CEO 76-46 -- March 16, 1976
CONFLICT OF INTEREST
CITY COMMISSIONER DOING BUSINESS WITH CITY
To: Stephen C. Watson, Assistant City Attorney, Lakeland
Prepared by: Gene Rhodes
Reference is made to CEO 76-31. Pursuant to the prohibition contained in Fla. Stat. s. 112.313(3)(1975), a business in which a city commissioner owns a material interest is prohibited from transacting business with the city. Where one is a director of a corporation, he is deemed to be "acting in a private capacity" where such corporation transacts business. See CEO 76-12. Therefore, a business of which a city commissioner is a director likewise is prohibited from transacting business with the city.
1. Does a prohibited conflict of interest exist where a corporation of which a city commissioner owns a material interest does business with departments of the city?
2. Does a prohibited conflict of interest exist where a corporation of which a city commissioner is a director transacts business with agencies of the city?
Question 1 is answered in the affirmative.
Your letter of inquiry advises us that the city commissioner owns a material interest in the aforementioned corporation. This corporation does sheet metal work for various departments of the city. The city commission does not approve or take any other action regarding these contracts.
Please find enclosed a copy of a recent opinion of this commission, CEO 76-31, the rationale of which is equally applicable to this inquiry. This question is answered accordingly in the affirmative.
Question 2 is answered in the affirmative.
You have advised us that the subject city commissioner owns less than 2 percent of the outstanding stock of the aforementioned company. This company supplies parts and equipment for municipal machinery, and does not deal directly with the city commission.
This commission has previously taken the view that being a director of a corporation selling to an agency in one's political subdivision constitutes "acting in a private capacity to sell to that agency" within the meaning of Fla. Stat. s. 112.313(3)(1975). See CEO 76-12. Given this interpretation, CEO 76-31 is also applicable to this inquiry, and this question is answered accordingly in the affirmative.