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AG Opinions: From the ethics act to trade in of used equipment

AG OPINION NO. 2014-134 Te Attorney General commented on Amendment 94 to the Arkansas Consti- tution, which is entitled “Te Arkansas Elected Officials Ethics, Transparency, and Financial Reform Amendment.” More specifically, Section 3 amends Section 2 of Amendment 73 to the Arkansas Consti- tution so that beginning Nov. 5, 2014, a member of the Arkansas General Assem- bly may serve up to 16 years in either the House of Representatives or the Senate, or a combination of both. Te AG stated that years served in the General Assembly prior to the passage of Amendment 94 count toward the cumulative limit of 16 years now imposed under Amendment 73. Te AG also determined that two-year terms served as a result of an apportion- ment of the Senate and partial legislative terms served as a result of a special election under Article 5, Section 6 of the Arkansas Constitution are not included in calcu- lating total number of years served by a member of the General Assembly.

AG OPINION NO. 2014-137 Te AG discusses how the Arkansas

Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) ap- plies to data stored on the disaster recovery system (DRS) in Opinion No. 2014-137. Te AG opined that pursuant to ACA 25- 19-103(5)(A), deleted emails of public officials or employees are considered “not

otherwise kept” even if they exist on a DRS and are not required to be produced under the FOIA. {HB 1874 sponsored by Rep. Bob Johnson, Act 881 of 2015, makes the law explicit that deleted emails that are temporarily within a DRS are not kept or maintained and therefore not sub- ject to the FOIA}.

AG OPINION NO. 2015-006 Te AG discussed whether a city may use

city general funds to pay for water and sew- er upgrades to the city system that includes customers inside and outside city limits. Te AG concluded that some basic prin- ciples come into play when addressing the matter of funding the cost of serving those inside and outside city limits. Te AG stat- ed that the law generally contemplates that the rates for resident and nonresident con- sumers of a municipal waterworks or sewer system will be sufficient to pay for install- ing and maintaining the system. However, a city may use general revenues for funding the city water or sewer system regardless of whether the improvements will benefit cus- tomers inside or outside the city limits.

AG OPINION NO. 2014-092 Te AG was asked whether a trade in of used county equipment is permissible (as consideration supporting either an install- ment purchase of used replacement equip- ment or a lease of equipment) without

receiving bids for the sale of the equipment under ACA 14-16-105. Te AG noted that chap- ter 22 on the sale of coun- ty property (ACA 14-22- 101 and 106) controls in in-

AG Opinions

Mark Whitmore AAC Chief Counsel

stances that county property is sold as part of a trade in. ACA 14-16-105 involves the sale of county property generally that focuses primarily on straightforward sales of county property, not a trade in. Te AG stated that when a county disposes of property by trade in it clearly owns in con- nection with either a lease or the purchase of used property, ACA 14-22-106 will control and that bids should not be taken by the county for the traded in property. A purchase of equipment by a county for or in excess of $20,000 is subject to competi- tive bidding. {SB 319 sponsored by Rep. Bruce Maloch, Act 561 of 2015, amends the definition of used or secondhand mo- tor vehicles, equipment and machinery from two years to one year, from 10,000 miles to 5,000 miles and from 500 work- ing hours to 250 working hours}.

Servant of the Year award

Columbia County Clerk’s Office receives Public

The Magnolia-Columbia County Chamber of Commerce recently recognized the Columbia County Clerk’s office for its dedication to public service. During its 76th annual Membership Banquet, held March 12 in Peace Hall at First United Methodist Church in Mag- nolia, the Chamber honored the clerk’s office with its 2014 Public Servant of the Year award. There to receive the award were (from left to right) Deputy Clerks Kay McWilliams and Glenda Atkinson, County Clerk Sherry Bell, Tammy Wiltz, Lynsandra Curry and Phyllis Disotell. Not pictured is Barbara Smith.


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