CEO 77-52 -- April 21, 1977
COUNTY CRIMINAL JUSTICE COORDINATING COMMITTEE
APPLICABILITY OF FINANCIAL DISCLOSURE
To: Frank J. Demsky, Brevard County Criminal Justice Coordinator, Merritt Island
Prepared by: Phil Claypool
A county criminal justice coordinating committee whose duties are to review and make recommendations as to applications for Law Enforcement Assistance Administration grants has powers of a solely advisory nature pursuant to the definition of "advisory body" contained in s. 112.312(1), F. S. (1976 Supp.). Accordingly, the committee is deemed to constitute an advisory body whose members are exempt from the definition of "local officer" for purposes of financial disclosure. Section 112.3145(1)(a)2., F. S. 1975.
Are members of the Brevard County Criminal Justice Coordinating Committee "local officers" for purposes of financial disclosure?
Your question is answered in the negative.
In your letter of request you have stated that you are the Criminal Justice Coordinator and the Secretary for the Brevard County Criminal Justice Coordinating Committee. According to information you have given us, the committee was established by the county commission in accordance with Public Law 90-351, the Omnibus Crime Control and Safe Streets Acts of 1968, 42 U.S.C. s. 3701, et seq., as amended, and in conjunction with the Governor's Council on Criminal Justice so that the county would be eligible for grants funded by that act. The members of the committee are appointed by the board of county commissioners as follows: Four from the police, four from the courts, three representing corrections, and four representing local government.
The bylaws of the committee specify that its duties and responsibilities are To: Develop a comprehensive countywide plan for the improvement of criminal justice throughout the county; define, develop, and correlate programs and projects for the county and the units of local government, or combinations thereof, in the county for the improvement of criminal justice; establish priorities for the improvement of criminal justice throughout the county; provide information to prospective aid recipients regarding the benefits of the program and procedures for filing applications for LEAA grants; encourage grant proposal projects from local units of government for criminal justice planning and action efforts; encourage project proposals from county criminal justice agencies; and establish guidelines and procedures to be employed in the evaluation of applications for LEAA grants for projects and programs in the criminal justice field and for monitoring programs to assure that the funds are used in accordance with state and federal requirements.
In a telephone conversation with our staff, you have stated that the committee reviews applications for Law Enforcement Assistance Administration (LEAA) grants from units of local government in Brevard County, recommending approval or disapproval of the application and stating the reasons for its recommendation. The application then is forwarded to the East Central Florida (Region 6) Regional Planning Committee, which also reviews the application. Final approval or disapproval of the application rests with the Federal LEAA. In addition, you also have stated that the committee has no budget; its members are not compensated and, as the criminal justice coordinator, your salary is paid by the county. Although the LEAA limits the total amount of grant money that can be awarded to the county, the money for each grant remains with the federal government until it is paid directly to the agency which is awarded the grant.
As defined by the Code of Ethics for Public Officers and Employees, the term "local officer" includes:
Any appointed member of a board, commission, authority, community college district board of trustees, or council of any political subdivision of the state, excluding any member of an advisory body. A governmental body with land-planning, zoning, or natural resources responsibilities shall not be considered an advisory body. [Section 112.3145(1)(a)2., F. S. (1976 Supp.).]
The term "advisory body" is defined in s. 112.312(1), F. S. (1976 Supp.), to mean
any board, commission, committee, council, or authority, however selected, whose total budget, appropriations, or authorized expenditures constitute less than 1 percent of the budget of each agency it serves or $100,000, whichever is less, and whose powers, jurisdiction, and authority are solely advisory and do not include the final determination or adjudication of any personal or property rights, duties, or obligations, other than those relating to its internal operations.
We find that the powers and authority of the committee, as listed above, are solely advisory and do not include the final determination or adjudication of any personal or property rights, duties, or obligations. In addition, since the committee has no budget, it meets the budgetary test outlined in the statute above.
Accordingly, we find that the members of the Brevard County Criminal Justice Coordinating Committee are not "local officers" and therefore are not subject to the annual filing of financial disclosure.