CEO 85-92 -- December 11, 1985
CONFLICT OF INTEREST
CITY ENERGY ADVISORY COMMITTEE MEMBER APPLYING FOR EMPLOYMENT AS CITY ENERGY COORDINATOR
TO: (Name withheld at the person's request.)
No prohibited conflict of interest would be created were a member of a city energy advisory committee to be employed as city energy coordinator, a position created at the request of the committee. No provision of the Code of Ethics other than Section 112.313(6), Florida Statutes, would prohibit a member of an advisory board of a municipality from applying for a position which was created at the request of that board. Here, there is no evidence of a misuse of public position in violation of Section 112.313(6), Florida Statutes.
Would a prohibited conflict of interest be created were a member of a city energy advisory committee to be employed as city energy coordinator, a position created at the request of the committee?
Your question is answered in the negative.
In your letter of inquiry you advise that .... recently was appointed to the City of Gainesville Energy Advisory Committee. You also advise that the Committee member presently is the Energy Coordinator for a State university. Prior to his appointment to the Committee, the subject Committee member was requested by other members of the Committee to assist in outlining the duties of an energy coordinator. The Committee wishes to request that the City Commission implement the City's energy plan element by appointing an energy coordinator.
The subject Committee member assisted in providing information on Section 255.257, Florida Statutes, which requires State agencies to appoint energy coordinators and to establish energy management programs. He also provided his job specifications, provided news articles showing accomplishments of others in similar positions, and provided information regarding his accomplishments at the university. When he originally became involved with the Committee, he had no interest in the position but now is considering applying for employment as City Energy Coordinator.
There is no provision in the Code of Ethics for Public Officers and Employees which directly would prohibit a member of an advisory board of a municipality from applying for a position which was created at the request of that advisory board. Section 112.313(6), Florida Statutes, prohibits each public officer from corruptly using or attempting to use his official position to secure a special benefit for himself or others, but no misuse of position on the part of the subject committee member is apparent from the facts you have described.
As you are aware, Section 112.3143(3), Florida Statutes (Supp. 1984), prohibits a local public officer from voting on any measure which inures to his special private gain. Given the interest of the Committee member in the Energy Coordinator position, we are of the opinion that he should abstain from voting and follow the disclosure requirements of this provision when any measure concerning the Energy Coordinator position comes before the Energy Advisory Committee.
Accordingly, we find that no prohibited conflict of interest would be created were the subject Energy Advisory Committee member to apply for and be employed as Energy Coordinator for the City.