DEFENSE OF BOARD MEMBERS AND EMPLOYEES Policy Code: 2140/7610
The board will provide for the defense of any civil or criminal action or proceeding brought against a board member or an employee in his or her official or individual capacity, or both, on account of an act done or an omission so long as the following conditions are met:
- the act or omission occurred in the scope and course of employment or board duties;
- defense of the action would not create a conflict of interest between the board and the board member or employee;
- the board member or employee did not act or fail to act because of fraud, corruption or malice on his or her part;
- the board member or employee did not act or fail to act contrary to established law or established board policy; and
- the board member or employee did not act or fail to act in such a manner as to constitute a criminal act involving moral turpitude.
In order for the board to provide for the defense pursuant to this policy, the board member or employee must provide a written request to the superintendent or board chairperson as soon as possible upon learning of the claim or action. The request must be received prior to the time the claim is settled or the suit is litigated and judgment is entered.
The superintendent, with advice from the board attorney, will make a recommendation to the board as to whether the board will provide legal representation for the employee and/or whether a claim, judgment or related expense will be paid by the board. Board approval of an employee’s request to provide legal representation will only relate to the initial trial or proceeding. The employee must make an additional request in writing to the superintendent for legal representation at each subsequent stage of the appeal of the action or proceeding. Any payment approved will be subject to the availability of insurance funds or other appropriated funds.
If an employee’s request for legal representation in any civil or criminal action or proceeding is denied and subsequently the employee is found not liable or guilty, the board may reimburse the employee a reasonable attorney’s fee upon written request of the employee.
To protect its own financial resources, the board will provide for sufficient liability coverage for personnel, workers’ compensation coverage and unemployment compensation insurance.
The board does not intend for this policy to be interpreted in any way to relieve any insurance company of its obligations under any insurance policy to protect the interests of any insured under the policy or to reduce or eliminate the rights of any board member or employee of the board against any other party. Further, except as expressly stated herein, this is not to be interpreted as a waiver of any rights the board has against any party.
This policy embodies uniform standards under which claims made or civil judgments entered against members or employees of the board will be paid, and the costs of legal defense for members and employees will be paid.
Legal References: G.S. 115C-43, -44
Adopted: October 23, 1995
Revised: July 9, 2007