CEO 77-177 -- December 14, 1977
CONFLICT OF INTEREST
CITY COMMISSIONER SELLING KILNS TO SENIOR CITIZENS' CENTER WHICH RECEIVES FUNDS FROM CITY
To: (Name withheld at the person's request.)
Prepared by: Phil Claypool
A municipality which administers and partially funds a senior citizens' center is doing business with that center. See CEO's 77-65 and 77-164 and s. 112.312(3), F. S. As s. 112.313(7)(a), F. S., prohibits a public officer from having a contractual relationship with a business entity which is doing business with his public agency, a member of the municipality's city commission is prohibited from selling kilns to the senior citizens' center.
Would a prohibited conflict of interest exist were a city commissioner to sell kilns to a senior citizens' center which is funded in part and administered by the city?
This question is answered in the affirmative.
In the letter of inquiry and in subsequent correspondence we are advised that the City of Margate contributes funds and, pursuant to a contract with the Areawide Council on Aging of Broward County, administration services for a senior multi-service center. Other cities in the area also contribute funds for the center, which operates partly under the Federal Older Americans Act of 1965 and partly as a model-pilot project for the State of Florida.
The Code of Ethics for Public Officers and Employees provides in relevant part:
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. The term "business entity" is defined broadly to mean
any corporation, partnership, limited partnership, proprietorship, firm, enterprise, franchise, association, self-employed individual, or trust, whether fictitiously named or not, doing business in this state. [Section 112.312(3), F. S. 1975.]
By contributing funds to the center, the city is doing business with the center. See CEO's 77-65 and 77-164. Accordingly, we find that the Code of Ethics prohibits the subject city commissioner from selling kilns to a senior citizens' center which is funded in part and administered by the city.