CEO 78-61 -- September 8, 1978
SPECIAL ASSISTANT STATE ATTORNEY
APPLICABILITY OF FINANCIAL DISCLOSURE LAW
To: S. M. Donohue, Special Assistant State Attorney, 17th Judicial Circuit, Fort Lauderdale
Prepared by: Phil Claypool
For purposes of the annual filing of financial disclosure under s. 112.3145(2)(b), F. S. 1977, the term "specified employee" is defined to include an assistant state attorney. Section 112.3145(1)(b)1., F. S. One who has been appointed as a special assistant state attorney to prosecute violations of a county's ordinances and who is paid by that county is, nonetheless, an assistant state attorney and therefore a "specified employee" subject to disclosure.
Am I, a special assistant state attorney appointed to prosecute violations of county ordinances, a "specified employee" subject to the requirement of filing financial disclosure annually?
Your question is answered in the affirmative.
The Code of Ethics for Public Officers and Employees provides that each "specified employee" shall file a statement of financial interests annually. Section 112.3145(2)(b), F. S. 1977. The term "specified employee" is defined to include an assistant state attorney. Section 112.3145(1)(b)1.
In your letter of inquiry you advise that you have been appointed as a special assistant state attorney to prosecute violations of Broward County ordinances. In addition, you advise that your salary is paid every two weeks by the Broward County Commission under s. 27.34(1), F. S., as amended in 1977, which provides as follows:
No county or municipality shall appropriate or contribute funds to the operation of the various state attorneys, except that a county or municipality may appropriate or contribute funds to pay the salary of one assistant state attorney whose sole function shall be to prosecute violations of special laws or ordinances of the county or municipality.
In our opinion, the fact that Florida law now authorizes a county to pay your salary as an assistant state attorney does not alter the conclusion that you are an assistant state attorney. Nor does this difference provide any basis for distinguishing your situation from that of any other assistant state attorney for purposes of the financial disclosure law. Accordingly, we find that you are a "specified employee" and therefore subject to the requirement of filing financial disclosure annually.