2000 Alaska Attorney General Reports and Opinions 1 (2000)

handle is hein.sag/sagak0005 and id is 1 raw text is: MEMORANDUM                                     State of Alaska
Department of Law
TO:   The Honorable Bruce M. Botelho           DATE:  March 20, 2000
Attorney General
FILE NO:  663-00-0156
TELEPHONE NO:  (907) 465-4135
SUBJECT:  AS 39.52.130
Gifts to Public Officers
FROM: Janice Gregg Levy
Assistant Attorney General
You have asked for a summary of the Department of Law's
(department's) interpretation and guidance regarding AS 39.52.130, gifts given to
public officers. The Executive Branch Ethics Act (Ethics Act) provides as follows:
A public officer may not solicit, accept, or receive, directly or
indirectly, a gift, whether in the form of money, service, loan, travel,
entertainment, hospitality, employment, promise, or in any other
form, that is a benefit to the officer's personal or financial interests,
under circumstances in which it could reasonably be inferred that the
gift is intended to influence the performance of official duties,
action, or judgment.
AS 39.52.130 (a). If a public officer receives a gift with a value in excess of $150, and
either the public officer may take or withhold official action that affects the giver or
the gift is connected to the public officer's governmental status, then the public officer
must inform his or her designated ethics supervisor of the gift within 30 days of its
receipt. AS 39.52.130(b). The designated supervisor, who may seek guidance from the
attorney general, determines whether acceptance of the gift is prohibited.
AS 39.52.130(c). The requirement that the gift be disclosed does not establish that its
receipt constitutes a violation; it simply triggers review and a determination by the
designated supervisor.
The   department has   consistently  interpreted  the  phrase  under
circumstances in which it could reasonably be inferred as establishing a reasonable
person standard. Thus, the department does not ask whether in fact the giver is trying to
influence the public officer. See, e.g., 1999 Inf. Op. Att'y Gen. at 8 (223-98-0210;
March 10) (inquiry does not hinge on any showing of actual intent); 1996 Inf. Op. Att'y

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