CEO 76-79 -- April 16, 1976
DIRECTOR OF PUBLIC WORKS
APPLICABILITY OF FINANCIAL DISCLOSURE LAW
To: (Name withheld at the person's request.)
Prepared by: Bonnie Johnson
A "local officer" subject to financial disclosure is defined to include a city manager and a political subdivision chief, as well as any person appointed to act directly in such capacity, but excludes assistants and deputies not specifically enumerated. Fla. Stat. s. 112.3145(1)(a)3.(1975). A municipal director of public works, who also holds the title of assistant city manager and who acts for the city manager in his absence, is not deemed to constitute a local officer for disclosure purposes. The phrase "appointed to act directly" is construed to mean the full-time assumption of duties, and the position of assistant city manager is not specifically named in the section.
1. Am I, as director of public works for a Florida municipality, a "local officer" for purposes of disclosures required by the Code of Ethics for Public Officers and Employees?
2. As director of public works of a Florida municipality, am I subject to the standards of conduct provisions of the Code of Ethics?
Question 1 is answered in the negative.
You inform us in your letter of inquiry that, in your capacity as director of public works for the city, you are responsible directly to the city manager. As director, you also hold the title of assistant city manager and act in the capacity of the city manager during his absence. It is our further understanding that your duties relate to the supervision of city utilities and maintenance services, but you have no purchasing authority.
The Code of Ethics for Public Officers and Employees provides that each "local officer" is subject to the disclosure requirements contained in Fla. Stat. s. 112.3145(1975). The term "local officer" is defined to include:
Any person holding one or more of the following positions, by whatever title, including persons appointed to act directly in such capacity, but excluding assistants and deputies unless specifically named herein: clerk of the circuit court; clerk of the county court; county or city manager; political subdivision chief; county or city administrator; county or city attorney; chief county or city building inspector; county or city water resources coordinator; county or city pollution control director; county or city environmental control director; county or city administrator, with power to grant or deny a land development permit; chief of police; fire chief; city or town clerk; district school superintendent; community college presidents; or a purchasing agent having the authority to make any purchase exceeding $100 for any political subdivision of the state or any entity thereof. [Emphasis supplied; Fla. Stat. s. 112.3145(1)(a)3.(1975).]
Interpreting the italicized language above, we are of the opinion that the phrase "appointed to act directly" is to be construed as the full-time assumption of duties, as deputies and assistants, which are specifically excluded in the following phrase, customarily assume the chief administrator's duties in his absence. Accordingly, so long as you do not perform the duties of city manager on a full-time, continuing basis, you are not deemed to be a "local officer" for disclosure purposes of s. 112.3145.
Question 2 is answered in the affirmative.
Each provision of the standards of conduct, as contained in Fla. Stat. s. 112.313, is applicable both to public officers and employees. Your question is answered accordingly in the affirmative.