CEO 77-66 -- April 21, 1977
CONFLICT OF INTEREST
SON OF PARI-MUTUEL WAGERING INVESTIGATOR EMPLOYED BY JAI-ALAI CORPORATION
To: Doug Morris, Director, Division of Pari-mutuel Wagering, Miami
Prepared by: Bonnie Johnson
No provision of the Code of Ethics for Public Officers and Employees prohibits the adult son of an investigator with the Division of Pari-mutuel Wagering from being employed by a jai-alai corporation subject to regulation by the division, assuming that the father did not misuse his public position in violation of s. 112.313(6), F. S. 1975, to promote his son's employment.
Does a prohibited conflict of interest exist where the Division of Pari-mutuel Wagering employs as its chief investigator one whose adult son is employed by a jai-alai corporation subject to regulation by the division?
Your question is answered in the negative.
You advise in your letter of inquiry that the Division of Pari- mutuel Wagering employs Mr. Jeremiah A. Mullane as the division's Chief Investigator. Hired on December 8, 1975, Mr. Mullane's duties include the supervision of three investigators who continuously investigate all complaints of wrongdoing by persons, who may or may not be licensed by the division, in conjunction with activities that directly relate to the pari-mutuel industry. Mr. Mullane's son, Daniel Joseph Mullane, 24 years of age, was employed by World Jai- Alai, Inc. on January 21, 1976, as a security man but currently holds the position of parking attendant for the corporation. World Jai- Alai, Inc. is a Miami-based Florida corporation which holds four permits to conduct pari-mutuel wagering in the state. These permits are issued by the Division of Pari-mutuel Wagering pursuant to its statutory authority as contained in ss. 551.04 and 551.06, F. S. Based on these circumstances, you wish to know whether a prohibited conflict of interest exists in the division's employment of Mr. Jeremiah Mullane while his son holds employment with a company subject to division licensing and regulation.
Only one provision of the Code of Ethics for Public Officers and Employees specifically deals with a public officer or employee and his or her adult child:
DOING BUSINESS WITH ONE'S AGENCY. -- No employee of an agency acting in his official capacity as a purchasing agent, or public officer acting in his official capacity, shall either directly or indirectly purchase, rent, or lease any realty, goods, or services for his own agency from any business entity of which he or his spouse or child is an officer, partner, director, or proprietor or in which such officer or employee or his spouse or child, or any combination of them, has a material interest. . . . [Section 112.313(3), F. S. 1975.]
The above provision clearly is inapplicable, however, as there is no question of doing business within the facts before us. Nor is there any indication that the elder Mullane in any way used his public position to secure employment for his son, in violation of s. 112.313(6).
Accordingly, based on the facts before us, we find no prohibited conflict of interest under the Code of Ethics where an investigator with the Division of Pari-mutuel Wagering is the father of an adult son employed by a pari-mutuel corporation subject to regulation by the division.