When does a South Dakota school board member have a potential conflict of interest?

Under South Dakota law, no school official may participate in discussing or vote on any issue in which the official has a conflict of interest. Each official shall decide if any potential conflict of interest requires that official to be disqualified from participating in discussion or voting. However, no official may participate in discussing or vote on an issue if the following circumstances apply:

             (1)  The official has a direct pecuniary interest in the matter before the governing body; or

             (2)  At least two-thirds of the governing body votes that an official has an identifiable conflict of interest that should prohibit that official from voting on a specific item.

If an official with a direct pecuniary interest participates in discussion or votes on a matter before the governing body, the legal sole remedy is to invalidate that official's vote.