Following People v. Superior Court (Sahlolbei) (2017) 3 Cal.5th 230, this case holds that the trial court erred in failing to instruct the jury on Gov. Code 1090’s prohibition of public contracts in which a public official or employee holds a financial interest.  The fact that the person who wielded influence over the making of the public contract was technically an independent contractor rather than an employee did not make section 1090 inapplicable.  The trial court also erred in failing to instruct on Gov. Code 4529.12, which requires construction contracts and contracts for architects’ services to be let by public competitive bid.  Finally, the decision holds that because the contract allowed the district to terminate plaintiff’s contract without cause on 120 days’ notice, damages for wrongly terminating plaintiff for cause are limited to those suffered during the 120-day notice period for a termination without cause.  See Martin v. U-Haul Co. of Fresno (1988) 204 Cal.App.3d 396.

California Court of Appeal, Second District, Division 6 (Gilbert, P.J.; Tangeman, J., concurring); May 10, 2018; 2018 Cal. App. LEXIS 425