Q A city police officer was charged with a crime, which occurred during the course of an arrest while on duty. At the probable cause hearing, the court found no probable cause Under these circumstances, may the board reimburse the officer his attorney fees for defense of this action?and dismissed the case. The officer did not request preapproval of his attorney fees because he did not know it was required.

A No. Section 25-1-47 gives municipalities the ability to provide legal defense for its employees for civil and criminal claims that arise as a result of his or her actions while acting in the capacity of their employment. However, in order for the board of aldermen to reimburse the police officer for attorney fees for successful defense of a criminal action, the officer must have obtained pre-approval. (Attorney Generalís Opinion to Lawrence, December 14, 2018)