CEO 77-26 -- March 9, 1977
CONFLICT OF INTEREST
MAYOR PRIVATELY INSPECTING BUILDING OF BANK HAVING MORTGAGE AGREEMENT WITH TOWN
To: (Name withheld at the person's request.)
Prepared by: Phil Claypool
A public officer is prohibited by s. 112.313(7)(a), F. S. 1975, from having a contractual relationship with a business entity which is doing business with his public agency. Accordingly, a municipal mayor is prohibited from privately contracting for building inspection services with a bank which has a mortgage agreement with the municipality.
Would a prohibited conflict of interest be created were I, a municipal mayor, privately to contract for building inspection services with a bank which has a mortgage agreement with my municipality and serves as a depository for municipal funds?
Your question is answered in the affirmative.
You advise in your letter of inquiry that since 1963 you have been Mayor of the Town of ____, which has a mortgage agreement, as well as deposits, with the ____ Federal Savings and Loan Association. In your private capacity as a building contractor, you have been requested by said savings and loan association to make building inspections of their property.
The Code of Ethics for Public Officers and Employees provides in relevant part as follows:
CONFLICTING EMPLOYMENT OR CONTRACTUAL RELATIONSHIP. -- No public officer or employee of an agency shall have or hold any employment or contractual relationship with any business entity or any agency which is subject to the regulation of, or is doing business with, an agency of which he is an officer or employee . . . ; nor shall an officer or employee of an agency have or hold any employment or contractual relationship that will create a continuing or frequently recurring conflict between his private interests and the performance of his public duties or that would impede the full and faithful discharge of his public duties. [Section 112.313(7)(a), F. S. 1975.]
This provision prohibits a public officer from having a contractual relationship with a business entity which is doing business with his agency. As mayor, your agency is the town which you serve. Section 112.312(2), F. S. (1976 Supp.). On the basis of the town's loan transaction and accounts with the savings and loan association, it is clear that the association is doing business with the town. As you will have a contractual relationship with the bank to do their building inspections, we find that the above-quoted statute is applicable.
Accordingly, we find that the Code of Ethics for Public Officers and Employees prohibits you, a municipal mayor, from contracting to provide building inspection services for a bank which has a mortgage agreement with and serves as a depository for the municipality.