CEO 75-131 -- June 23, 1975
CONFLICT OF INTEREST
NO CONFLICT PER SE WHERE INDIVIDUAL SERVES IN TWO CAPACITIES AS PUBLIC OFFICER
To: Doris H. Housholder, Judge of Industrial Claims, Daytona Beach
Prepared by: Jeff Trammel
The Code of Ethics contains no provisions prohibiting an individual from serving in two distinct capacities as a "public officer" as that term is defined in the Code of Ethics. Rather, the conflict-of-interest provisions of the law are intended to identify and restrict those situations in which one of the agencies in which the public officer serves is doing business with or is regulated by the other entity with which he is associated. Where no such conflict exists, no violation of the law exists by the concurrent holding of two public-officer positions.
Does a conflict of interest exist where I serve concurrently as Judge of Industrial Claims and as a member of the district mental health board?
This question is answered in the negative.
The Code of Ethics for Public Officers and Employees [part III, Ch. 112, F. S. (1974 Supp.)] contains no provisions prohibiting an individual from serving in two distinct capacities as a public officer as defined by s. 112.312, F. S. (1974 Supp.). The intent of the provisions dealing with conflicts of interest is to identify and restrict those situations in which one of the agencies in which the public officer serves is "doing business with" or is "regulated by" the other entity with which the individual is associated. See s. 112.312, F. S. (1974 Supp.).
This is clearly not the relationship of your two positions. As a member of the district mental health board, your duties consist of appropriating funds to various agencies concerned with mental health and overseeing their operation. In the capacity of Judge of Industrial Claims, you perform no functions which are related to activities of the mental health board. We find no violation of either the objective or the subjective portions of s. 112.313(5) in that there is neither a business nor a regulatory nexus between the offices nor any impediment of the full and faithful discharge of the duties of either. The Code of Ethics does not prohibit dual employment of this nature.