Attorney General's Opinion
Attorney General, Richard Blumenthal
July 1, 2005
Gerald E. Farrell, Jr.
State Marshal Commission
765 Asylum Avenue
Hartford, Connecticut 06105
Dear Chairman Farrell:
As Chairman of the State Marshal Commission you have requested a formal Opinion of the Attorney General as to the following two questions:
1. Are the two ex officio, nonvoting members of the State Marshal Advisory Board, appointed pursuant to
2. If the answer to the first question is in the affirmative, are they entitled to attend all executive sessions, or are there executive sessions they are not entitled to attend? Specifically, are ex officio members entitled to attend executive sessions regarding personnel and disciplinary matters?
For the reasons explained below, our answers to these questions are as follows:
1. Ex officio members are entitled to attend executive sessions of the State Marshal Commission.
2. They are entitled to attend all executive sessions, including those regarding personnel and disciplinary matters.
The reasons for these concl
There is established a State Marshal Commission which shall consist of eight members appointed as follows: (1) The Chief Justice shall appoint one member who shall be a judge of the Superior Court; (2) the speaker of the House of Representatives, the president pro tempore of the Senate, the majority and minority leaders of the House of Representatives and the majority and minority leaders of the Senate shall each appoint one member; and (3) the Governor shall appoint one member who shall serve as the chairperson. No member of the commission shall be a state marshal, except that two state marshals appointed by the State Marshals Advisory Board in accordance with section 6-38c shall serve as ex officio, nonvoting members of the commission.
“Executive sessions” is defined by
“Executive Sessions” means a meeting of a public agency at which the public is excluded for one or more of the following purposes: (A) Disc
At an executive session of a public agency, attendance shall be limited to members of said body and persons invited by said body to present testimony or opinion pertinent to matters before said body provided that such persons’ attendance shall be limited to the period for which their presence is necessary to present such testimony or opinion and, provided further, that the minutes of such executive session shall disclose all persons who are in attendance except job applicants who attend for the purpose of being interviewed by such agency.
"Ex officio members of a public body are members for all purposes." . Jur. Administrative Law, section 34. As this office stated in a 1981 opinion to the Commissioner of Mental Health:
The term "ex officio' is used to indicate that the membership in question is created by the individual's position in another office. The term according to Black's Law Dictionary, 5th Edition, means 'from office; by virtue of the office; without any other warrant or appointment than resulting from the holding of a particular office'. . . Ex officio members of a board are members for all purposes and have all the rights and duties of appointed members. 'They are each vested with full power and authority to do any and all things necessary and essential to carry out the purpose of the law in creating the board or body. . .' Barber Pure Milk Co. v.
In light of these principles, there is no reason that ex officio members of the Commission cannot attend executive sessions of the Commission. They are clearly members of the Commission, pursuant to
For these reasons we conclude that the answers to your questions regarding whether or not the two ex officio members are entitled to attend executive sessions, m
Very truly yours,
Assistant Attorney General