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(a) No public official shall knowingly do any of the following:
(1) During his term of office or within one year thereafter, occupy any position of profit in the prosecution of a public contract authorized by him or by a legislative body, commission or board of which he was a member at the time of authorization unless the contract was let by competitive bidding, to the lowest and best bidder;
(2) Have an interest in the profits or benefits of a public contract entered into by or for the use of the Municipality or governmental agency or instrumentality with which he is connected;
(3) Have an interest in the profits or benefits of a public contract that is not let by competitive bidding if required by law, and that involves more than one hundred fifty dollars ($150.00).
(b) In the absence of bribery or a purpose to defraud, a public official, member of his family or any of his business associates shall not be considered as having an interest in a public contract if all of the following apply:
(1) The interest of that person is limited to owning or controlling shares of the corporation, or being a creditor of the corporation or other organization that is the contractor on the public contract involved, or that is the issuer of the security in which public funds are invested;
(2) The shares owned or controlled by that person do not exceed five percent (5%) of the outstanding shares of the corporation, and the amount due that person as creditor does not exceed five percent (5%) of the total indebtedness of the corporation or other organization;
(3) That person, prior to the time the public contract is entered into, files with the Municipality or governmental agency or instrumentality involved, an affidavit giving his exact status in connection with the corporation or other organization.
(c) This section does not apply to a public contract in which a public official, member of his family, or one of his business associates, has an interest, when all of the following apply:
(1) The subject of the public contract is necessary supplies or services for the Municipality or governmental agency or instrumentality involved;
(2) The supplies or services are unobtainable elsewhere for the same or lower cost, or are being furnished to the Municipality or governmental agency or instrumentality as part of a continuing course of dealing established prior to the public official's becoming associated with the Municipality or governmental agency or instrumentality involved;
(3) The treatment accorded the Municipality or governmental agency or instrumentality is either preferential to or the same as that accorded other customers or clients in similar transactions;
(4) The entire transaction is conducted at arm's length, with full knowledge by the Municipality or governmental agency or instrumentality involved, of the interest of the public official, and the public official takes no part in the deliberations or decisions of the Municipality or governmental agency or instrumentality with respect to the public contract.
(d) Subsection (a)(4) does not prohibit participation by a public employee in any housing program funded by public moneys if the public employee otherwise qualifies for the program and does not use the authority or influence of his office or employment to secure benefits from the program and if the moneys are to be used on the primary residence of the public employee. Such participation does not constitute an unlawful interest in a public contract in violation of this section.
(e) Whoever violates this section is guilty of having an unlawful interest in a public contract. Violation of this section is a misdemeanor of the first degree.
(f) It is not a violation of this section for a prosecuting attorney to appoint assistants and employees in accordance with Ohio R.C. 309.06 and 2921.421, or for a chief legal officer of a municipal corporation or an official designated as prosecutor in a municipal corporation to appoint assistants and employees in accordance with Ohio R.C. 733.621 and 2921.421.
(g) As used in this section:
(1) "Public contract" means any of the following:
A. The purchase or acquisition, or a contract for the purchase or acquisition of property or services by or for the use of the State, any of its political subdivisions, or any agency or instrumentality of either, including the employment of an individual by the State, any of its political subdivisions, or any agency or instrumentality of either.
B. A contract for the design, construction, alteration, repair or maintenance of any public property.
(2) "Chief legal officer" has the same meaning as in Ohio R.C. 733.621. (ORC 2921.42)