CEO 90-23 -- March 8, 1990
CONFLICT OF INTEREST
STATE REPRESENTATIVE EMPLOYED BY CITY AS EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR OF SPORTS AND CONVENTION AUTHORITY
To: (Name withheld at the person's request.)
Section 112.313(7)(a), Florida Statutes, would not be violated if a State Representative were to be employed by a city as the executive director of the sports and convention authority. Although Section 112.313(7)(a) prohibits an official from having a contractual relationship with an entity regulated by his agency, Section 112.313(7)(a)2 states that when the officer's agency is a legislative body whose regulation over the entity is strictly through the enactment of laws, the contractual or employment relationship shall not be deemed a conflict. In addition, although Article II, Section 8(e), Florida Constitution, prohibits a state representative from personally lobbying the Legislature or representing someone before State agencies, it does not appear that the executive director would be involved in these activities. CEO 90-10 is referenced.
Would a prohibited conflict of interest be created were you, a State Representative, to accept a position with a city as the Executive Director of the Sports and Convention Authority?
Your question is answered in the negative.
In your letter of inquiry, you advise that you have been asked to consider appointment by the Miami City Commission to the position of Executive Director of the Sports and Convention Authority, which is a paid position with the City. The Sports and Convention Authority promotes sports and attempts to arrange for sporting events to occur in the Miami area. For example, the Authority has long term plans to attract a baseball team to the area, is considering the possibility of building a baseball stadium, and promotes the Miami arena and Orange Bowl in an attempt to get different sporting events in these locations.
In regard to your question, Section 112.313(7)(a), Florida Statutes, provides:
CONFLICTING EMPLOYMENT OR CONTRACTUAL RELATIONSHIP.--No public officer or employee of an agency shall have or hold any employment or contractual relationship with any business entity or any agency which is subject to the regulation of, or is doing business with, an agency of which he is an officer or employee . . . ; nor shall an officer or employee of an agency have or hold any employment or contractual relationship that will create a continuing or frequently recurring conflict between his private interests and the performance of his public duties or that would impede the full and faithful discharge of his public duties.
In addition, Section 112.313(7)(a)2, Florida Statutes, states:
When the agency referred to is a legislative body and the regulatory power over the business entity resides in another agency, or when the regulatory power which the legislative body exercises over the business entity or agency is strictly through the enactment of laws or ordinances, then employment or a contractual relationship with such business entity by a public officer or employee of a legislative body shall not be prohibited by this subsection or be deemed a conflict.
Although Section 112.313(7)(a) prohibits contractual relationships with agencies which are subject to the regulation of the officer's agency, Section 112.313(7)(a)2 states that when the officer's agency is a legislative body and the regulation it exercises is through the enactment of laws, the employment relationship shall not be deemed a conflict. Therefore, Section 112.313(7)(a) would not appear to prohibit your employment by the City. See CEO 90-8 and CEO 90-10.
In addition, Article II, Section 8(e), Florida Constitution, prohibits a member of the Legislature from personally representing an entity for compensation before any State agency other than judicial tribunals. This constitutional provision also prohibits you from lobbying the Legislature until two years following your vacation from office, even when lobbying in behalf of a public employer. See CEO 90-4. Therefore, you clearly would be prohibited from lobbying the Legislature on behalf of the City or representing the City before State agencies. You have not indicated, however, that your duties as Executive Director would involve this type of activity.
We note that Article II, Section 5(a), Florida Constitution, prohibits dual-office holding. However, as we lack the authority to issue opinions regarding Article II, Section 5(a), such opinions must be sought from the Attorney General.
We also bring to your attention Section 112.3143(2)(a), Florida Statutes, which provides:
Except as provided in subsection (3), no public officer is prohibited from voting in his official capacity on any matter. However, any public officer voting in his official capacity upon any measure which inures to his special private gain or the special gain of any principal by whom he is retained shall, within 15 days after the vote occurs, disclose the nature of his interest as a public record in a memorandum filed with the person responsible for recording the minutes of the meeting, who shall incorporate the memorandum in the minutes.
If you vote on any measure which inures to the special private gain of your employer, you will need to disclose the nature of your interest in the manner required by this Section.
Accordingly, based on the information you have provided, we find that the Code of Ethics for Public Officers and Employees would not be violated by your proposed employment as Executive Director of the Sports and Convention Authority.