CEO 75-106 -- May 8, 1975
ASSISTANT PUBLIC DEFENDER
APPLICABILITY OF CODE OF ETHICS
To: Jerome Latimer, Assistant Public Defender, Sixth Judicial Circuit, St. Petersburg
Prepared by: Bonnie Johnson
Reference is made to CEO 74-45. The categories of persons designated to be public officers in part III, Ch. 112, F. S. (1974 Supp.), are explicit and exclusive. As assistant public defenders are not named as public officers, they are not subject to those disclosure provisions required of public officers. They are, however, public employees and therefore are subject to standards of conduct which apply both to officers and employees.
Am I, as an assistant public defender, a public officer within the meaning of that term as used in part III, Ch. 112, F. S. (1974 Supp.), and therefore subject to the provisions of the Code of Ethics relating to public officers?
This question is answered in the negative.
Please find enclosed a copy of a previous opinion of this commission, CEO 74-45. The rationale contained in question 3 of that opinion is equally applicable to your question. Your inquiry is answered accordingly.
We would like to point out, however, that both public officers and employees are subject to certain standards of conduct set forth in part III, Ch. 112, supra. Section 112.313(3), supra, specifically requires employees holding certain business interests to file CE Form 3, Disclosure of Conflicts of Interest, if applicable. While you are not a public officer under this law and therefore are not subject to financial disclosure, you are nonetheless subject to the standards of conduct by virtue of your position as a public employee.