Ethics Tip: Avoid Taking Votes That Affect Your Finances (or Your Family's)

Public officials, public members or public employees must recuse themselves from casting a vote in order to avoid a conflict of interest, according to the Ethics Reform Act of 1991. Specifically, a recusal is necessary if the outcome of the vote would affect a person's own economic interests, the economic interests of a family member or the economic interests of a business with which they are associated.

How do you recuse yourself?

  1. Prepare a written statement describing the matter requiring action and the nature of the conflict;
  2. Provide this written statement to your supervisor if you are a public employee; or
  3. Provide this written statement to the presiding officer of your board if you are a public member or public official. The presiding officer must place it into the official record. You may not take any further action regarding the matter from which you have recused yourself.

For more information, refer to Section 8-13-700(B) of the Ethics Reform Act.

The monthly Ethics Tip was provided by the SC Ethics Commission.