Q If a newly-elected chancery clerk’s wife was already an employee when he was elected, is it legal for her to remain employed as a deputy clerk? If so, will her salary count against the salary cap for the clerk?

A The clerk’s wife may remain employed by the clerk. Section 9-1-43(2) provides that the total salary paid to a relative (within the first degree of kinship) of the employing chancery or circuit clerk, when combined with the clerk’s fees, may not exceed the $90,000 cap. This does not apply to any individual who was an employee of the clerk’s office prior to the date his or her relative was elected as chancery or circuit clerk. (Attorney General’s Opinion to Clark, dated February 21, 2012)