CEO 82-2 -- January 25, 1982
CONFLICT OF INTEREST
DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION EMPLOYEE SERVING ON CITY CODE ENFORCEMENT BOARD
To: David S. Ferguson, Personnel Director, Tallahassee
No prohibited conflict of interest exists were a professional engineer employed within a District of the Florida Department of Transportation with responsibilities involving the State highway system to be appointed to a municipal Code Enforcement Board, which is authorized to enforce compliance with the various city codes. The Department of Transportation neither is subject to the regulation of, nor is doing business with the Code Enforcement Board. Nor is there any reason to believe that there would be a conflict of interest in any other respect between the employee's responsibilities and his duty as a member of the Board.
Does a prohibited conflict of interest exist where a professional engineer employed by the Department of Transportation has been appointed to serve as a member of a city code enforcement board?
Your question is answered in the negative.
In your letter of inquiry you advise that Mr. George M. Gilhooley is employed as a professional engineer with the Traffic Operations Section of the Florida Department of Transportation, Fifth District. In that position, you advise, he primarily is responsible for supervising a continuing program of surveillance of the State highway system and investigation of special problems and complaints concerning operations and safety. You also advise that Mr. Gilhooley has been appointed to the City of Deland Citizen Code Enforcement Board, which is authorized to enforce compliance with the various City codes. This Board is not connected in any way with any of the activities of the Department of Transportation, the City Manager has advised.
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. (1981).]
This provision would prohibit a member of a municipal Code Enforcement Board from being employed by an agency which either is subject to the regulation of, or which is doing business with, the Code Enforcement Board. Under the circumstances you have presented, it does not appear that the Department of Transportation is either subject to the regulation of or is doing business with the Code Enforcement Board. Nor does it appear that there would be a conflict of interest in any other respect between the subject employee's responsibilities with the Department of Transportation and his duties as a member of the Code Enforcement Board.
Accordingly, we find that no prohibited conflict of interest exists where the subject Department of Transportation employee has been appointed to a municipal Code Enforcement Board.