CEO 75-8 -- January 6, 1975
ASSISTANT PUBLIC DEFENDER NOT A PUBLIC OFFICER
To: Robert Kerrigan, Assistant Public Defender, First Judicial Circuit, Pensacola
Prepared by: Gene L. "Hal" Johnson
An assistant public defender is not a public officer as defined in part III, Ch. 112, F. S., as amended by Ch. 74-177, Laws of Florida. However, an assistant public defender, by virtue of his position as a public employee, is subject to the standards of conduct provisions set forth in part III, Ch. 112, supra, and to the Disclosure of Conflicts of Interest provision in s. 112.313(3), supra. CE Form 3.
Is an assistant public defender a public officer within the meaning of that term as used in part III, Ch. 112, F. S., as amended by Ch. 74-177, Laws of Florida, and therefore subject to the provisions relating to public officers?
Your question is answered in the negative.
Please find enclosed a copy of a previous opinion of this commission, CEO 74-45. We believe the rationale contained in questions 2 and 3 is equally applicable to your position. Accordingly, we conclude that you are not a public officer within the meaning of s. 112.312(7), supra.
We would like to point out, however, that both public officers and employees are subject to certain standards of conduct set forth in part III, Ch. 112, supra. Section 112.313(3), supra, specifically requires employees holding certain business interests to file CE Form 3, Disclosure of Conflicts of Interest. While you are not a public officer under this law, you are nonetheless subject to these provisions and standards by virtue of your position as a public employee.