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Compatibility of offices during a contract dispute in Michigan

More information, in the form of an opinion, was requested in Michigan about the role that two offices have when held by the same person, specifically addressing whether or not incompatibility would be an issue. In the question, the offices mentioned were that of the president for a district of the local community college and that of a board of education member for a school district.

The first note in the opinion is that these two offices could be compatible because they are not so closely connected that someone cannot hold them both. For example, neither one of the positions means that the person is in a supervisory position over the other group while serving in one capacity. Neither group is considered to be subordinate in relation to the other group.

However, it is also noted that a contract dispute can change this. It is said that an upcoming contract -- a new one -- or a dispute over an older contract between the two groups could make each of these positions incompatible, so someone could not hold them both at the same time. When contract negotiations start, this incompatibility would be created under contract law.

This could be an unforeseen offshoot of a contract dispute, so it is important for anyone in public office to know how such a dispute would legally impact them before the dispute begins. They can then prepare properly and understand all of their rights. If the offices are incompatible, the person holding both offices may have to vacate one or the other in order to avoid this conflict, and that person deserves to know the legality of him or her being asked to step down.

Source: Mich Dept of Attorney, "Opinion No. 6164" Aug. 17, 2014

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