color of office

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Color of office refers to a person acting as if they are in an official capacity as an employee of a governmental unit, but taking action that is not authorized. In other words, an office holder acts under the color of office when they take some action under the pretense that the office confers the authority of them to do so. Typically, the term is used in connection with a form of official misconduct, such as extortion or soliciting bribes.

[Last updated in July of 2022 by the Wex Definitions Team]