OPINION 126
March 1956

CONFLICTING INTERESTS -- COUNTY ATTORNEY AS SPECIAL PROSECUTOR -- The Canons do not prohibit a county attorney from accepting employment as special prosecutor in a felony case even though he is charged with the responsibility of prosecuting misdemeanors in that county.

Texas C.C.P.A.E. 26. Canon 6.

Question

Would it be a violation of the Canons of Ethics for a county attorney to accept employment as special prosecutor in felony cases at the same time he is acting as county attorney of that county and charged with the responsibility of prosecuting misdemeanors in the justice and county courts?

Opinion

The committee is of the opinion that if the county attorney has no duty to prosecute or assist the district attorney in prosecuting felony cases, it would not be unethical for him to accept employment as special prosecutor in such cases. None of the members voting for this view expressed any opinion as to whether there was any such prohibition in the statutes.

Three members of the committee call attention to the effect of existing statutes and two of them refer to Article 26 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, which provides, among other things,

". . . and in the absence of the District Attorney, he shall represent the State alone, or when requested, shall aid the District Attorney in the prosecuting of any case in behalf of the State in the District Court . . ." (5-3)