Whether elected or appointed to their positions, public officials can often be responsible for handling taxpayer money or are in a position of power where they can easily take advantage of their situation for personal benefit. This presents a certain level of risk to the public. Because of this, many government entities require some public officials to obtain a surety bond.
A surety bond helps to protect the public from damages if a public official is not faithful to the duties of their office. This is especially important when the public official is responsible for handling public funds. The surety bond ensures the recovery of financial loss due to non-compliance by the public official if it were to occur.
Public Official Professions That May Require a Surety Bond
Each state has different rules for public officials and surety bond requirements. Some of the common professions that may be required to obtain a surety bond by the federal, state or city government include:
- Court clerks
- Commissioner of Deeds
- Federal, state and city officials
- Law Enforcement Officers
- Public notaries
- Tax collectors
A claim can be made on a bond when there is an act of malfeasance, which is an illegal act by a public official. The West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals describes malfeasance as "the doing of an act which an officer had no legal right to do at all and that when an officer, through ignorance, inattention, or malice, does that which they have no legal right to do at all, or acts without any authority whatsoever, or exceeds, ignores, or abuses their powers, they are guilty of malfeasance."
Different jurisdictions may vary over the opinion on whether knowledge or intent is required to be considered a wrongful act.
How Much Will This Bond Cost?
The premium you pay depends on various factors including the bond amount and your credit score. To get the premium amount for your specific bond, contact SuretyGroup.com for a free, no-obligation quote.
Did You Know?
Public officials that are required to obtain a surety bond must have the bond in place before taking office.
Related LinksNational Conference of State Legislatures - Definitions of "Public Official" and "Public Officer"
More Surety Bond Questions?
Check out our FAQ page or What’s a Surety Bond? page. Should you need or choose to buy a surety bond, buy from us. SuretyGroup.com has been underwriting surety bonds throughout the U.S. for more than 35 years. When you work with us, you enjoy the unique benefit of dealing with a team of highly experienced surety agents with in-house underwriting authority. This allows you to receive competitive, low rates, quick approvals, and immediate bond delivery. In most cases, your bond will be delivered within 24 hours after you apply for it.
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