CEO 75-5 -- January 6, 1975
DISCLOSURE OF REPRESENTATIONS
MUST "APPEARANCES" MADE AS PART OF THE DUTIES OF PUBLIC OFFICE BE DISCLOSED
To: William C. Strode, City Attorney, Sarasota
Prepared by: Gene L. "Hal" Johnson
Under the provisions of s. 112.3145(c), F. S., as amended by Ch. 74-177, Laws of Florida, if Mr. Strode receives a fee or commission for appearances in his official capacity as City Attorney before agencies at the same level of government as his own agency, he is required to disclose those appearances on CE Form 2. However, appearances by Mr. Strode on behalf of the City of Sarasota in his capacity as City Attorney do not require disclosure if he receives no compensation other than that of regular compensation for performance of official duties or if he does not place in conflict his public duty and his private interests.
Does s. 112.3145(c), F. S., as amended by Ch. 74- 177, Laws of Florida, require appearances made by me in my official capacity as city attorney to be disclosed on CE Form 2?
Your question is answered in the negative.
As stated in your letter, as City Attorney for the City of Sarasota, it is necessary for you to appear in your official capacity before some local administrative agencies. These agencies are presumably agencies at the "same level of government" as your own agency and thus appearance before them would appear subject to disclosure. Your inquiry is whether s. 112.3145(c), supra, requires appearances made in your official capacity to be reported.
The section referring to representations before agencies states in part:
Any public officer or candidate who represents another before his own agency or any agency at the same level of government as his own agency, except in ministerial matters, for a fee or commission shall list the agencies before which he appears, and the name of the client whom he represented, in a quarterly report subsequent to such appearance. [Section 112.3145(c), supra; emphasis supplied.]
As expressly stated, the public officer or candidate must receive a "fee or commission" for providing the representation for his client.
Since you are functioning in your official capacity, we assume you are not receiving a special "fee or commission" for such appearances but that your compensation comes from your regular salary for performing your official duties. Additionally, we believe this disclosure requirement was intended to reveal potential situations in which one's private interests would conflict with his public duties. Requiring disclosure of representations made on behalf of your agency in your official capacity would not serve this purpose or any other meaningful purpose consistent with the disclosure provisions of this law. We are therefore of the opinion that s. 112.3145(1)(c), supra, does not require that your official acts of this nature be disclosed.