AN ACT TO ENHANCE THE INDEPENDENCE OF THE ANNUAL AUDIT OF UNITS OF LOCAL GOVERNMENT PREVIOUSLY THE SUBJECT OF AN AUDIT BY THE STATE AUDITOR, TO REQUIRE GARNISHMENT OF CERTAIN MONIES OWED TO AN ELECTED OFFICIAL OF A UNIT OF LOCAL GOVERNMENT IN CERTAIN INSTANCES, TO PROVIDE IT IS A CRIME FOR AN ELECTED OFFICIAL TO MISUSE THE ELECTED OFFICE FOR PERSONAL FINANCIAL GAIN, AND TO PROVIDE THAT A PUBLIC OFFICER ALSO SERVING ON A NONPROFIT BOARD SHALL NOT ENGAGE IN SELF-DEALING WITH REGARD TO AWARD OF PUBLIC AGENCY CONTRACTS TO THAT NONPROFIT.
Senate amendment to the 1st edition makes the following changes.
Deletes the proposed revisions of the definitions and parameters applicable to GS 14-234, which bars public officers and employees from benefiting from public contracts. Instead, enacts GS 14-234.2, prohibiting public officials from participating in making or administering a contract (including grants, loans, and appropriations) with any nonprofit with which the public official is associated, with violations punishable as a Class 1 misdemeanor. Defines "participate in making or administering a contract" to include deliberating or voting on a contract, attempting to influence others deliberating or voting on the contract, or soliciting or receiving any gift, favor, reward, service, or promise of reward in exchange for recommending, influencing, or attempting to influence the award of a contract by the political subdivision of the State with the nonprofit with which that public official is associated. Requires the public official to record his or her recusal with the clerk to the board prior to the political subdivision entering into or administering the contract. Establishes exceptions to the prohibition mirroring those listed in GS 14-234(b) and (d1) through (d5) as to public contracts. Voids contracts entered into in violation of the new statute, but allows contracts void under law to continue in effect until an alternative can be arranged if an immediate termination would result in harm to the public health or welfare and the continuation is approved by the Local Government Commission upon request of the political subdivision. Defines "nonprofit with which that public official is associated" as a nonprofit entity that is organized or operating in the State primarily for religious, charitable, scientific, literary, public health and safety, or educational purposes and of which the public official is the director, officer, or governing board member, excluding any board, entity, or other organization created by the State or by any political subdivision of the State. Defines public official. Applies to offenses committed on or after December 1, 2021.