Claims and Actions Against Public Entities and Public Employees; Defense of Public Employees
(a) A public entity may refuse to provide for the defense of a civil action or proceeding brought against an employee or former employee if the public entity determines any of the following:
(1) The act or omission was not within the scope of his or her employment.
(2) He or she acted or failed to act because of actual fraud, corruption, or actual malice.
(3) The defense of the action or proceeding by the public entity would create a specific conflict of interest between the public entity and the employee or former employee. For the purposes of this section, "specific conflict of interest" means a conflict of interest or an adverse or pecuniary interest, as specified by statute or by a rule or regulation of the public entity.
(b) If an employee or former employee requests in writing that the public entity, through its designated legal counsel, provide for a defense, the public entity shall, within 20 days, inform the employee or former employee whether it will or will not provide a defense, and the reason for the refusal to provide a defense.
(c) If an actual and specific conflict of interest becomes apparent subsequent to the 20-day period following the employee's written request for defense, nothing herein shall prevent the public entity from refusing to provide further defense to the employee. The public entity shall inform the employee of the reason for the refusal to provide further defense.
(Amended by Stats. 1982, Ch. 1046.)