CEO 75-167 -- August 6, 1975
CONFLICT OF INTEREST
EMPLOYMENT AS SUPERINTENDENT OF SCHOOLS AND AS JUNIOR COLLEGE DIRECTOR AND SCIENCE INSTRUCTOR
To: Richard H. Jockel, Superintendent of Schools, Bradford County, Starke
Prepared by: Gene Rhodes
Where a county school board has no regulatory power over a community college and where the county school superintendent has no vote on the county school board, no conflict exists in such superintendent being employed on the instructional staff of such community college. Neither position constitutes "other employment" which conflicts with the performance of public duties or which impedes full and faithful discharge of public duties, as prohibited by s. 112.313(5), F. S. (1974 Supp.).
Does a conflict of interest exist where I am employed as Superintendent of Bradford County Schools and as director and science instructor at the Santa Fe Junior College Starke Campus?
Your question is answered in the negative.
We understand that as School Superintendent you do not have a vote on the Bradford County School Board but only make recommendations to the board. Further, the School Board has no regulatory powers over the Santa Fe Junior College.
Under these circumstances there is nothing in the present law prohibiting your holding these two employments. The relevant portion of the Code of Ethics states:
No public officer or employee of an agency shall accept other employment with any business entity subject to the regulation of, or doing business with, an agency of which he is an officer or employee nor shall an officer or employee of an agency accept other employment that will create a conflict between his private interests and the performance of his public duties, or will impede the full and faithful discharge of his public duties. [Section 112.312(5), F. S. (1974 Supp.).]
As School Superintendent, you are a public officer within the meaning of s. 112.312(7)(i), F. S. However, your service in the capacity of Superintendent does not constitute other employment which conflicts with the performance of your public duties. Nor do we feel that concurrent holding of these various positions would impede the full and faithful discharge of your public duties presuming that the workload of any particular position does not become so time-consuming as to interfere or detract from your duties to the other positions.
A recent revision of the Code of Ethics which will take effect on October 1, 1975, addresses your question more specifically than does the present law. The relevant portion states:
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 doing business with an agency of which he is an officer or employee. [Chapter 75-208, Laws of Florida.]
We feel that there will be no conflict of interest in your situation under the new law. You, as a public officer, hold a contractual relationship with another agency, the junior college; however, Santa Fe Junior College is not subject to the regulation of the Bradford County School Board. Therefore, we feel that there is no conflict of interest under either the new or present law.