CEO 83-86 -- October 27, 1983
CONFLICT OF INTEREST
CITY REDEVELOPMENT AGENCY MEMBER REPRESENTING AS REAL ESTATE BROKER THE OWNER OF BUILDING RENOVATED AS AGENCY PROJECT
To: Mr. Marion J. Radson, Attorney for City of Gainesville Downtown Redevelopment Agency
No prohibited conflict of interest would be created were the real estate firm of a City Redevelopment Agency member to represent the owner of a building which has been renovated as a redevelopment project in the sale or leasing of space within the building. Although the building was part of an agency project, the owner of the building will not be subject to the regulation of, or be doing business with, the agency. Therefore, Section 112.313(7)(a), Florida Statutes, would not be violated.
Would a prohibited conflict of interest be created were the real estate firm of a City Redevelopment Agency member to represent the owner of a building which has been renovated as a redevelopment project in the sale or leasing of space within the building?
Your question is answered in the negative.
In your letter of inquiry you advise that .... is the Chairman of the City of Gainesville Downtown Redevelopment Agency, a community redevelopment agency created by the City under Chapter 163, Florida Statutes. You also advise that the subject Agency member is a real estate broker who owns and operates a real estate firm in the City.
In your letter of inquiry and in a telephone conversation with our staff, you advised that last year the Agency undertook a community redevelopment project which involved the renovation of a building which had been given to the Agency by the City. The Agency entered into a disposition and development agreement with a joint venture of out-of-state corporations under which the Agency gave to the developer the building and surrounding property for parking, and the Agency agreed to do some site renovation work. In return, the developer agreed to redevelop and rehabilitate the building within a one-year period. You advised that the developer is expected to complete the project shortly, after which the Agency will have no further involvement in the project. The developer has contracted to convey the building to a third party who will have no relationship with the Agency. This third party has requested the real estate firm owned and operated by the subject Agency member to represent him in seeking occupants for the building, which consists of five floors of residential condominiums and six floors of commercial space.
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), Florida Statutes (1981).]
We are of the opinion that this provision would not prohibit the Agency member's real estate firm from representing the third party as described above. As the third party will not own the building until after the redevelopment project is completed, the third party will not be subject to the regulation of, or be doing business with, the Agency. Nor would the Agency member's duties be impeded or a continuing or frequently recurring conflict of interest created, because the Agency's role in the redevelopment project will have terminated by the time the developer conveys the building to the third party.
Accordingly, we find that no prohibited conflict of interest would be created were the redevelopment Agency member's real estate firm to represent the owner of the building in the sale or lease of space within the building.