CEO 85-43 -- June 13, 1985
APPLICABILITY OF FINANCIAL DISCLOSURE LAW TO MEMBERS OF COUNTY LAW LIBRARY BOARD OF TRUSTEES
To: Mr. A. H. Lane, Chairman, Polk County Law Library Board of Trustees, Lakeland
The members of the Polk County Law Library Board of Trustees are not "local officers" subject to the requirement of filing statements of financial interests annually under Section 112.3145, Florida Statutes, as the Board of Trustees serves in strictly an advisory capacity. CEO's 75-143 and 76-158 are referenced.
Are you, a member of the Polk County Law Library Board of Trustees, a "local officer" subject to the requirement of filing a statement of financial interests annually?
Your question is answered in the negative.
The financial disclosure law provides that each "local officer" shall file a statement of financial interests annually. Section 112.3145(2)(b), Florida Statutes. The term "local officer" is defined to include:
Any appointed member of a board; commission; authority, including any expressway authority or transportation authority established by general law; community college district board of trustees; or council of any political subdivision of the state, excluding any member of an advisory body. A governmental body with land-planning, zoning, or natural resources responsibilities shall not be considered an advisory body. [Section 112.3145(1)(a)2, Florida Statutes (1983).]
In your letter of inquiry you advise that the Board of Trustees of the Polk County Law Library presently consists of seven members, including the county attorney and the chief judge of the circuit, who is an ex-officio member. You advise that the function of the Board of Trustees is to advise and make recommendations to the Board of County Commissioners pertaining to the operation of the County Law Library.
In addition, you advise that the library is funded by an addition to circuit and county court case filing fees, which are paid into the general fund of the County and disbursed according to the County's budget. The Trustees have no funds under their control and have no authority to make purchases. The Board also is available to assist the law librarian, who is employed by the County Commission and is paid from general funds, with routine operational problems, the promulgation of rules for use of the library, and such other problems as she may confront.
In CEO 75-143 we advised that the board of trustees of a county law library which did not have the authority to make purchases was solely advisory in nature. In contrast, in CEO 76-158, we found that a law library board of trustees was not solely advisory where the library was under the supervision, management and control of the board, and the board's authority included procurement, adoption and enforcement of rules for the use of the library, and employment of librarians. In our view, the responsibilities of the subject Library Board of Trustees are solely advisory as they do not include any of the powers and duties found in CEO 76-158.
Accordingly, we find that as a member of the Polk County Law Library Board of Trustees you are not a "local officer," and therefore are not required to file a statement of financial interests under Section 112.3145, Florida Statutes.