CEO 82-56 -- July 29, 1982
CONFLICT OF INTEREST
FIRE CHIEF OF FIRE CONTROL DISTRICT RECEIVING REIMBURSEMENT FROM DISTRICT FOR EXPENSES
To: Mr. Frank Weigus, Chairman, Harbour Heights Fire Control District Commission
The Code of Ethics for Public Officers and Employees does not prohibit the fire chief of a fire control district from being reimbursed by the district for expenses incurred in carrying out his duties, so long as the district has the legal authority to pay for those expenses.
Would the Code of Ethics for Public Officers and Employees be violated were the fire chief of a fire control district to be reimbursed by the district for expenses incurred in carrying out his duties?
In your letter of inquiry and in a telephone conversation with our staff, you advise that Mr. Dan Greis is the Chief of the Volunteer Fire Department which serves the Harbour Heights Fire Control District. You advise that he is not a member of the Fire Control District Commission. In addition, you advise that the District does not pay salaries to any of the personnel of the District, although the District's enabling legislation authorizes the payment of salaries for a Fire Chief, Assistant Fire Chief, and firemen. Chapter 69-931, Sections 9 and 11, Laws of Florida. You question whether the Code of Ethics for Public Officers and Employees would be violated were the District to pay the Fire Chief for the expenses he incurs in carrying out his duties.
There is no provision in the Code of Ethics which would prohibit the subject volunteer Fire Chief from receiving reimbursement for expenses from the District, so long as the District has the legal authority to pay for those expenses. As our authority to interpret the law is limited to the Code of Ethics, we are unable to advise you as to whether the District has this legal authority. You may wish to contact the Attorney General for his opinion on this question.