Date: September 15, 2016
Subject: Resignation from Government Position Prior to Apply/Campaigning for New Position
1695 115th Street
Diagonal, Iowa 50845
Dear Mr. Kilgore:
This opinion is in response to your email letter of August 29, 2016, 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.
You state that you are concerned with situations when an individual in government applies or campaigns for another government position.
Is resignation from a government position mandatory before actions are initiated to assume a different government position?
The question you raise is beyond the jurisdiction of IPIB to answer as it is not covered by Iowa Code chapters 21, 22, or 23. In your letter to us requesting this opinion, you reference 15AO:0006 and 16AO:0007 as discussing government employment situations. However, in both of those opinions that were issued to you, IPIB clearly stated that the issues you raised were not within our jurisdiction to answer. See also 16AO:0009 also issued to you stating that the Board did not have authority over Iowa Code chapter 35C dealing with veterans preference in public appointments and employments.
Your request also raises questions concerning other Code chapters concerning employments or budget items that do not deal with open meetings or open records and are thus beyond our jurisdiction to answer.
Examples of employment issues that are under IPIB’s jurisdiction include when a governmental body may go into closed session under Iowa Code section 21.5(1)(i) to discuss appointment or hiring decisions and Iowa Code section 22.7(18) dealing with situations when applications for government employment may or may not be considered confidential public records.
BY DIRECTION AND VOTE OF THE BOARD
Suzan Stewart, Chair
Anthony Gaughan, Vice Chair
W. Charles Smithson, IPIB Director