TITLE 25. PUBLIC OFFICERS AND EMPLOYEES; PUBLIC RECORDS
CHAPTER 4. ETHICS IN GOVERNMENT
ARTICLE 3. CONFLICT OF INTEREST; IMPROPER USE OF OFFICE
Miss. Code Ann. § 25-4-103 (2017)
The following definitions apply in this article unless the context otherwise requires:
(a) “Authority” means any component unit of a governmental entity.
(b) “Benefit” means any gain or advantage to the beneficiary, including any gain or advantage to a third person pursuant to the desire or consent of the beneficiary.
(c) “Business” means any corporation, partnership, sole proprietorship, firm, enterprise, franchise, association, organization, holding company, self-employed individual, joint-stock company, receivership, trust or other legal entity or undertaking organized for economic gain, a nonprofit corporation or other such entity, association or organization receiving public funds.
(d) “Business with which he is associated” means any business of which a public servant or his relative is an officer, director, owner, partner, employee or is a holder of more than ten percent (10%) of the fair market value or from which he or his relative derives more than Two Thousand Five Hundred Dollars ($ 2,500.00) in annual income or over which such public servant or his relative exercises control.
(e) “Compensation” means money or thing of value received, or to be received, from any person for services rendered.
(f) “Contract” means:
(i) Any agreement to which the government is a party; or
(ii) Any agreement on behalf of the government which involves the payment of public funds.
(g) “Government” means the state and all political entities thereof, both collectively and separately, including, but not limited to:
(iii) All school districts;
(iv) All courts; and
(v) Any department, agency, board, commission, institution, instrumentality, or legislative or administrative body of the state, counties or municipalities created by statute, ordinance or executive order including all units that expend public funds.
(h) “Governmental entity” means the state, a county, a municipality or any other separate political subdivision authorized by law to exercise a part of the sovereign power of the state.
(i) “Income” means money or thing of value received, or to be received, from any source derived, including, but not limited to, any salary, wage, advance, payment, dividend, interest, rent, forgiveness of debt, fee, royalty, commission or any combination thereof.
(j) “Intellectual property” means any formula, pattern, compilation, program, device, method, technique or process created primarily as a result of the research effort of an employee or employees of an institution of higher learning of the State of Mississippi.
(k) “Material financial interest” means a personal and pecuniary interest, direct or indirect, accruing to a public servant or spouse, either individually or in combination with each other. Notwithstanding the foregoing, the following shall not be deemed to be a material financial interest with respect to a business with which a public servant may be associated:
(i) Ownership of any interest of less than ten percent (10%) in a business where the aggregate annual net income to the public servant therefrom is less than One Thousand Dollars ($ 1,000.00);
(ii) Ownership of any interest of less than two percent (2%) in a business where the aggregate annual net income to the public servant therefrom is less than Five Thousand Dollars ($ 5,000.00);
(iii) The income as an employee of a relative if neither the public servant or relative is an officer, director or partner in the business and any ownership interest would not be deemed material pursuant to subparagraph (i) or (ii) herein; or
(iv) The income of the spouse of a public servant when such spouse is a contractor, subcontractor or vendor with the governmental entity that employs the public servant and the public servant exercises no control, direct or indirect, over the contract between the spouse and such governmental entity.
(l) “Pecuniary benefit” means benefit in the form of money, property, commercial interests or anything else the primary significance of which is economic gain. Expenses associated with social occasions afforded public servants shall not be deemed a pecuniary benefit.
(m) “Person” means any individual, firm, business, corporation, association, partnership, union or other legal entity, and where appropriate a governmental entity.
(n) “Property” means all real or personal property.
(o) “Public funds” means money belonging to the government.
(p) “Public servant” means:
(i) Any elected or appointed official of the government;
(ii) Any officer, director, commissioner, supervisor, chief, head, agent or employee of the government or any agency thereof, or of any public entity created by or under the laws of the State of Mississippi or created by an agency or governmental entity thereof, any of which is funded by public funds or which expends, authorizes or recommends the use of public funds; or
(iii) Any individual who receives a salary, per diem or expenses paid in whole or in part out of funds authorized to be expended by the government.
(q) “Relative” means:
(i) The spouse of the public servant;
(ii) The child of the public servant;
(iii) The parent of the public servant;
(iv) The sibling of the public servant; and
(v) The spouse of any of the relatives of the public servant specified in subparagraphs (ii) through (iv).
(r) “Securities” means stocks, bonds, notes, convertible debentures, warrants, evidences of debts or property or other such documents. SOURCES: Laws, 1983, ch. 469, § 2 [See Editor’s Note below]; Laws, 1991, ch. 572 § 1; Laws, 1992, ch. 530, § 9; Laws, 2008, ch. 562, § 12, eff August 5, 2008 (the date the United States Attorney General interposed no objection under Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act of 1965, to the amendment of this section.)