CEO 76-37 -- February 13, 1976
CONFLICT OF INTEREST
STATE SENATOR DOING BUSINESS WITH AN ACCOUNTING FIRM THAT DOES BUSINESS WITH THE STATE
To: Philip D. Lewis, Senator, 27th District, West Palm Beach
Prepared by: Gene Rhodes
No provision of the Code of Ethics for Public Officers and Employees would prohibit a State Senator from privately engaging an accounting firm which does work for various state agencies. The private business conducted with such firm would bear no relation to his responsibilities as a State Senator.
Does a prohibited conflict of interest exist where I, a State Senator, do business privately with an accounting firm that also does business with various state agencies?
Your question is answered in the negative.
Your letter of inquiry advises us that you engage an accounting firm to do accounting work for you personally, for your company, and for other business enterprises in which you are involved. This firm additionally does work for the Florida Keys Aquaduct Authority, the State Turnpike Authority, and the Department of Transportation.
There is no provision within the Code of Ethics for Public Officers and Employees which would prohibit the business transactions you describe. The private business which you conduct with the subject accounting firm bears no relation to your public responsibilities as a State Senator or to contracts held by the firm with other agencies of the state. Accordingly, we perceive no conflict under the Code of Ethics.