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Public Official Bond: A Comprehensive Approach

Public Official Bonds are type of surety bonds that serve as a statutory obligation requiring faithful performance, fidelity, and wholeness of a public official’s responsibilities to the public. The bond postulates for public officers and secondary obligatory bodies to pay a fixed amount if they do not reliably perform their duties in the office. Like all sureties, this Public Official Bonds consist of a

Three-party Agreement

  1. Principal – Public official
  2. Obligee – Government being served by the official
  3. Surety – Bonding company that underwrites the bond and is the secondary obligatory body

This bond is one of the oldest forms of written pledge that requires persons to obtain to qualify for office. Depending on the statutes of an adhoc jurisdiction, Public Official Bonds may be faithful performance bonds, fidelity bonds, employee dishonesty bonds, etc.

The bond requirements established in the individual state codes. They are compulsory for all elected and most public officials, ranging from governors and mayors to local school board members and agents merchandising fishing or searching licenses. They are hard-hitting before and once a public official has taken the oath of office.

The Public Official Bonds protect against

Conduct or omissions made by public officials that make up for a breach of his or her duties of the office. The bond serves as an assurance against fraud or dishonesty and covers losses arising from neglect or other sincere offenses.

The bond protects:

  • Any government entity renders coverage to the public. The bond, by nature, is an Indemnity Bond rather than a Forfeiture Bond. It a contract fashioned to protect the city or the entire citizenship served by the public official.
  • The bond indemnifies those parties that have undergone losses as a result of the official’s misconduct. In many of the cases, state statutes will let a member of the public to file a suit against the bond, if that individual has suffered financial damages occurred by a public official’s misconduct.

Public Official bonds cover town, city, or municipal governments, state regulatory bodies, city and state courts, and gathering and state colleges. There are specific public official bond classes that cater to these groups of public officials, clerks, and agents, namely:

  • Mayors and Judges
  • Sheriffs or Deputies
  • Court Clerks and court Officers
  • Constables
  • Treasurers, Assistant Treasurer, and subordinates
  • Town Clerks or other Town Officials
  • Tax Collectors, Deputy Tax Collectors, and subordinates

The state or city government usually pays for its own protective covering, nevertheless, bonded public officials have to pay off the Surety if a claim is made against their bond. The Surety will financially back up the public official and pay the state if it earned proof that the financial damages are caused by the bonded public official’s misconduct. The official will then reimburse the Surety with the entire sum of money paid out.

As the bond lacks statute provisions restricting the discovery period for default. Or violation under a public official bond, the bond language itself will hold up any discovery limitations. Discovery means the discovery of fraud or other violations made by public officials. That obstruct their capability to perform their expected duties.

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