CEO 75-96 -- April 28, 1975
STANDARDS OF CONDUCT
PROPRIETY OF INDIVIDUALS IN HOSPITAL-RELATED POSITION SERVING ON HOSPITAL BOARD
To: Joe D. Matheny, Counsel, North Brevard District Hospital Board, Titusville
Prepared by: Jeff Trammel
Section 112.313(5), F. S. (1974 Supp.), prohibits a public officer or employee from holding employment with a business entity subject to the regulation of or doing business with the agency of which he is an officer or employee. Although one of the members of the hospital board in question is on the medical staff of the hospital, he is not an employee of that hospital but only exercises the privilege of using its facilities in the treatment of his patients. Another board member serves as executive director of a district mental health board; still another is a member of the county mental health center. None of these board members hold employment which is either subject to the regulation of, or is doing business with, the hospital. Therefore, no conflict exists under part III, Ch. 112, F. S. (1974 Supp.).
Does a conflict of interest exist where the following individuals serve on the North Brevard District Hospital Board (also known as Jess Parrish Memorial Hospital): Dr. Lee Osman, a member of the medical staff of Jess Parrish Hospital; Mr. George Van Staden, Executive Director of the Brevard County District Mental Health Board; and Mr. Pat Blumer, a member of the Brevard County Mental Health Center, Inc.?
Your question is answered in the negative.
The Code of Ethics for Public Officers and Employees, which was substantially revised by the 1974 Legislature, contains a provision which specifically prohibits a public officer from having employment with a business entity subject to the regulation of or doing business with the agency of which he is an officer or employee. Section 112.313(5), F. S. (1974 Supp.). This provision is an extension of the common-law rule prohibiting a public officer or employee from holding another position that is incompatible with the duties and functions of his office. See 67 C.J.S. Officers s. 23, p. 135.
None of the three individuals you have mentioned in your request has a position that is incompatible with the duties and functions of the North Brevard County Hospital Board. Although Dr. Osman is on the medical staff of the hospital, it is our opinion that this does not constitute employment by the hospital. Only those doctors who work in the emergency room are remunerated by the hospital and, as a consequence, can be deemed employees. Dr. Osman does not fall within this category as his relationship to the hospital is solely one of privilege to use its facilities for treatment of his patients.
It follows that since Dr. Osman is not an employee of Jess Parrish Hospital, there is no conflict of interest. Neither Mr. Van Staden's position as Executive Director of the Brevard County District Mental Health Board nor Mr. Blumer's position as a member of the Brevard County Mental Health Center, Inc., is subject to the regulation and supervision of the hospital board. Section 11, Ch. 28924, Laws of Florida. We therefore conclude that none of these positions create a conflict of interest.