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De Facto Officers Versus Intruders

October 22, 2010

Last November the voters elected a new town council, and to celebrate the victors invited their local congressman to administer the oath of office.  Several months later some pedant pointed out that North Carolina law doesn’t permit congressmen to administer … Continued

What’s a “Public Office”?

February 17, 2010

What’s a “Public Office”? I am often asked to explain what it means to hold a public office. The questioner is sometimes trying to decide whether a particular person must take an oath, which is required of public office-holders.  Or, the person … Continued

Board Members as Employees

January 6, 2010

The governing board of a small town believes that it would be advantageous to hire the mayor as a part-time town administrator. Is this legal? In some cases, it is. There are two main legal prohibitions that would generally bar … Continued

Powers of Mayors

December 23, 2009

Compared with many other states, North Carolina has created a very limited role for mayors. Our state laws leave many decisions about the management and operation of municipalities to the governing board, or, in jurisdictions operating in a council-manager form … Continued

Client-Related Records and the Public Records Law

September 4, 2009

When local governments retain attorneys who are in private practice, when are records held by the attorneys subject to the public records law and therefore open to public inspection?  The court of appeals has ruled on this issue in a … Continued