Formal Ethics Advisory Opinions

Following is a list of formal advisory opinions issued by the State Ethics Commission in response to a written request from:

  • A public servant or legislative employee subject to the State Government Ethics Act (“Ethics Act”) or their legal counsel.
  • An Ethics Liaison for a State agency or board.
  • An individual responsible for appointing a public servant to a State board or the supervisor of a public servant or legislative employee.

Under the Ethics Act, formal advisory opinions are strictly confidential. Formal advisory opinions are therefore published in an edited format to protect the requester's identity. If the requester authorized the publication of an unedited version of the opinion, it will have an * beside it.

Because the Commission's recommended advisory opinions to legislators are published at another location on this website upon being accepted, modified, or replaced by the Legislative Ethics Committee, there are gaps in the numbering of the Commission's "Ethics" Formal Advisory Opinions.

These opinions are arranged according to the issues addressed in the opinion.

More information about obtaining a formal advisory opinion and informal advice from the Commission’s staff.

**Please note that the General Assembly recodified the Ethics Act in 2019, renumbering G.S. 138A-32(d1) to (e) and the gift ban exceptions from G.S. 138A-32(e) to G.S. 138A-32(f)**

Tab/Accordion Items

E-23-001 2023 Lobbyist Principals Paying Expenses of Covered Persons to Participate in the 2023 Global Leaders Program to the Netherlands*  G.S. 138A-32(c); G.S. 120C-303(a); G.S. 138A-32(e)(3)(i)
E-21-001 2021 Lobbyist Principals Paying Expenses of Covered Persons to Participate in the 2022 Global Leaders Program to Mexico*  G.S. 138A-32(c); G.S. 120C-303(a); G.S. 138A-32(e)(3)(i)
E-15-004 2015 Paying Expenses of Legislators to Participate in the 2016 Global Leaders Program to Tokyo and Singapore* G.S. 138A-32(c); G.S. 120C-303(a); G.S. 138A-32(e)(3)(i)
E-14-002 2014 Permissibility of NCDENR Division of Energy, Mineral & Land Resources Program’s Acceptance of Additional American Petroleum Institute Standards* G.S. 138A-32(c)
E-14-003 2014 Conflicts of Interest Arising in Connection with the Establishment of Standards Applicable to Licensees Serving on a State Board* G.S. 138A-36
E-14-001 2014 Paying Expenses of Legislators to Participate in the 2014 "Global Leaders Program to Germany: Focus-Advanced Manufacturing, Workforce Training, and Innovation". G.S. 138A-32(c)G.S. 138A-32(d)G.S. 120C-303(a)G.S. 138A-32(e)(3)(i)
E-13-005 2013 Paying Expenses of Legislators to Participate in the 2013 Global Leaders Program Study Trip "Economic Development - India and North Carolina". G.S. 138A-32(c)G.S. 120C-303(a)G.S. 138A-32(e)(3)(i)
E-13-006 2013 Permissibility of NCDENR Division of Energy, Mineral & Land Resources Program's Acceptance of American Petroleum Institute Standards. G.S. 138A-32(c)
E-13-001 2013 Sponsoring Legislator and Public Servant Participation in International Trip - Global Leaders Program to China. G.S. 138A-32(c)G.S. 138A-32(d)G.S. 120C-303(a)G.S. 138A-32(e)(3)(i)G.S. 138A-32(f)
E-12-001 2012 Southeastern Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners’ 2013 Annual Conference. G.S. 138A-32(c) and (d)138A-32(e)(1)138A-32(e)(3)138A-32(e)(12); 138A-32(f)120C-303(e)
E-11-001 2011 June 2011 American Association of Motor Vehicle Administrators Conference. G.S. 138A-32(c) and (d)138A-32(e)(1)138A-32(e)(3)138A-32(e)(12)138A-32(f)120C-303(e)
E-10-001 2010 Donation of Meeting Related Expenses to the NC Board of Transportation. G.S. 138A-32(c), (d), and (d1)G.S. 138A-32(e)(1)G.S. 138A-32(e)(5)G.S. 138A-32(e)(12)G.S. 138A-32(f)

E-16-002 2016 Permissibility of Licensing Board Member Providing Expert Witness Services. G.S. 138A-36(a)G.S. 138A-36(c)G.S. 138A-39(d)G.S. 138A-31(b)
E-16-001 2016 Permissibility of State Treasurer Serving on Corporate Boards of Directors. G.S. 138A-31(b)G.S. 138A-32(d)G.S. 138A-34G.S. 138A-36(a)G.S. 138A-36(c)
E-14-004 2014 Conflicts of Interest Associated With Stock Ownership and Official Actions Taken as a Member of a State Board. G.S. 138A-36(a)G.S. 138A-3(14c)G.S. 138A-3(3)G.S. 138A-36(b)G.S. 138A-36(c)G.S. 138A-3(25)G.S. 138A-38(a)(1)
E-14-005 2014 Conflicts of Interest Associated With Independent Contractor Relationship with Law Firm and Service on State Board. G.S. 138A-36(a); G.S. 138A-36(c)
E-13-003 2013 Conflicts of Interest Associated with Continued Service on NC State Bar Disciplinary Hearing Commission and Law Partner’s Position as President-Elect of NC State Bar. G.S. 138A-36(a)G.S. 138A-36(c)
E-10-005 2010 Conflicts of Interest Arising in Connection with Stock Ownership. G.S. 138A-36(a), (b), and (c)G.S. 138A-38(a)(1)
E-10-004 2010 Conflicts of Interest Arising in Connection with Consideration of The Falls Nutrient Strategy Rules by the NC Rules Review Commission. G.S. 138A-36(a), (b), and (c)G.S. 138A-38(a)(1)
E-10-002 20101 Conflicts of Interest Associated With Spouse’s Independent Contractor Relationship with Company. G.S. 138A-31(a)G.S. 138A-36(a)G.S. 138A-36(c); and 138A-38(a)
E-09-005 2009 Conflicts of Interest Associated with Dual Service on the Roanoke Island Commission and the Board of Directors of the Friends of Elizabeth II, Inc. G.S. 138A-36(a) and G.S. 138A-36(b)
E-09-003 2009 Conflicts of Interest Associated With Spouse’s Consulting Business. G.S. 138A-31(a) and 138A-36(a)
E-08-002 2008 Application of the “Class Exception” to Public Servant Conflicts of Interest. G.S. 138A-38(a)(1)

E-17-001 2017 Permissibility of Board Member Listing Board Service in Column Byline G.S. 138A-31(b)
E-14-006 2014 Use of Photographs Produced With State Resources on Private Website, in E-Mails, and on Social Media Venues. G.S. 138A-31(c)G.S. 163-278.16AG.S. 14-91
E-13-004 2013 Use of State Facilities, Equipment and Supplies, and Personnel to Produce and Distribute Television and Radio Programs for Television and Radio Outlets. G.S. 138A-31(b)G.S. 138A-31(c)
E-13-002 2013 Use of Name, Picture or Voice in Radio, Television, or Internet Advertisements Promoting Programs Funded by Various Federal Grant Programs. G.S. 138A-31(b)G.S. 138A-31(c)
E-10-003 2010 Hosting Monthly Radio Show on Shaw University Radio Station. G.S. 138A-32(c) and (d)G.S. 138A-31(b)G.S. 138A-31
E-09-004 2009 Distribution of Video Featuring Public Servant. G.S. 138A-31(b) and (c)

E-15-003 2015 Commission Authority to Issue Advisory Opinions to Judicial Officers. G.S. 138A-13(a)G.S. 138A-13(a2)G.S. 138A-13(f)G.S. 138A-3(19)
E-15-002 2015 Ethics Act Coverage of Committees. G.S. 138A-3(1c)30 NCAC 02.0101
E-15-001 2015 The Interpretation of Criminal Penalties for Concealing or Failing to Disclose Information and Providing False Information on a Statement of Economic Interest. G.S. 138A-24(a)(3)G.S. 138A-26G.S. 138A-27
E-12-002 2012 Applicability of the State Government Ethics Act to the Technical Coordinating Committee of the Metropolitan Planning Organization. 23 U.S.C. 134(b)G.S. 136-200(4)
E-07-005 2007 Statement of Economic Interest Disclosure Requirements. G.S. 138A-22 and 138A-24
E-07-013 2007 No “Cooling Off” Period for Former Legislators Who Become Liaison Personnel. G.S. 120C-100(a)(10)-304-501(a)