CEO 75-151 -- July 9, 1975
CONFLICT OF INTEREST
NO CONFLICT WHERE A LEGISLATOR SERVES AS A MEMBER OF THE BOARD OF DIRECTORS OF A PRIVATE HOSPITAL
To: (Name withheld at the person's request.)
Prepared by: Jeff Trammel
The standards of conduct promulgated by the Code of Ethics prohibit situations where a public officer has private interests which conflict with his public duties or otherwise impede the full and faithful discharge of his duties. There is no inherent conflict, however, where a state legislator also serves as a member of the board of directors of a privately owned hospital. An occasional voting conflict could arise should the legislator be called upon to vote on laws affecting the hospital, however. In such cases, disclosure of a voting conflict is required by the Code of Ethics.
Does a conflict of interest exist where I am a duly elected State Representative and serve as a member of the board of directors of a private hospital?
This question is answered in the negative.
In your letter of inquiry, you indicate that you are the state representative from ____. Recently you were appointed a member of the Board of Directors for ____ Hospital, a position which is noncompensatory. You own no stock in the hospital, which is an investor-owned facility.
As a legislator, you are clearly a public officer and subject to the Code of Ethics. Section 112.312(7)(a), F. S. (1974 Supp.). The standards of conduct promulgated in the code prohibit situations where a public officer has private interests which conflict with his public duties or otherwise impede the full and faithful discharge of his duties. We are of the opinion that there is no inherent conflict between your duties as a member of the board of directors of a privately owned hospital and your responsibilities as a legislator. This does not preclude an occasional conflict arising, however, should legislation involving this hospital come before you for action. In such cases the Code of Ethics requires a disclosure of the conflict by the filing of a memorandum with the person responsible for recording the minutes of the meeting.