CEO 75-84 -- April 25, 1975
STANDARDS OF CONDUCT
PROPRIETY OF PUBLIC EMPLOYEE'S ACCEPTING A FREE TRIP FROM A PERSONAL FRIEND
To: Dick McMeekin, Division Chief, Jacksonville Auditorium and Coliseum Division, Jacksonville
Prepared by: Jeff Trammel
Although Mr. McMeekin is a personal friend of Mr. Albert Wood, the Jacksonville representative of the Dunes Hotel in Las Vegas, Mr. Wood does not do business with the Jacksonville Auditorium and Coliseum Division. Therefore, no conflict of interest is created in Mr. McMeekin's acceptance of a complimentary trip to Las Vegas from Mr. Wood.
Does acceptance by me, as Division Chief of the Jacksonville Auditorium and Coliseum Division, of a trip to Las Vegas as a personal gift from the local representative of a Las Vegas hotel violate the Code of Ethics, part III, Ch. 112, F. S. (1974 Supp.)?
Your question is answered in the negative.
As indicated in your letter of inquiry and the accompanying affidavit, Mr. Albert Wood, the Jacksonville representative of the Dunes Hotel of Las Vegas, has offered as a personal gift to you and your wife an expense-paid trip to Las Vegas. In his capacity as representative of the hotel, Mr. Wood is allowed to give complimentary trips as personal gifts and, as you and your wife are long-time friends of Mr. Wood, he has made one of these trips available to you.
As Division Chief of the Jacksonville Auditorium and Coliseum Division, you are a public employee within the meaning of the Code of Ethics. The provision of the code relating to the acceptance of gifts states:
No officer or employee of a state agency, or of a county, city or other political subdivision of the state, or any legislator, or legislative employee shall accept any gift, favor, or service, of value to the recipient, that would cause a reasonably prudent person to be influenced in the discharge of official duties. [Section 112.313(1), F. S. (1974 Supp.).]
In your affidavit you state that in two separate stints as Division Chief you have never conducted business, leased any of your facilities to, or otherwise been directly or indirectly involved in a business capacity with Mr. Wood. Furthermore, you certify that you do not so contemplate doing business with Mr. Wood.
You note that you and your wife have known Mr. Wood for 19 years and the relationship in one of personal friendship. In light of the nature of this relationship, and in the absence of any business arrangements between your division and Mr. Wood, it appears that the receipt of this trip would not cause a reasonably prudent person in your position to be influenced in the discharge of official duties.
There would therefore be no violation of the Code of Ethics, part III, Ch. 112, F. S. (1974 Supp.).