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Ethics Formal Advisory Opinions

Following is a list of formal advisory opinions issued by the State Ethics Commission in response to a written request for an advisory opinion from:

  • A public servant or legislative employee subject to the State Government Ethics Act (“Ethics Act”) or their legal counsel.
  • An Ethics Liaison for a State agency or board.
  • An individual responsible for appointing a public servant to a State board or the supervisor of a public servant or legislative employee.

The Ethics Act requires that formal advisory opinions issued by the Ethics Commission be published within 30 days of issuance in an edited format to protect the requester's identity unless the requester authorizes unedited publication.

Because the Commission's recommended advisory opinions to legislators are published at another location on this Web site upon being accepted, modified, or replaced by the Legislative Ethics Committee (Legislative Ethics Committee Opinions ) there will be gaps in the numbering of the Commission's "Ethics" Formal Advisory Opinions.

These opinions are arranged according to the issues addressed in the opinion.

If you would like to obtain a formal advisory opinion from the Commission or are seeking informal advice from the Commission’s staff, please refer to this link.

* In accordance with G.S. 138A-13(e), the requester has authorized the publication of an unedited version of this opinion.

  1. THE GIFT BAN & THE GIFT BAN EXCEPTIONS
  2. NOTE: Several opinions discussing the gift ban and gift ban exceptions are published on the Lobbying Formal Advisory Opinion Page.

    E-14-001 Paying Expenses of Legislators to Participate in the 2014 "Global Leaders Program to Germany: Focus-Advanced Manufacturing, Workforce Training, and Innovation"
    G.S. 138A-32(c); G.S. 138A-32(d); G.S. 120C-303(a); G.S. 138A-32(e)(3)(i)
    May 9, 2014*
    E-13-005 Paying Expenses of Legislators to Participate in the 2013 Global Leaders Program Study Trip "Economic Development - India and North Carolina"
    G.S. 138A-32(c); G.S. 120C-303(a); G.S. 138A-32(e)(3)(i)
    November 1, 2013*
    E-13-006 Permissibility of NCDENR Division of Energy, Mineral & Land Resources Program's Acceptance of American Petroleum Institute Standards
    G.S. 138A-32(c); G.S. 138A-3(15)
    November 1, 2013*
    E-13-001 Sponsoring Legislator and Public Servant Participation in International Trip - Global Leaders Program to China
    G.S. 138A-32(c); G.S. 138A-32(d); G.S. 120C-303(a); G.S. 138A-32(e)(3)(i); G.S. 138A-32(f)
    February 8, 2013*
    E-12-001 Southeastern Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners’ 2013 Annual Conference
    G.S. 138A-32(c) and (d); 138A-32(e)(1); 138A-32(e)(3); 138A-32(e)(12); 138A-32(f); 120C-303(e)
    August 10, 2012*
    E-11-001 June 2011 American Association of Motor Vehicle Administrators Conference
    G.S. 138A-32(c) and (d); 138A-32(e)(1); 138A-32(e)(3); 138A-32(e)(12); 138A-32(f); 120C-303(e)
    February 11, 2011*
    E-10-001 Donation of Meeting Related Expenses to the NC Board of Transportation
    G.S. 138A-32(c), (d), and (d1); G.S. 138A-32(e)(1); G.S. 138A-32(e)(5); G.S. 138A-32(e)(12); and G.S. 138A-32(f)
    May 14, 2010*

  3. CONFLICTS OF INTEREST
  4. E-13-003 Conflicts of Interest Associated with Continued Service on NC State Bar Disciplinary Hearing Commission and Law Partner’s Position as President-Elect of NC State Bar
    G.S. 138A-36(a); G.S. 138A-36(c)
    May 10, 2013*

    E-10-005 Conflicts of Interest Arising in Connection with Stock Ownership.
    G.S. 138A-36(a), (b), and (c); G.S. 138A-38(a)(1)
    November 19, 2010
    E-10-004 Conflicts of Interest Arising in Connection with Consideration of The Falls Nutrient Strategy Rules by the NC Rules Review Commission.
    G.S. 138A-36(a), (b), and (c); G.S. 138A-38(a)(1)
    November 19, 2010*
    E-10-002 Conflicts of Interest Associated With Spouse’s Independent Contractor Relationship with Company.
    G.S. 138A-31(a); G.S. 138A-36(a); G.S. 138A-36(c); and 138A-38(a)
    May 14, 2010
    E-09-005 Conflicts of Interest Associated with Dual Service on the Roanoke Island Commission and the Board of Directors of the Friends of Elizabeth II, Inc.
    G.S. 138A-36(a) and G.S. 138A-36(b)
    November 13, 2009 *
    E-09-003 Conflicts of Interest Associated With Spouse’s Consulting Business.
    G.S. 138A-31(a) and 138A-36(a)
    April 24, 2009
    E-08-002 Application of the “Class Exception” to Public Servant Conflicts of Interest.
    G.S. 138A-38(a)(1)
    May 22, 2008

     

  5. RESTRICTIONS AGAINST USE OF OFFICIAL TITLE FOR ADVERTISING/STATE FUNDS FOR PSAs
  6. E-13-004 Use of State Facilities, Equipment and Supplies, and Personnel to Produce and Distribute Television and Radio Programs for Television and Radio Outlets
    G.S. 138A-31(b); G.S. 138A-31(c)
    August 23, 2013

    E-13-002 Use of Name, Picture or Voice in Radio, Television, or Internet Advertisements Promoting Programs Funded by Various Federal Grant Programs
    G.S. 138A-31(b); G.S. 138A-31(c)
    May 10, 2013

    E-10-003 Hosting Monthly Radio Show on Shaw University Radio Station.
    G.S. 138A-32(c) and (d); G.S. 138A-31(b); G.S. 138A-31(c)
    November 19, 2010*
    E-09-004 Distribution of Video Featuring Public Servant.
    G.S. 138A-31(b) and (c)
    April 24, 2009

  7. MISCELLANEOUS OPINIONS
  8. E-12-002 Applicability of the State Government Ethics Act to the Technical Coordinating Committee of the Metropolitan Planning Organization
    23 U.S.C. 134(b); G.S. 136-200(4), and Session Law 2012-142
    December 17, 2012
    E-07-005 Statement of Economic Interest Disclosure Requirements.
    G.S. 138A-22 and 138A-24
    March 7, 2007
    E-07-013 No “Cooling Off” Period for Former Legislators Who Become Liaison Personnel.
    G.S. 120C-100(a)(10), -304, -501(a)
    October 3, 2007