HB 289: "An Act authorizing state agencies to pay private legal fees and costs incurred by persons exonerated of alleged Alaska Executive Branch Ethics Act violations; allowing certain public officers and former public officers to accept state payments to offset private legal fees and costs related to defending against an Alaska Executive Branch Ethics Act complaint; and creating certain exceptions to Alaska Executive Branch Ethics Act limitations on the use of state resources to provide or pay for transportation of spouses and children of the governor and the lieutenant governor."
00 HOUSE BILL NO. 289 01 "An Act authorizing state agencies to pay private legal fees and costs incurred by 02 persons exonerated of alleged Alaska Executive Branch Ethics Act violations; allowing 03 certain public officers and former public officers to accept state payments to offset 04 private legal fees and costs related to defending against an Alaska Executive Branch 05 Ethics Act complaint; and creating certain exceptions to Alaska Executive Branch 06 Ethics Act limitations on the use of state resources to provide or pay for transportation 07 of spouses and children of the governor and the lieutenant governor." 08 BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF ALASKA: 09 * Section 1. AS 39.52.120(b) is amended to read: 10 (b) A public officer may not 11 (1) seek other employment or contracts through the use or attempted 12 use of official position; 13 (2) accept, receive, or solicit compensation for the performance of
01 official duties or responsibilities from a person other than the state; 02 (3) use state time, property, equipment, or other facilities to benefit 03 personal or financial interests; 04 (4) take or withhold official action in order to affect a matter in which 05 the public officer has a personal or financial interest; 06 (5) attempt to benefit a personal or financial interest through coercion 07 of a subordinate or require another public officer to perform services for the private 08 benefit of the public officer at any time; or 09 (6) use or authorize the use of state funds, facilities, equipment, 10 services, or another government asset or resource for a partisan political purpose 11 [PURPOSES]; this paragraph does not prohibit use of the governor's residence for 12 meetings to discuss political strategy and does not prohibit use of state aircraft or the 13 communications equipment in the governor's residence so long as there is no charge to 14 the state for the use [; IN THIS PARAGRAPH, "FOR PARTISAN POLITICAL 15 PURPOSES" 16 (A) MEANS HAVING THE INTENT TO 17 DIFFERENTIALLY BENEFIT OR HARM A 18 (i) CANDIDATE OR POTENTIAL CANDIDATE 19 FOR ELECTIVE OFFICE; OR 20 (ii) POLITICAL PARTY OR GROUP; 21 (B) BUT DOES NOT INCLUDE HAVING THE INTENT TO 22 BENEFIT THE PUBLIC INTEREST AT LARGE THROUGH THE 23 NORMAL PERFORMANCE OF OFFICIAL DUTIES]. 24 * Sec. 2. AS 39.52.120(f) is amended to read: 25 (f) Use of state aircraft for a partisan political purpose [PURPOSES] is 26 permitted under (b) of this section only when the use is collateral or incidental to the 27 normal performance of official duties and does not exceed 10 percent of the total of 28 the use of the aircraft for official purposes and partisan political purposes, combined, 29 on a single trip. A public officer who authorizes or makes any partisan political use of 30 a state aircraft under (b) of this section shall disclose the authorization and use under 31 AS 39.52.210 or 39.52.220 for each trip, and the person who uses the aircraft shall
01 reimburse the state for the proportionate share of the actual cost of the use. 02 * Sec. 3. AS 39.52.120 is amended by adding new subsections to read: 03 (g) Notwithstanding (a) and (b)(1) - (5) of this section, the use of state 04 resources to transport or pay the cost of transporting a person who is the spouse or 05 child of the governor or lieutenant governor to an event other than an event that has a 06 partisan political purpose is permitted if 07 (1) the person is transported with the governor or lieutenant governor 08 and the state is reimbursed for the actual cost or, if the actual cost is not reasonably 09 calculable, the fair market value of the person's transportation; or 10 (2) the person's attendance is a benefit to the state; under this 11 paragraph, a benefit to the state is presumed when 12 (A) the person's attendance at the event is required for official 13 action of the state; 14 (B) the event is state-sponsored and the person's attendance is 15 customary; 16 (C) the person is attending as an official representative of the 17 state; or 18 (D) the person is invited by the event's sponsor before the 19 transportation occurs, the invitation and the person's attendance are customary, 20 the event is related to issues important to the state, and the governor or 21 lieutenant governor attend. 22 (h) In this section, "partisan political purpose" 23 (1) means a purpose intended to differentially benefit or harm a 24 (A) candidate or potential candidate for elective office; or 25 (B) political party or group; 26 (2) does not include a purpose intended to benefit the public interest at 27 large through the normal performance of official duties. 28 * Sec. 4. AS 39.52 is amended by adding a new section to article 5 to read: 29 Sec. 39.52.470. Legal fees and costs. (a) Notwithstanding AS 39.52.120, a 30 state agency may pay the fees and costs of private legal representation that are 31 incurred by a person who is a public officer or a former public officer while defending
01 against a complaint initiated or filed under AS 39.52.310 concerning conduct by the 02 person during a period when the person was serving or employed as a public officer. 03 Payment may be made at any time after the complaint is initiated or filed under 04 AS 39.52.310. The agency shall cancel a payment before it clears, and attempt to 05 recover a payment when canceling the payment is not possible, if a complaint 06 proceeding terminates and the public officer or former public officer accused in the 07 complaint is not exonerated. When a complaint alleges more than one violation against 08 a public officer or a former public officer, payments and cancellation or recovery of 09 payments may be apportioned by alleged violation. 10 (b) Notwithstanding AS 39.52.120, a public officer or former public officer 11 who is the subject of a complaint may accept a payment under (a) of this section 12 subject to a condition that the public officer or former public officer automatically 13 forfeits eligibility for, and agrees to repay to the state, any part of the payment 14 intended to offset the fees and costs of private legal representation incurred by the 15 public officer or former public officer while defending against a complaint that is 16 resolved without exoneration. 17 (c) A public officer may not act for the state in the matter of a payment under 18 this section if the payment is to the public officer or an immediate family member of 19 the public officer. 20 (d) In this section, 21 (1) "exoneration" or "exonerated" means that an allegation of a 22 violation of AS 39.52 (Alaska Executive Branch Ethics Act) is 23 (A) dismissed under AS 39.52.310(d), 39.52.320, or 24 39.52.370(d); 25 (B) dismissed after an appeal under AS 39.52.370(f); or 26 (C) resolved solely with a recommendation for preventive 27 action under AS 39.52.330; 28 (2) "fees and costs of private legal representation" means reasonable 29 fees and related costs of legal representation that are necessary to expend in defense 30 against the allegations in the complaint and may include fees for services customarily 31 performed by an attorney but delegated to and performed by a person working under
01 the supervision of an attorney licensed to practice in the state. 02 * Sec. 5. The uncodified law of the State of Alaska is amended by adding a new section to 03 read: 04 APPLICABILITY. AS 39.52.470, enacted by sec. 4 of this Act, applies only to 05 complaints under AS 39.52.310 - 39.52.390 that are initiated or filed on or after the effective 06 date of this Act.