CEO 74-49 -- November 1, 1974
DISPOSITION OF FINANCIAL ASSETS
To: J. C. Adderly, Attorney, Cape Coral
Prepared by: Gerald Knight
A recent ruling by the Judicial Qualifications Commission makes candidates for judicial office subject to the financial disclosure requirements of part III, Ch. 112, F. S., as amended by Ch. 74-177, Laws of Florida. Section 112.3145(1)(e), supra, of that disclosure law provides that the candidate list his or her total assets and income in the statement of disclosure. No requirement is made in the Code of Ethics for a candidate to dispose of any assets in order to be a candidate for public office. However, if the judicial candidate wins the election, he or she may under certain circumstances be required to dispose of certain assets or to refrain from certain financial dealings. See s. 112.313, supra, specifically s. 112.313(2).
Does part III, Ch. 112, F. S., as amended by Ch. 74-177, Laws of Florida, require a candidate for judicial office to dispose of financial assets?
According to a recent ruling of the Judicial Qualifications Commission, candidates for judicial office are subject to the financial disclosure requirements of part III, supra. We concur in this ruling. However, there is nothing in the Code of Ethics which requires that persons dispose of any assets which they own in order to be a candidate for public office. However, candidates are required to file a statement of disclosure containing:
A list of the total assets of each public officer or candidate, listed in order of size, excluding any asset which is equal to or less than fifteen percent of the total; any real property not situate in Florida and the personal residence and recreational or vacation homes of each public officer or candidate shall be excluded from the list. Each listed asset shall be identified only by type, location, address or legal description. [Section 112.3145(1)(e), F. S., as created by Ch. 74-177, supra.]
As to which assets and income must be disclosed, the above-quoted law and the forms issued by the Commission on Ethics pursuant thereto are self-explanatory. See CE Form 1 and the Guide to the 1974 Public Disclosure and Conflicts of Interest Act.
Finally, with regard to the advice of the circuit judge to which you refer in your letter, you may under certain circumstances be required to dispose of certain assets or refrain from certain financial dealings if you are successful in your election bid. See generally s. 112.313, F. S., as amended by Ch. 74-177, supra. See specifically s. 112.313(2), supra.