CEO 81-81 -- December 18, 1981
CONFLICT OF INTEREST
CITY EMPLOYEE SERVING ON CITY COUNCIL
To: Mr. Thomas H. Barry, City Attorney, Homestead
A prohibited conflict of interest would be created were a lab technician employed by a hospital which is owned by a city to be elected to the city council. Section 112.313(10), F. S., prohibits a municipal employee from also holding office as a member of the governing council of the municipality.
Would a prohibited conflict of interest be created were a lab technician employed by a hospital owned by a city to be elected to the city council?
Your question is answered in the affirmative.
In your letter of inquiry you advise that the subject lab technician presently is employed in a hospital owned by the City of Homestead. The budget of the hospital is subject to municipal control and approval, although the hospital is managed and operated by a private corporation. In a telephone conversation with our staff, you advised that the lab technician is an employee of the City and not of the private corporation.
The Code of Ethics for Public Officers and Employees provides in relevant part:
EMPLOYEES HOLDING OFFICE --
(a) No employee of a state agency or of a county, municipality, special taxing district, or other political subdivision of the state shall hold office as a member of the governing board, council, commission, or authority, by whatever name known, which is his employer while, at the same time, continuing as an employee of such employer.
(b) The provisions of this subsection shall not apply to any person holding office in violation of such provision on the effective date of this act. However, such a person shall surrender his conflicting employment prior to seeking reelection or accepting reappointment to office. [Section 112.313(10), Florida Statutes (1979).]
This provision prohibits a municipal employee from also holding office as a member of the governing council of the municipality. Therefore, the subject lab technician may not maintain her employment with the City hospital while serving on the City Council. Section 112.313(10)(b) would not require her to resign her employment prior to seeking election to office, since that provision applies as a "grandfather clause" only to those persons holding both office and employment on October 1, 1975.
Accordingly, we find that a prohibited conflict of interest would be created were the subject lab technician to serve on the City Council while at the same time being employed by the City at its hospital.