The Alabama Ethics Commission has taken a dim view of the idea of public employees being paid by outside sources.
Commissioners on Wednesday issued an opinion saying the arrangements are presumed to be in conflict with the underlying principles of state ethics law. Commissioners said they will only approve such arrangements on a case-by case basis made through formal opinion requests.
Ethics Commission Executive Director Tom Albritton said the opinion process will bring the arrangements into the open and allow public scrutiny.
Gov. Robert Bentley has used the so-called executive loan arrangement to fill a key position in his cabinet. Former Bentley Chief of Staff Seth Hammett was paid by PowerSouth Energy Cooperative during his 17 months working for the governor
Hammett has returned to his job in the private sector.
Republished with permission of the Associated Press.