Navigation Top
AGO Logo Graphic
AGO Header Image
File a Complaint
Contact the AGO
AGO 1953 No. 45 - May 12, 1953
AGO Opinion Header Image
Don Eastvold | 1953-1956 | Attorney General of Washington

PORT COMMISSIONERS ‑- TRUSTEES ‑- CORPORATIONS, NON-PROFIT [[NONPROFIT]]‑- CONTRIBUTIONS FROM PORT DISTRICT ‑- LEGALITY OF PORT COMMISSIONER SERVING AS TRUSTEE OF A NON-PROFIT CORPORATION.

There are no legal impediments to a Port Commissioner serving as a trustee of a non-profit [[nonprofit]]corporation, even though such corporation may receive contributions from the port district of which the commissioner is a member.  However, the corporate by-laws ([[bylaws]]should specifically provide that no trustee shall receive any compensation for his services as trustee.

                                                                 - - - - - - - - - - - - -

                                                                   May 12, 1953

Honorable Joe L. Johnson
Prosecuting Attorney
Cowlitz County
Court House
Kelso, Washington                                                                                                                Cite as:  AGO 53-55 No. 45

 Dear Sir:

             This is to acknowledge your letter of April 27, 1953, relative to the legal propriety of a Port Commissioner serving as a trustee of a non-profit [[nonprofit]]corporation.  In your letter you state that the non-profit [[nonprofit]]corporation may receive funds by way of contributions from the port district and ask if, in our opinion, this arrangement violates any of the laws of this state.

             It is our conclusion that we know of no legal impediments to a Port Commissioner serving as a trustee of such a non-profit [[nonprofit]]corporation.

                                                                     ANALYSIS

             Your letter does not suggest any particular statutory or constitutional provision which might prohibit a Port Commissioner from serving as a trustee of a non-profit [[nonprofit]]corporation which may receive contributions from the port district.  We assume, however, that any legal objection to the relationship herein involved arises from the fact that a Port Commissioner is a public officer, State ex rel. Port of Seattle v. Wardall, 107 Wash. 606, and thus is subject to the  [[Orig. Op. Page 2]] limitations imposed upon such persons.

             In this connection we conclude that no incompatibility could exist since a trustee of such a corporation is not a public officer nor could it seem that such a relationship would involve any violation of Article 2, Section 25 of the State Constitution relating to extra compensation.  To remove any doubt, nevertheless, we agree with your suggestion that the corporate by-laws [[bylaws]]should specifically provide that no trustee shall receive any compensation for his services as trustee.

             We herein enclose your copies of the articles of incorporation and by-laws ][bylaws]].  We herein enclose your copies of the articles of incorporation and by-laws.

 Very truly yours,
DON EASTVOLD
Attorney General 

ROBERT L. SIMPSON
Assistant Attorney General

Content Bottom Graphic
AGO Logo