AG Rules Ranger Shared Police Chief/City Manager Positions Legal

EASTLAND, TX, August 13, 2019 – Criminal District Attorney Russ Thomason stated that the Attorney General of Texas has issued an opinion that the Texas Constitution does not prevent the City of Ranger City Manager from simultaneously serving as Chief of Police.

On February 13, 2019, Criminal District Attorney Thomason, on behalf of and at the request of the City of Ranger, requested an opinion from the Texas Attorney General as to whether the Ranger City Manager could also serve as Ranger Chief of Police concomitantly.

The Honorable Ken Paxton, Texas Attorney General, issued an opinion letter (Opinion No. KP-0265) dated August 13, 2019, stating that if the city commission exercised its authority to combine the roles of city manager and chief of police, the city commission could employ a single individual to perform both roles without raising concerns about self-employment incompatibility. Under the City of Ranger’s City Charter, the commission is authorized to “create and consolidate such offices and may divide the administration of the City’s affairs into such offices or departments at their discretion.”

On July 10, 2017, the City Commission of Ranger, having received no candidates that either met the standards desired and/or surpassed the credentials of the City Manager, voted to have the City Manager assume the additional duties as interim Chief of Police. Some citizens questioned the legality of having one person serve both capacities and as a result, the Commission voted to request an Attorney General’s opinion through an authorized requestor. In Texas, authorized requestors include a district or county attorney.

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