CEO 78-18 -- March 15, 1978
CONFLICT OF INTEREST
CITY COMMISSIONER EMPLOYED BY NONPROFIT YOUTH CENTER RECEIVING MONEY FROM CITY
To: (Name withheld at the person's request.)
Prepared by: Phil Claypool
Reference is made to CEO's 77-177, 77-164, and 77-65. Where a nonprofit youth center is located on property owned by a city and receives funds from the city, the center is doing business with the city within the meaning of ss. 112.313(7)(a) and 112.312(3), F. S. 1977. Accordingly, a member of the city commission is prohibited from holding employment with the youth center.
Would a prohibited conflict of interest be created were a member of a city commission to be employed by a nonprofit youth center which receives funds from the city?
Your question is answered in the affirmative.
In your letter of inquiry you advise that ____ is a member of the ____ City Commission and that he wishes to apply for the position of director of a local youth center. You also advise that this center is a recreational facility which is located on property owned by the city and which is run by a nonprofit organization governed by a private board of directors. In addition, you advise that the city commission regularly includes a line item for the center in its annual budget and that the city has taken action relating to the application process on several federal grants for the renovation of the center's facilities.
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. 1977.]
This provision prohibits a public officer from being employed by a business entity which is doing business with his agency. The term "business entity" is defined broadly to include
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. 1977.]
Inasmuch as the center is located on property owned by the city and receives funds from the city, we perceive that the center is doing business with the city within the meaning of the above-quoted prohibition. See CEO's 77-177, 77-164, and 77-65. Accordingly, we find that the Code of Ethics prohibits the subject city commissioner from being employed by a nonprofit youth center which receives funds from the city.