Oaths of office take center stage in rare legislation

A necessary right of passage for literally hundreds of state and local boards, special districts, and other governmental and quasi-governmental entities in New York City, is the taking and taking of oaths of office by their members. . For some it is a solemn event with right hands raised and left hands on a Bible as family, friends and co-workers watch. For others, it is a much more departmental process, but just as important. For all, however critical a step is as taking the oath, filing that oath in the proper office and within a specific time frame is equally essential to making it official.

In some cases, the filing of an oath must be accompanied by a recognizance or a surety. Escrow provides security in the case of public officials who also directly control trust funds, whether taxpayers’ money, proceeds from the sale of bonds, retirement accounts, etc. In the eyes of the law, recognizance is equivalent to taking an oath in terms of satisfying the filing requirement imposed by Section 11 of the Public Officers Act of New York (PBO) or other supervisory authority. . According to §11, the recognizance or other guarantee is deposited to guarantee that “[the officer] shall faithfully discharge the duties of his office and shall promptly render an account and pay for all moneys or property received by him in his capacity as an officer…”.