CEO 75-37 -- March 5, 1975
COMPLETION OF CE FORM 1
STATE EMPLOYEES AS PUBLIC OFFICERS
To: Ms. Judith Brechner, Associate University Attorney, University of Florida, Gainesville
Prepared by: Patricia Butler
Included within the definition of "public officer" set forth in part III, Ch. 112, F. S., as amended by Ch. 74- 177, Laws of Florida, are state employees who accept compensation for consultation with other government or business entities. Section 112.312(7)(h), supra. The term "compensation" includes personal expenses and mileage or traveling expenses. Accordingly, a full-time state employee who performs consultation for expenses is a public officer and must comply with the disclosure provisions applicable to public officers. Reference is made to CEO 74-12, question 1: CE Form 1 must be filed even if answers to all statutorily required information are "none" or "not applicable."
1. Must CE Form 1, the Financial Disclosure Statement, be filed by a public officer if the answers to all statutorily required information would be "none" or "not applicable"?
2. Is A. F. Cribbett, a full-time state employee who performs consultation services for expenses, as opposed to a fee, 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 disclosure provisions as they apply to public officers?
As to your first question, please find enclosed a copy of a previous opinion of this commission, CEO 74-12, question 1, which is equally applicable to your inquiry. Your question is answered accordingly.
Question 2 is answered in the affirmative.
The definition of the term "public officer" includes:
All full time state employees who, in addition to their regular duties, accept compensation for consultations with other state agencies or with other government or private entities. [Section 112.312(7)(h), supra; emphasis supplied.]
In order for a full-time state employee to be considered a public officer under this definition, he must accept compensation for his consultation services.
In its broadest sense, the word "compensation" is used to comprehend money allowances for a wide variety of purposes, and has been held to include allowance for maintenance and for personal expenses, commissions, expenses, fees, an honorarium, mileage or traveling expenses, payments for services. . . . [15A, C.J.S. Compensation, (1967); emphasis supplied.]
Accordingly, we hold that A. F. Cribbett is a public officer by virtue of the expenses received for consultation services and must therefore comply with the disclosure provisions of part III, Ch. 112, Florida Statutes, applicable to public officers.