Office of the Attorney General
Honorable Frank Long
Letter Opinion No. 89-005
Dear Mr. Long:
You ask the following question:
May a county commissioner use county equipment, material and labor to construct a driveway on the commissioner's private property for purposes of facilitating the storage of county equipment and machinery on that property?
The situation you describe in your question raises a number of problems. One obvious impediment to using county funds to construct a driveway on the commissioner's private property is that a commissioner's oath prohibits him from having an interest in a contract with the county. Local Gov't Code s 81.002(a).
County funds may only be spent for public purposes, and a county must insure that it receives adequate consideration for its expenditures. Tex.Const. art. III, s 52; Attorney General Opinion JM-516 (1986). A commissioner's oath would prevent him from entering into the contract necessary to insure that the county would receive adequate consideration for its expenditures. See Attorney General Opinion JM-855 (1988) (county commissioner may not lease space at county airport). Therefore, county funds may not be used to construct a driveway on a commissioner's private property, regardless of the purpose for which the driveway is constructed.
Very truly yours,
Letter Opinion Section