McGee v. Balfour Beatty Construction, LLC

Independent contractors hired by a governmental entity for purposes of letting public contracts are subject to the same anti-corruption prohibitions that apply to government officers and employees, who are forbidden from having any interest in public contracts that they let.  A taxpayer has standing to seek to void a public contract on the ground that it was let in violation of Gov. Code 1090, which prohibits government officers or employees from having any interest in public contracts that they let.  Cases have interpreted the statutory language broadly to prohibit financial interests by independent contractors hired by a governmental entity for the purpose of letting public contracts, as well as the entity’s officers and employees.  Here, plaintiff plausibly alleged that a firm hired to provide reconstruction services to a school district violated section 1090 by acquiring an interest in the construction contract on the project.  Hence, it was error to dismiss plaintiff’s claim seeking to void that contract under Gov. Code 1090.

California Court of Appeal, Second District, Division 8 (Flier, J.); April 12, 2016 (published May 4, 2016); 2016 WL 1449591

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