CEO 84-37 -- June 7, 1984
APPLICABILITY OF DISCLOSURE LAW TO COUNTY DIRECTOR OF ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTIVE SERVICES
To: (Name withheld at the person's request.)
The Lee County Director of Environmental Protective Services is a "local officer" subject to the requirement of filing a statement of financial interests under Section 112.3145, Florida Statutes, as his responsibilities are those of a county water resources coordinator. CEO 76-92 is referenced.
Is the Lee County Director of Environmental Protective Services a "local officer" subject to the requirement of filing a statement of financial interests annually?
Your question is answered in the affirmative.
The financial disclosure law requires each "local officer" to file a statement of financial interests within thirty days from appointment and annually thereafter by July 1. Section 112.3145(2)(b), Florida Statutes (1983). The term "local officer" is defined to include
[a]ny person holding one or more of the following positions: . . . county or municipal water resources coordinator . . . . [Section 112.3145(1)(a)3, Florida Statutes (1983).]
In a previous opinion, CEO 76-92, we advised that the public utilities director of a municipality, responsible for managing the water and sewer treatment facilities of the city, was a "water resources coordinator" for purposes of the financial disclosure law. We also advised in that opinion that the city's public service director did not hold a position encompassed by the disclosure law. Information contained in our file from that opinion request indicates that the public service director there was responsible for the construction and maintenance of city buildings, streets and rights- of-way, storm sewers, properties and equipment.
We have been advised that the Lee County Director of Environmental Protective Services is responsible for planning and directing the various departments within the Division of Environmental Protection Services. That Division includes the county's utility treatment plants and systems, both water and sewer, solid waste disposal, environmental engineering, and laboratories. The Director's work is performed under the direction of the County Administrator.
In our view, the rationale of CEO 76-92 applies equally here. The Director's responsibilities regarding the County's water and sewer systems are those of a water resources coordinator. Further, those responsibilities are not analogous to those of the public service director found not to be subject to the disclosure law in CEO 76-92.
Accordingly, we find that the County's Director of Environmental Protective Services is a "local officer" subject to the requirement of filing a statement of financial interests (Commission on Ethics Form 1) annually.