Attorney General: Hon. William A. DiBella , Senate Majority Leader , 1994-014 Formal Opinion, Attorney General of Connecticut

Attorney General's Opinion

Attorney General Richard Blumenthal

June 24, 1994

Hon. William A. DiBella
Senate Majority Leader
State Senate
Hartford, CT 06106

Dear Senator DiBella:

In your letter of June 16, 1994, you ask whether an employee of the Connecticut Resources Recovery Authority (CRRA) may, upon election to the General Assembly, continue to hold his employment with CRRA, or be prohibited from holding the CRRA position due to the "dual job ban" set forth in either Conn. Const. Art. III,  11 or Conn. Gen. Stat.  2-5.1 We conclude that a member of the General Assembly is permitted to be concurrently an employee of CRRA. We first observe in answering this question that it is a fundamental principle of statutory construction that statutes must be interpreted "as they are written." State v. Johnson, 227 Conn. 534, 542, 630 A.2d 1059 (1993), quoting Muha v. United Oil Co., 180 Conn. 720, 730, 433 A.2d 1009 (1980). Accordingly, we cannot read into the statute provisions which are not clearly stated. Glastonbury Co. v. Gillies, 209 Conn. 175, 179, 550 A.2d 8 (1988). This holds true for constitutional interpretation as well. Stolberg v. Caldwell, 175 Conn. 586, 597-8 (1978). The Constitutional "dual job ban" prohibits a member of the General Assembly from holding "any appointive position or office" in the "judicial or executive department of the state government, or in the courts of the political subdivisions of the state, or in the government of any county." Conn. Const. Art. III,  11. See also Stolberg, supra at 592. None of the prohibitions are applicable to an employee of CRRA. As you observe in your question the CRRA is "a quasi-public body established under chapter 446e of the General Statues." In this regard Conn. Gen. Stat.  22a-261(a) provides as follows: There is hereby established and created a body politic and corporate, constituting a public instrumentality and political subdivision of the state of Connecticut established and created for the performance of an essential public and governmental function, to be known as the Connecticut Resources Recovery Authority. The authority shall not be construed to be a department, institution or agency of the state. (emphasis added).

The employees of CRRA do not hold an appointive position or office in the executive department of the state. As specifically provided in Conn. Gen. Stat.  22a-26l(a), quoted above, the CRRA is not a "department, institution or agency of the state" and is not, therefore, part of the executive department.2Additionally, employees of the CRRA do not hold an appointive position or office in the judicial branch of state government, or a position with the municipal courts. Rather, such persons are employed by "a body politic and corporate . . . established and created for the performance of an essential public and governmental function," as set forth in  22a-261(a). Finally, employees of the CRRA are not members of the government of a county. The Constitutional dual job ban of Art. III,  11, therefore, does not apply. Conn. Gen. Stat.  2-5, the statutory dual job ban, prohibits a member of the General Assembly from serving in any position in the judicial, legislative or executive departments of state government "including any commission established by any . . . public act. . . ." "As originally enacted in 1951 Conn. Gen. Stat.  2-5 was intended to block any appointment to any state office during a current legislator's term." ---- Conn. Op. Atty. Gen. ---- November 5, 1992. As discussed above, the CRRA is not a state department, institution or agency. An employee of the CRRA therefore is not serving in a judicial, executive or legislative position of state government. Nor is such an employee serving in any "commission" of state government established by any public act. To the contrary, such persons are employed by a distinct "body politic and corporate, constituting a public instrumentality and political subdivision of the state. . . ." Conn. Gen. Stat.  22a-261(a). See Powers ex rel Doyon v. Charron, 86 R.I. 411, 135 A.2d 829, 833 (1957) (every governmental "office" established by the legislative branch is not a "commission" or a "board".) In summary neither the constitutional nor statutory dual job bans discussed herein apply, and the employee may remain at CRRA if he is elected to legislative office.

Very truly yours,

RICHARD BLUMENTHAL
ATTORNEY GENERAL

Henry S. Cohn
Assistant Attorney General

RB/HSC/js


Footnote:

1 Conn. Const. Art. III,  11 provides in part:

No member of the general assembly shall, during the term for which he is elected, hold or accept any appointive position or office in the judicial or executive department of the state government, or in the courts of the political subdivisions of the state, or in the government of any county. . . . Conn. Gen. Stat.  2-5 provides:

No member of the general assembly shall, during the term for which he is elected, be nominated or appointed by the governor, the general assembly or any other appointing authority of this state or serve or be elected to any position in the judicial, legislative or executive department of the state government including any commission established by any special or public act of the general assembly, except that the provisions of this section shall not apply where it is expressly provided by law that a member of the general assembly as such shall be nominated or appointed to any board, commission, council or other agency in the legislative department, and except that the provisions of this section shall not apply to a member-elect.

2 See also  5-196(i);  5-196(x), defining "state employee" and "state service," and  22a-265(1), authorizing CRRA to employ a staff, and to fix their duties, qualifications and compensation.


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