CEO 76-107 -- June 17, 1976
PLANNING AND ZONING BOARD MEMBER PRIVATELY RETAINED BY BUSINESS ENTITY AFFECTED BY BOARD DECISIONS
To: (Name withheld at the person's request.)
Prepared by: Gene Rhodes
Florida Statute s. 112.3143(1975) provides that no public officer may be prohibited from exercising his right to vote. Where he votes on a matter in which he has a personal, private, or professional interest which inures to his gain or to the gain of a principal by whom he is retained, however, he is required to disclose such interest via the filing of CE Form 4, Memorandum of Voting Conflict, with the person responsible for recording the minutes of the meeting at which the vote occurred. Accordingly, a planning and zoning board member who is privately retained by a corporation must file such voting conflict disclosure when he votes on matters affecting the corporation.
Under the Code of Ethics for Public Officers and Employees, what is required of a planning and zoning board member when a matter before the board inures to the special private gain of a corporation which retains him?
Your letter of inquiry advises us that the subject planning and zoning board member is retained privately as a veterinarian by a business entity which occasionally is affected by particular votes of the board.
The Code of Ethics provides in pertinent part:
Voting conflicts. -- No public officer shall be prohibited from voting in his official capacity on any matter. However, any public officer voting in his official capacity upon any measure in which he has a personal, private, or professional interest and which inures to his special private gain or the special gain of any principal by whom he is retained shall, within 15 days after the vote occurs, disclose the nature of his interest as a public record in a memorandum filed with the person responsible for recording the minutes of the meeting, who shall incorporate the memorandum in the minutes. [Fla. Stat. s. 112.3143(1975).]
This provision states that no public officer shall be prohibited from voting on any matter. However, the above-quoted section goes on to require that a public officer who votes on a measure which would inure to the special gain of a principal by whom he is retained file a Memorandum of Voting Conflict, CE Form 4, within 15 days after the vote occurs. This memorandum must be filed with the person responsible for keeping the minutes of the meeting.
Consequently, if the board member chooses to vote on a matter that inures to the special gain of the corporation which retains him, he must file CE Form 4, a copy of which is enclosed.