County Advisor: Bank officer allowed to sit on EMS Board
During public comments in the Feb. 13 Logan County Board of Commissioners meeting, Asst. District Attorney and commissioner’s legal counsel, Lowell Barto, confirmed a state statute does allow a banker or bank officer to serve on a county board.
The discussion began in the Jan. 30 commissioner’s board meeting concerning reappointments with the Logan County EMS I-1 Board and a possible conflict of interest with board member Barry Anderson, who is a bank officer with F&M Bank. Related story: County commissioners agree more professional attitude needed
In the meeting, Commissioner Marven Goodman, who took office in January, questioned the commissioners if they were following protocol when it came to appointing boards and commissions.
Goodman said, “I’m not sure that resolution is the way this is being conducted today. I’m not sure it is appropriate for a board member to also be a member of a banking financial institution.”
However, in the Feb. 13 meeting, Barto says it is within the state statute for a banker to serve on a public board.
“Statue does allow a banker to serve,” Barto began with. “An officer, employee or director of any financial institution is not prohibited from serving on a public body.”
Goodman questioned Anderson in the Jan. 30 meeting by asking, “Does your bank profit from any deposits in your bank from the county?” Anderson, sitting in the audience, replied, “yes.”
Barto says Anderson would have to abstain from voting between the board and his institution. Having a deposit account at the bank is not consider a transaction and is not a violation of the statute.
“If the public body is going to have a transaction with that financial institution, that member must abstain from voting on that particularly transaction,” Barto said.
Both Anderson and Jim Overton were reappointed to the Logan County EMS I-1 Board of Trustees with a 2-1 vote on Jan. 30. Goodman casted the lone no vote.
A special EMS board meeting is set for Friday, Feb. 20 at 9 a.m.