CEO 84-64 -- June 27, 1984
APPLICABILITY OF FINANCIAL DISCLOSURE LAW TO EMPLOYEES OF AQUEDUCT AUTHORITY
To: Mr. James T. Schoenbrod, General Counsel, Florida Keys Aqueduct Authority
The chief administrative employee of the Florida Keys Aqueduct Authority and employees having the power to make a purchase exceeding $1,000 for the authority are "local officers" subject to the requirement of filing statements of financial interests annually under Section 112.3145, Florida Statutes. As the jurisdiction of the Authority is limited to one county, the Authority constitutes a political subdivision for purposes of the disclosure law.
Are the employees of the Florida Keys Aqueduct Authority subject to the financial disclosure law as "local officers" or as "specified state employees"?
The Florida Keys Aqueduct Authority has been created as "an autonomous public body corporate and politic," whose geographic jurisdiction is limited to Monroe County, although the Authority has limited authorization to buy and sell water outside those boundaries. Chapter 76-441, Section 1, Laws of Florida, as amended by Chapter 77- 605, Laws of Florida.
Persons holding positions which come within the classifications of "local officer" and "specified state employee" are subject to the requirement of filing statements of financial interests annually. Section 112.3145(2)(b), Florida Statutes (1983). In our view, employees of the Aqueduct Authority are not "specified state employees," as the Authority does not have statewide jurisdiction and is not part of a larger governmental entity having statewide authority.
However, we believe that for purposes of the financial disclosure law and the applicability of other provisions of the Code of Ethics the Authority constitutes a "political subdivision." In CEO 83-9 we advised that members of the expressway authorities under Chapter 348, Florida Statutes, were not "state officers" or "local officers," as the authorities did not have statewide jurisdiction and did not constitute "political subdivisions." Similarly, the Aqueduct Authority does not have statewide jurisdiction. In contrast to the expressway authorities which are given no geographic limitation to their jurisdiction, the Aqueduct Authority's jurisdiction is limited to Monroe County. For this reason, it appears that the Authority constitutes a district for purposes of the definition of "political subdivision" contained in Section 1.01(9), Florida Statutes. Therefore, we find the Aqueduct Authority to be in a position analogous to that of housing authorities and community colleges, for examples, as political subdivisions for purposes of the disclosure law.
In CEO 83-39 and CEO 84-52, we have advised that only those employees of community colleges and housing authorities who are the Chief Administrative Employee or are a Purchasing Agent having the authority to make a purchase exceeding $1,000 are "local officers" subject to the financial disclosure law. Accordingly, we find that only the chief administrative employee of the Aqueduct Authority and employees of the Authority having the power to make a purchase exceeding $1,000 for the Authority are subject to the financial disclosure law of Section 112.3145, Florida Statutes.