The following opinion is presented on-line for informational use only and does not replace the official version. (Mich Dept of Attorney General Web Site - www.ag.state.mi.us) STATE OF MICHIGAN
FRANK J. KELLEY, ATTORNEY GENERAL
CONFLICT OF INTEREST:
PUBLIC OFFICES AND OFFICERS:
SCHOOLS AND SCHOOL DISTRICTS:
Applicability of public servant conflicts of interest act to public school academies
The public servant conflicts of interest act, 1968 PA 317, applies to officers and employees of public school academies.
Opinion No. 6966
January 26, 1998
Honorable Pat Gagliardi
Lansing, Michigan 48913
You have asked whether the public servant conflicts of interest act applies to public school academies created under Part 6A of the Revised School Code, MCL 380.1 et seq; MSA 15.4001 et seq.
The public servant conflicts of interest act, 1968 PA 317, MCL 15.321 et seq; MSA 4.1700(51) et seq, governs public servants and their contracts with public entities. Section 1 of the Act defines the terms "public servant" and "public entity" as follows:
(a) "Public servant" includes all persons serving any public entity, except members of the legislature and state officers who are within the provisions of section 10 of article 4 of the state constitution as implemented by legislative act.
(b) "Public entity" means the state including all agencies thereof, any public body corporate within the state, including all agencies thereof, or any non-incorporated public body within the state of whatever nature, including all agencies thereof.
Officers and employees of public schools are subject to 1968 PA 317. OAG, 1979-1980, No 5682, p 719, 720 (April 17, 1980). Section 5(5) of the Revised School Code defines "public school" to include educational entities "operated by . . . a public school academy corporation." Section 501(1) of the Revised School Code states that "[a] public school academy is a public school under section 2 of article VIII of the state constitution of 1963" and that "[a] public school academy is a body corporate and is a governmental agency." Moreover, in Council of Organizations and Others for Education about Parochiaid v Governor, 455 Mich 557; 566 NW2d 208 (1997), the court ruled that public school academies are public schools. The court also noted that "public school academy board members are public officials and are subject to all applicable law pertaining to public officials." Council of Organizations, 455 Mich at 585. Thus, public school academies are public entities within the purview of section 1 of 1968 PA 317. Officers and employees of public school academies, therefore, are subject to the mandates of that statute.
It is my opinion, therefore, that the public servant conflicts of interest act, 1968 PA 317, MCL 15.321 et seq; MSA 4.1700(51) et seq, applies to officers and employees of public school academies.
FRANK J. KELLEY
STATE OF MICHIGAN