The attorney general shall act as the attorney for all state officers and all boards or commissions created by law in all matters pertaining to their official duties. When requested by the attorney general, it shall be the duty of any county attorney of the state to appear within the county and act as attorney for any such board, commission, or officer in any court of such county. The attorney general may, upon request in writing, employ, and fix the compensation of, a special attorney for any such board, commission, or officer when, in the attorney general's judgment, the public welfare will be promoted thereby. Such special attorney's fees or salary shall be paid from the appropriation made for such board, commission, or officer. Except as herein provided, no board, commission, or officer shall hereafter employ any attorney at the expense of the state.
Whenever the attorney general, the governor, and the chief justice of the supreme court shall certify, in writing, filed in the Office of the Secretary of State, that it is necessary, in the proper conduct of the legal business of the state, either civil or criminal, that the state employ additional counsel, the attorney general shall thereupon be authorized to employ such counsel and, with the governor and the chief justice, fix the additional counsel's compensation. The governor, if in the governor's opinion the public interest requires such action, may employ counsel to act in any action or proceeding if the attorney general is in any way interested adversely to the state. Except as herein stated, no additional counsel shall be employed and the legal business of the state shall be performed exclusively by the attorney general and the attorney general's assistants.