Duty of Public Officials

Under Oregon Law every public official holds a position of public trust.  

In 2009, the Oregon Legislative Assembly added a number of new provisions to ORS 244.010 which sets forth the policy of the State regarding Government Ethics.  Those new provisions state that the Legislative Assembly recognizes that public officials:
     1. should put loyalty to the highest ethical standards above loyalty to government, persons political parties and private enterprise; and,
    2.  should not make private promises that are binding on their duties as a public official, because a public official has no private word that can be binding on public duties.

It is important to note that the State policy regarding ethics does not establish what public officials are to do, it recognizes what has already been established as their responsibility.

A public official is any person serving the State of Oregon, any of its political subdivisions or any other public body as an elected official, appointed official, employee or agent, irrespective of whether the person is compensated for the services. 

It is a violation of the ethical standards if the public official receives a benefit as a result of his or her status as a public official, if that benefit is not also available to the public.    
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