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Attorney General Opinion No. 87-11

A professional services contract between a former state employee or official and any state agency is prohibited for a period of one year from the date the employee or official leaves state service. The statute applies regardless of whether the former employee or official worked for the particular agency before leaving state service.  Likewise, while the statute references “any person”, the person’s financial interest or control over a corporation that is a party to a professional services contract may be so great that, for purposes of determining if the contract is prohibited, the contract may be deemed to be with that person rather than the corporate entity.  One factor, among others, to consider is whether the former employee’s financial interest is the contract is direct and substantial. The statute is designed to prevent a less than arms-length transactions in which a state employee or official sets up professional contracts before leaving state employment and immediately enters into such contracts after leaving state employment.

A state agency is not prohibited from entering into a contract with a corporation that simply employed a former state employee within one year of the date of his or her termination from state service unless the contract is for the purpose of securing the services of the particular former employee. The mere fact of employment of a former state employee, standing alone, does not prohibit the corporation from entering into a professional services contract with a state agency. See 74 O.S. §85.42

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