Public Office

Definition - What does Public Office mean?

A public office is a government position with a specific purpose. Its power is derived from a state constitution or the U.S. Constitution; or from state or federal laws.

Someone who holds public office is either appointed or elected to the post for a designated period, and has a specific title and duties.

Justipedia explains Public Office

Because people in public office generally have authority over or provide services to citizens, they are held accountable for their actions under ethics and anti-corruption laws. Many face considerable scrutiny and come under fire for real or perceived transgressions. When that happens, they are often forced to resign.

One of the most egregious offenses that someone holding a public office can commit is accepting money or material goods in exchange for "favors." Because it is so serious, both parties involved in this activity often face criminal charges.

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