CEO 75-184 -- November 6, 1975
APPLICABILITY OF DISCLOSURE LAW TO STATE EMPLOYEE WHO CONSULTS WITH PRIVATE BUSINESS
To: Demie J. Mainieri, Director of Athletics and Baseball Coach, Miami-Dade Community College, North Campus, Miami
Prepared by: Bonnie Johnson
Where an employee of a state community college consults for compensation with a private firm, he is deemed to be a public officer pursuant to s. 112.312(7)(h), F. S. (1974 Supp.). He therefore is subject to disclosure requirements of the Code of Ethics. On January 1, 1976, when the revised financial disclosure law takes effect, only those fulltime employees who consult for compensation which in the aggregate exceeds $250 will be deemed specified employees subject to financial disclosure.
Do any of the disclosure provisions of the Code of Ethics for Public Officers and Employees apply to me, Director of Athletics and Baseball Coach at Miami-Dade Community College, where I consult, in a private capacity, with a company which manufactures baseball and softball equipment?
Your question is answered in the affirmative.
You advise us in your letter of inquiry that for the past 4 years you have served as a consultant to the advisory staff of the Lannom Manufacturing Company, a private firm based in Tennessee which produces baseballs, softballs, and bats. Your duties include the testing of products and the organizing of coaching clinics, and, you informed our staff by telephone on October 6, you are paid a flat fee on an annual basis for your consulting work. You further advise us in your letter that all purchases for the Athletic Department at your college are handled by a central purchasing department on a competitive bid basis.
The Code of Ethics for Public Officers and Employees, part III, Ch. 112, F. S. (1974 Supp.), requires that all public officers file statements of disclosure annually. The term "public officer" is defined to include "[a]ll full time state employees who, in addition to their regular duties, accept compensation for consultations with other state agencies or with other government or private entities." Section 112.312(7)(h), F. S. By virtue of your consulting work with Lannom, you are a public officer within the above definition and therefore are subject to those disclosures required of public officers. The statement of financial disclosure, CE Form 1, is required to be filed by all public officers. Additionally, CE Forms 2, 3, and 4 are required to be filed if applicable.
It seems clear that Forms 2 and 4 do not pertain to your situation. You specifically inquire, however, as to the possible applicability of Form 3, the disclosure of specified interests. The revised statute relating to this disclosure provides in part as follows:
If a public officer or employee of an agency is an officer, director, partner, proprietor, associate, or general agent (other than a resident agent solely for service of process) of, or owns a material interest in, any business entity which is granted a privilege to operate in this state, he shall file a statement disclosing such facts no later than 45 days after becoming an officer or employee or after the acquisition of such position or of such material interest. [Section 112.313(9), F. S., amended by Ch. 75-208, Laws of Florida.]
Inasmuch as you neither own a material interest in nor serve in any official capacity for the Lannom Manufacturing Company, Form 3 would not apply to you in this instance. Based on the situation you describe, you need file only CE Form 1 at the present time.
We would like to point out that the revised financial disclosure law, which takes effect on January 1, 1976, may alter your situation with respect to next year's filing. The revised law requires that financial disclosure be made by certain "specified employees," which term is defined to include:
Any full-time state employee who, in addition to his regular duties, accepts compensation for consultations with other state agencies or with other government or business entities which compensation in the aggregate exceeds $250. [Section 112.3145(1)(b)8., amended by Ch. 75-196, Laws of Florida; emphasis supplied.]
Therefore, should you be compensated $250 or more for consulting work during 1975, you will be required to file a statement of financial disclosure on or before 12 o'clock noon, July 15, 1976, the deadline for the 1976 filing.