Related to:

Opinion EC-COI-79-35

Date: 05/10/1979
Organization: State Ethics Commission

May a former legal assistant in a County District Attorney's office assist a City regarding the same matters he/she participated in as a legal assistant for the County District Attorney's office? 


All identifying information has been deleted from this opinion as required by Chapter 268B, section 3(g).


You were a legal assistant in the County District Attorney's office from 1976, to 1978. You assisted in the investigation of allegations that four companies had engaged in criminal practices resulting in major overbilling in regard to contracts with the City of ( city) during 1974-75 and 1975-76. The investigation resulted in the indictment and trial of two of the companies for larceny by false pretenses. You also assisted in the preparation of an analysis of the records of these companies and a detailed report of the areas where the City should seek to recover monies in a civil action for those two years. This report was submitted to the City. You ask whether you may now, without violation Chapter 268A, advise the City regarding the details of that analysis of the bills submitted by these companies for the 1976-77 year.

The District Attorney's office is a "state agency" and, because you were performing services for a state entity until 1978, you are now a former state employee. Section 5(a) prohibits a former state employee from receiving compensation from anyone other than the Commonwealth ". . . in connection with a particular matter in which the Commonwealth or a state agency is a party or matter in which the Commonwealth or a state agency is a party or has a direct and substantial interest and in which he participated . . . "

The preparation and submission by the District Attorney's office of the detailed analytical report to the City is a particular matter in which you participated directly and substantially as a state employee and to which the District Attorney's office was a party. Therefore, section 5(a) prohibits you from receiving compensation for advising the City about the details of that report. To the extent that the District Attorney's investigation and report did not address the records of those four companies for the 1976-77 year, you would not be prohibited from performing services for the City in regard to the bills submitted in that year.


Scott Harshbarger

General Counsel

End of Opinion


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