CEO 82-5 -- January 25, 1982
DISTRICT MENTAL HEALTH BOARD
APPLICABILITY OF FINANCIAL DISCLOSURE LAW
To: Daniel K. Corbett, Attorney, Coral Gables
The members of the Dade-Monroe Mental Health Board are not "local officers" subject to the requirement of filing a Statement of Financial Interests annually. The Mental Health Board is created as a private, nonprofit corporation with responsibilities under the Florida Community Mental Health Act of 1970. As the Board is a nonprofit corporation, the decision of Florida Gulf Health Systems Agency, Inc. v. Commission on Ethics, 354 So. 2d 932 (Fla. 2d D.C.A. 1978), indicates that the Board's members are not subject to the financial disclosure law.
Are the members of the Dade-Monroe Mental Health Board "local officers" subject to the requirement of filing a statement of financial interests annually?
Your question is answered in the negative.
In your letter of inquiry you advise that the Dade-Monroe Mental Health Board is a private nonprofit corporation created pursuant to the Community Mental Health Act of 1970, Part IV, Chapter 394, Florida Statutes (1979). The Board functions as the Mental Health Board for the area encompassed by the Department of Health and Rehabilitative Services District Eleven in carrying out the responsibilities provided in the Community Mental Health Act.
You further advise that Board membership is selected based upon a procedure beginning with the solicitation of nominations from Dade and Monroe County communities. Following review of nomination applications, the Board's Nominating Committee selects three potential candidates for each position for recommendation to the Board. The Board reviews and approves the Nominating Committee's report, which is submitted to the Dade and Monroe County Commissions. These Commissions make the final decisions on who is selected for each position.
In previous advisory opinions CEO 75-2, 75-16 (Question IV), 77-115, and 77-131 we advised that mental health boards were not advisory bodies and that members of such boards were "local officers" subject to requirements of the financial disclosure law contained in Section 112.3145, Florida Statutes. Subsequently, in the case of Florida Gulf Health Systems Agency, Inc. v. Commission on Ethics, 354 So. 2d 932 (Fla. 2d D.C.A. 1978), the District Court of Appeal held that the members of the governing board of a health systems agency structured as a nonprofit organization could not be termed "local officers" subject to the financial disclosure law since they were neither "appointed" nor "elected" as contemplated by that law. There, members of the Health Systems Agency served on its governing board by agreement among themselves. Based upon that decision, we rendered CEO 77-102A, in which we stated that to the extent that the Court's decision required a reversal of our opinions relating to nonprofit corporations, those opinions would be reversed.
Since the Mental Health Board has been created as a nonprofit corporation, we find that its members are not "local officers" as contemplated by the financial disclosure law. Accordingly, we find that the members of the Dade-Monroe Mental Health Board are not subject to the financial disclosure requirements of Section 112.3145, Florida Statutes.