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What Is Official Misconduct?

A government or law enforcement official is also known as a public servant. This is because the duty of the government or law enforcement official is to serve the best interests of the public that has elected him or her into office. There are certain standards that a public servant are expected to meet. Thus, when a public servant commits an offense or crime, it is referred to as official misconduct.

A public servant may be guilty of official misconduct if he or she fails to complete his or her legal obligations towards the citizens of the area he or she is responsible for. It is also possible that official misconduct may be committed if the public servant authorized something that he or she has no right to authorize. Thus, the focus of official misconduct is the inability to discharge the powers of the position that a public servant was elected into or the abuse of such powers. Official misconduct is also characterized by the action or inaction benefitting the public servant himself or herself or someone he or she knows. It is also possible to consider the detrimental effects a decision may have on another party or person as official misconduct.

For example, a law enforcement officer conducting an arrest on a person who is wounded should provide some form of medical assistance. If the police officer continues to arrest the wounded person without giving him or her some kind of relief, then this instance constitutes as official misconduct.

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