1993 Texas Attorney General Reports and Opinions 1 (1993)

handle is hein.sag/sagtx0049 and id is 1 raw text is: Office of the Zittornep 0eneral
state of Texas
DAN    MORALES                                January 4, 1993
Honorable Carl E. Lewis                     Letter Opinion No. 93-1
County Attorney
Nueces County Courthouse                    Re:   Whether    a   port   commissioner's
901 Leopard, Room 206                       ownership of a company that hires the
Corpus Christi, Texas 78401-3680            services of pilots as an agent for ships
calling at the port disqualifies him from
service on the pilot board (RQ-380)
Dear Mr. Lewis:
Your predecessor in office asked a question regarding a commissioner of a pilot
board established under article 8248, V.T.C.S.' Article 8248 provides that the navigation
and canal commissioners of a navigation district constitute a pilot board and shall be
commissioners of the pilot board for their terms of office as navigation and canal
commissioners. Article 8248 also states as follows:
No person who is engaged directly or indirectly in the towing
business, or in any pilot boat, or in any other business affected by or
connected with the performance of his duties as a commissioner of
pilots shall be a member of such pilot board.
Your question concerns whether this section prevents a port commissioner of the Port of
Corpus Christi Authority2 who is the owner of a shipping company from serving as a
member of the pilot board.3 We conclude that it does.
IFor the purposes of this opinion, we accept your statement that the particular pilot board about
which you inquire was established under article 8248.
2In 1981 the name of the Nueces County Navigation District No. I was changed to the Port of
Corpus Christi Authority of Nueces County, Texas. Accordingly, the board became known as the port
commission and the board members as port commissioners. The commission is, however, still a
navigation and canal commission governed by the statutes applicable to navigation and canal
3Navigation and canal commissioners are not automatically qualified to serve on pilot boards
simply by virtue of being navigation and canal commissioners. If navigation and canal commissioners
were automatically qualified to serve on pilot boards, eligibility to serve on the pilot board would be a
requirement for serving as a navigation and canal commissioner and the conflict-of-interest provisions in
article 8248 would be meaningless. At least one district court in Texas has concluded that a person does
not have to be eligible to serve on the pilot board to be eligible to serve as a navigation and canal
commissioner. See Brownsville Navigation Dist. v. Foust, No. 10-86-4148-C (Dist. CL of Cameron
County, 197th Judicial Dist. of Texas, Nov. 3, 1986).    Furthermore, a cardinal rule of

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