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2024 Conference Session:  Peter Glaessner - The Role of a Board Member

Public entities are trained and experienced in managing and disciplining employees. Far different and more challenging issues arise when an elected official is accused or suspected of having engaged in misconduct in office, or even just the gadfly elected official skewering the public entity or elected colleagues. This session is designed to identify and explore the legal and ethical issues that arise in these situations.

The session will include the recent U.S. Supreme Court decision Houston Community College District v. Wilson, involving a First Amendment challenge to a public body’s censure of a fellow elected representative. We will discuss the rights of the elected official as well as certain limitations on a public agency’s ability to exclude from office, meetings, or discipline of an elected official. We will conclude with discussion of best practices for conducting investigations, and what remedies exist for the public entity to limit agency liability to the elected official and/or those impacted by the official’s misconduct.

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