CEO 85-55 -- August 8, 1985
CONFLICT OF INTEREST
CITY ARTS ADVISORY COMMITTEE MEMBER SELLING PHOTOGRAPHIC SUPPLIES AND SERVICES TO CITY
To: Mr. John C. Wolfe, Chief Assistant City Attorney, City of St. Petersburg
No prohibited conflict of interest is created under subsections (3) and (7) of Section 112.313, Florida Statutes, where one who is president of a company holding an annual contract to provide photographic supplies to a city is appointed to serve on the city's arts advisory committee. The existing contract between the city and the subject person's company would be "grandfathered in" pursuant to the rationale of CEO's 83-38 and 82-10. Future contracts would be permissible unless the arts advisory committee plays a role in the purchase of photographic supplies and services.
Would a prohibited conflict of interest be created were an individual who is the president of a company which has an annual contract to provide photographic supplies to a city to be appointed to serve on the city's arts advisory committee?
Your question is answered in the negative.
In your letter of inquiry you advise that the St. Petersburg City Council is considering appointing Mr. Hugh Ballou to the City's Arts Advisory Committee. You also advise that this individual is the president of a company which has an annual contract with the City for photographic supplies, consisting mainly of film, flash bulbs, and film processing.
Section 112.313(3), Florida Statutes, prohibits a public officer from being the president of a company which is selling any goods or services to the political subdivision which he serves. In addition, Section 112.313(7), Florida Statutes, prohibits a public officer from being employed by a business entity which is doing business with his agency. However, we are of the opinion that the existing contract between the City and this individual's company would be "grandfathered in" under the rationale of our previous opinions CEO 83-38 and CEO 82-10.
As to future contracts which may be entered into between the City and the company while the company's president serves on the Arts Advisory Committee, it does not appear from your description of the responsibilities of the Committee that the Committee would be involved in the City's contract for photographic supplies and services. In previous opinions we have advised that a member of a subordinate board of a political subdivision may sell goods or services to agencies of that subdivision other than the agency of which he is a member, so long as the subordinate board is not responsible in any manner for the approval of, or the giving of advice or recommendations as to, the purchase of goods or services. See CEO 81-66 and the opinions cited therein.
However, even if the Arts Advisory Committee plays some role in the City's purchase of photographic supplies and services, the Committee functions as an advisory board within the City and therefore the exemption of Section 112.313(12), Florida Statutes, for persons serving on advisory boards would be applicable here. That exemption provides for waiver of particular conflicts of interest by the appointing authority of an advisory board member. See CEO 82-51 for further information about this exemption. The Committee member, of course, would be prohibited by Section 112.3143(3), Florida Statutes (Supp. 1984), from voting on measures relating to his company.
Accordingly, we find that no prohibited conflict of interest would be created were the City Council to appoint to the Arts Advisory Committee an individual who is the president of a company which has contracted to provide photographic supplies to the City.