(a) A county auditor, county treasurer, county attorney, court administrator of the district court, county assessor, supervisor of assessments, deputy or clerk or an employee of such officer, a commissioner for tax-forfeited lands or an assistant to such commissioner, must not become a purchaser, either personally or as an agent or attorney for another person, of the properties offered for sale under the provisions of this chapter in the county for which the person performs duties. A person prohibited from purchasing property under this section must not directly or indirectly have another person purchase it on behalf of the prohibited purchaser for the prohibited purchaser's benefit or gain.
(b) Notwithstanding paragraph (a), such officer, deputy, clerk, or employee or commissioner for tax-forfeited lands or assistant to such commissioner may (1) purchase lands owned by that official at the time the state became the absolute owner thereof or (2) bid upon and purchase forfeited property offered for sale under the alternate sale procedure described in section 282.01, subdivision 7a.
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