Q The tax collector has been sued by a tax sale purchaser in connection with the tax sale. May the county pay for the tax collector’s legal counsel, attorney’s fees, and costs expended by the surety carrier in defense of his bond as the tax collector, while he was in performance of his official duties?

A Section 25-1-47 permits, but does not require, a county to provide legal defense for an officer of the county while acting in his official capacity. This statute does not, however, provide authority for the county to reimburse the bonding company for costs of defense under its bond. (Attorney General’s Opinion to Neyman, February 21, 2014)