CEO 77-122 -- July 21, 1977
FILING IN YEAR AFTER LEAVING PUBLIC OFFICE OR EMPLOYMENT
To: William H. Walker, St. Petersburg
Prepared by: Phil Claypool
Section 112.3145(2)(b), F. S. 1975, provides that state officers, local officers, and specified employees shall file financial disclosure by July 15 of each year, "including the July 15th following the last year [the disclosing person] is in office." This phrase is interpreted to mean that a person required to file disclosure must file his final disclosure statement no later than the July 15th following the calendar year in which he left office or resigned his public employment. This finding is based on the fact that the majority of persons filing disclosure do so 6 months after the end of the disclosure period, which is the preceding calendar year. Section 112.312(8), F. S. (1976 Supp.).
Must a "specified employee" file financial disclosure the year following the calendar year in which he resigned his public employment?
Your question is answered in the affirmative.
In your letter of inquiry you have stated that at the present time you hold no public office or employment, other than that of notary public, but that you were an assistant state attorney until March 1, 1976, when you resigned from that position.
As an assistant state attorney you were a "specified employee" for purposes of the financial disclosure provisions of the Code of Ethics for Public Officers and Employees. See s. 112.3145(1)(b)1., F. S. 1975. The Code of Ethics provides:
Each state or local officer and each specified employee shall file a statement of financial interests no later than 12 o'clock noon of July 15 of each year, including the July 15th following the last year he is in office. [Section 112.3145(2)(b), F. S. 1975 as amended by Ch. 77-174, Laws of Florida; emphasis supplied.]
We interpret the italicized phrase within this provision to require a local officer, state officer, or specified employee to file financial disclosure no later than the July 15th following the calendar year in which he left office or resigned his public employment. Thus, as the calendar year in which you resigned your position was 1976, you are required by this provision to file your last statement of financial interests by July 15, 1977.
The purpose for this provision lies in the fact that the vast majority of individuals file financial disclosure 6 months after the end of the period for which they are disclosing their financial interests, since their disclosure period is the calendar year immediately preceding July 15th. Section 112.312(8), F. S. (1976 Supp.). Therefore, if one leaves office during a particular calendar year he would not be required to file financial disclosure for that year if we were to interpret the above provision differently.
Accordingly, we find that you are required to file financial disclosure this year, disclosing your financial interests for the year 1976, since you resigned your public employment during that year.