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What activity in my public official capacity could be corruption?

On Behalf of | Dec 14, 2017 | Municipal Defense

The kinds of activities that can rise to the level of public corruption in Texas are probably as variable as your imagination. What may be proper activities in a non-public-official’s life can be entirely illegal once one is a public official.

Certain actions of public officials in the news lately, have been the subject of accusations and criminal charges and reviewing them can be telling. As reported by myStatesman, for instance, a state representative was indicted on over a dozen charges of corruption based on her alleged activities related to her official capacity.

Using staff for personal errands

One major allegation was that she had a habit of ordering her legislative staff to run her personal errands or other domestic chores. There were also allegations that the state representative arranged to have her staff, at times, work for her non-profit organization while receiving pay from the state rather than the non-profit.

She also used her staff to provide live-in nanny services and to work on the African-American Community Heritage Festival. Generally, as a public official or employee, you typically want to entirely refrain from the use of employees for personal use.

Falsifying government records

As a government official, you would also take care in record-keeping. Any recordations that appear inaccurate could lead to allegations if they appear you intended them to gain a benefit. In the state representative’s case, there was also question as to whether she had falsified government records to allow her to receive pay for per-diem work. There were contentions that she never actually showed up at the Capitol on the days she sought payment for such work.

Inappropriate spending

Common sense in spending is also wife. There were assertions that the state representative’s campaign engaged in inappropriate spending, which may have included over $50,000 on a psychic.

Absenteeism and fabrication

Not showing up for work with a justified reason such as health issues, may require you maintain ongoing proofs of the situation and be sure there is no inconsistent proofs. The state representative allegedly missed most of the year’s session due to a general understanding that she was dealing with some serious health problems. However, allegations rose that at that time that she was simultaneously enjoying a rather robust social calendar.

Evidence and dismissal

Note that evidence of improper activities can come from familiar places very familiar to you, but unexpected. In the myStatesman report, the sources of evidence included text messages, roll call or attendance records at legislative sessions, expense records, a cell phone and witness statements.