Q Does the Section 25-1-113 prohibition against “employing” a person convicted or having pled guilty to certain crimes involving public funds apply to independent contractors? Also, does Section 25-1-113 apply to convictions that do not involve public funds such as a conviction for solicitation of a bribe?

A This Section applies to employees, but not to independent contractors. Among other reasons, Article I, Section 10 of the U.S. Constitution prohibits states from passing laws impairing the obligations of contracts, as does Section 16 of the Mississippi Constitution. To pass constitutional muster, this law must be interpreted to apply only to employees, not to potentially breach otherwise valid contracts. As to solicitation of a bribe, Section 25-1-113 applies to public funds “or money coming into the person’s hands by virtue of the person’s office or employment,” so yes, it does apply to solicitation of a bribe. (Attorney General’s Opinion to Hines, October 10, 2014)