaigned or been a candidate for the position. There were ten vacant town meeting member positions and six candidates for those positions. You requested advice on the question of whether you could accept the position of town meeting member if you were elected on a write-in basis. If, in the Committee's opinion, this position would conflict with the Code, you would contact your town clerk to advise that your write-in votes should not be counted.

After discussing your request with several Committee members, the secretary called to inform you that the opinion of the members consulted was that in these circumstances holding office as a town meeting member does not conflict with the Code of Professional Responsibility for Clerks of the Courts. The secretary also advised you to consult the provisions of the Trial Court Personnel Manual relative to leave of absence for political office.

By this letter the full Advisory Committee on Ethical Opinions for Clerks of Court confirms the advice that was given to you on an emergency basis. The Committee agrees that holding office as a town meeting member in the circumstances which you described does not conflict with the Code. The Committee also agrees with the suggestion that provisions of the Trial Court's Personnel Manual may be relevant.