CEO 75-182 -- September 25, 1975






To:      Marilyn S. Brevoort, Division of Vocational Rehabilitation, Port Richey


Prepared by:   Gene Rhodes




A state employee who establishes a limited private practice in counseling need not disclose such business through the filing of CE Form 3, the Disclosure of Specified Interests. Those interests required by law to be disclosed on Form 3 include business entities granted a privilege to operate in the state, as defined by s. 112.312(6), F. S. (1974 Supp.), as well as firms doing business with the reporting person's agency. In this case, a private counseling practice is not one of those highly regulated businesses enumerated by s. 112.312(6); nor are there any dealings with the state. Consequently, no Form 3 disclosure is required.




Must I, as a Counselor II with the HRS Division of Vocational Rehabilitation, file a Statement of Disclosure of Specified Interests, CE Form 3, disclosing my operation of a limited private counseling practice when said practice neither receives referrals from my agency nor does business with the state?


Your question is answered in the negative.


Your letter of inquiry advises us that you are opening a limited private practice which will include family and marriage counseling, therapy, geriatrics, and other general counseling. The clients that you see privately neither will be eligible for DVR services nor will they be referred by your agency. Further, the state will not be doing business with you privately.

The Code of Ethics states in relevant part:


Disclosure of Conflicts. -- If a public officer or employee of an agency is an officer, director, partner, proprietor, associate or general agent (other than a resident agent solely for service of process) of, or owns a material interest in, any business entity which is granted a privilege to operate, or is doing business with an agency of which he is an officer or employee, he shall file a statement disclosing such facts within forty-five days of becoming an officer or employee or within forty-five (45) days of the acquisition of such position or of such material interest. [Section 112.313(3), F. S. (1974 Supp.).]


Persons or business entities provided a grant of privilege to operate are specifically defined in the Code of Ethics for Public Officers and Employees to include:


. . . state and federal chartered banks, state and federal savings and loan associations, cemetery companies, insurance companies, mortgage companies, credit unions, small loan companies, alcoholic and spiritous liquor businesses, whether retail or wholesale, pari-mutuel wagering companies, utility companies, and any entity controlled by the public service commission or granted a franchise to operate by either a city or county government. This definition shall not apply to persons and entities so categorized merely for purposes of public notice or to certify the quality of professional or occupational services. [Section 112.312(6), F. S. (1974 Supp.).]


A private counseling practice is not one of those highly regulated businesses enumerated above. This, together with the fact that your private practice will not be doing business with the Division of Vocational Rehabilitation, leads us to conclude that you are not required to file CE Form 3 to disclose this business endeavor.