Q May a municipality continue to make purchases from a supply company that employs a newly elected alderman’s child?

A If the alderman were totally financially independent from his child, there would be no prohibited interest in the purchases between the municipality and the supply company under Section 109 of the Mississippi Constitution and Section 25-4-105(2) of the Mississippi Code, which prohibit a member of a public board from having a direct or indirect interest in a contract authorized by that board during his term or for one year thereafter. If the parent and child are not financially independent, such as (for example) if the child lives in the parent’s home, owns a business with the parent, or is a debtor of the parent, this would create a prohibited interest. A recusal will not prevent or ameliorate a violation of Sections 109 and 25-4-105(2), and a contract which violates these Sections is null and void. (Mississippi Ethics Commission Advisory Opinion No. 14-001-E, February 7, 2014)