IPIB AO 2018-11
IPIB AO 2018-11
May 17, 2018
SUBJECT: Statutory mandate for government attorneys and payment of salaries
1695 115th Street
Diagonal, Iowa 50845
Dear Mr. Kilgore:
This opinion is in response to your filing of April 17, 2018, requesting an opinion from the Iowa Public Information Board (IPIB) pursuant to Iowa Code section 23.6 and rule 497—1.2. We note at the outset that IPIB’s jurisdiction is limited to the application of Iowa Code chapters 21, 22, and 23, and rules in Iowa Administrative Code chapter 497. Advice in a Board opinion, if followed, constitutes a defense to a subsequent complaint based on the same facts and circumstances.
FACTUAL STATEMENT: You request an advisory opinion concern any statutory mandate(s) concerning the scope of responsibilities for government attorneys and authority to use public funds to pay salaries.
- What statutory text mandates the scope of responsibility for full or part-time city/municipality attorneys and agency staff attorneys?
- If there is no mandate to prosecute as well as defend the government entity, what statutes allow their salaries to be paid from public funds?
The questions you ask are not within the jurisdiction of the IPIB. Rule 497-1.2 states:
497—1.2(23) Requirements for requesting board advisory opinions. 1.2(1) Jurisdiction. The board will only issue advisory opinions pertaining to Iowa Code chapters 21 and 22, or rules adopted thereunder. The board shall not have jurisdiction over the judicial or legislative branches of state government or any entity, officer, or employee of those branches, or over the governor or the office of the governor.
Pursuant to Iowa Administrative Rule 497-1.3(3), a person who has received a board opinion may, within 30 days after the issuance of the opinion, request modification or reconsideration of the opinion. A request for modification or reconsideration shall be deemed denied unless the board acts upon the request within 60 days of receipt of the request. The IPIB may take up modification or reconsideration of an advisory opinion on its own motion within 30 days after the issuance of an opinion.
Pursuant to Iowa Administrative Rule 497-1.3(5), a person who has received a board opinion or advice may petition for a declaratory order pursuant to Iowa Code section 17A.9. The IPIB may refuse to issue a declaratory order to a person who has previously received a board opinion on the same question, unless the requestor demonstrates a significant change in circumstances from those in the board opinion.
BY DIRECTION AND VOTE OF THE BOARD
Mary Ungs-Sogaard, chair
E. J. Giovannetti
Submitted by: Margaret E. Johnson, Executive Director
ISSUED ON: _____________