Q May the town hire a nephew of an alderman as a police officer (who will not be serving as police chief)?

A Whether the hiring of a municipal employee violates Section 25-1-53 (the “nepotism statute”) requires a three-step evaluation: First, is the relative the “appointing authority?” In this case, yes. Second, are the parties related within the third degree?” A nephew is a relative within the third degree. In addition, third, is the subject job being filled a “clerk, stenographer, deputy or assistant”? A police officer who is not serving in the capacity of police chief is not within these five categories, so the board may hire him without violating the nepotism statute. We recommend you contact the Ethics Commission to determine if such hiring would implicate the Ethics laws. (Attorney General’s Opinion to Wakeland, October 4, 2019)