CEO 75-202 -- November 6, 1975
CREDIT UNION OFFICIALS AND EMPLOYEES
APPLICABILITY OF THE CODE OF ETHICS
To: Barry J. Clyman, Attorney for City of Miami Federal Credit Union and Dade County School Employees Credit Union, Miami
Prepared by: Gene Rhodes
Employees of a credit union are not subject to the Code of Ethics because they are not public employees. Neither does membership in a credit union, or service on the board of directors of a credit union, automatically qualify one as a public officer subject to the code. Credit unions are deemed to be business entities which are granted a privilege to operate under provisions of s. 112.312(6), F. S. (1974 Supp.), however; therefore, where one is an officer or director of a credit union, such affiliation must be disclosed pursuant to s. 112.313(3), F. S., on CE Form 3.
Are the credit managers, officers, and members of the boards of directors of the City of Miami Federal Credit Union and the Dade County School Employees Credit Union who are also state, county, or municipal employees "public officers" within the meaning of the Code of Ethics for Public Officers and Employees by virtue of their credit union affiliation and therefore required to file statements of financial disclosure?
Your question is answered in the negative.
As to the credit managers, it is our understanding that their sole employment is with either the City of Miami Federal Credit Union or the Dade County School Employees Credit Union, both of which are nonprofit corporations. Inasmuch as they are not public employees, officers, or candidates, they are not subject to the Code of Ethics. On the other hand, the credit union officers and directors are public employees in addition to having credit union responsibilities. We understand that these credit union officers and directors are not compensated for their services to the credit unions.
The relevant portion of the Code of Ethics defines the term "public officer" to include:
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), F. S. (1974 Supp.).]
Those credit union officers and directors who are full-time public employees are not public officers pursuant to this subsection because they are not compensated for their services to the credit union. While these officers and directors may nevertheless be subject to financial disclosure by virtue of their public positions, their credit union activities do not qualify them as public officers for disclosure purposes.
Section 112.313(3), F. S., does provide that certain specified interests be disclosed both by public officers and employees. That provision is as follows:
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 . . . any business entity which is granted a privilege to operate, . . . 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. . . .
Credit unions are deemed to be business entities which are granted a privilege to operate under provisions of s. 112.312(6), F. S. Therefore, should a public officer or public employee serve as an officer or director of a credit union, he would be required to disclose such position. The proper form on which to make such disclosure is CE Form 3, a copy of which is enclosed, which must be filed within 45 days of becoming a public officer or employee or within 45 days of becoming an officer or director of a credit union.