CEO 76-74 -- April 16, 1976
COMMUNITY COLLEGE PERSONNEL
APPLICABILITY OF THE FINANCIAL DISCLOSURE LAW
To: W. G. Holladay, Director of Personnel, Miami-Dade Community College, Miami
Prepared by: Bonnie Johnson
Members of the district board of trustees, the president, the director of purchasing, and the assistant director of purchasing of a community college are "local officers" pursuant to the definition of that term as contained in Florida Statute s. 112.3145(1)(a)2.(1975). As local officers, they consequently are subject to financial disclosure requirements of the Code of Ethics. The executive vice president of a community college is not deemed to be a local officer subject to disclosure inasmuch as his position is not enumerated in the above- referenced statute and he does not act for the president except in the latter's absence. Only if the office of president were to be vacated and the executive vice president were to assume the role of president would he be acting directly in the capacity of president and thereby become a local officer subject to disclosure.
1. Are members of the district board of trustees, the president, director of purchasing, and assistant director of purchasing of Miami-Dade Community College "local officers" for purposes of disclosure?
2. Is the executive vice president of Miami-Dade Community College a local officer for disclosure purposes?
3. Does Florida Statute s. 112.3145(1)(b)8.(1975) relating to state employees who engage in consulting apply to personnel of Miami-Dade Community College?
Question 1 is answered in the affirmative.
The term "local officer" is defined in s. 112.3145(1)(a)2.(1975) specifically to include members of a community college district board of trustees and by s. 112.3145(1)(a)3. to include community college presidents. Subparagraph (1)(a)3. further names as a local officer "a purchasing agent having the authority to make any purchase exceeding $100 for any political subdivision of the state or any entity thereof." You have informed us that both the director and the assistant director of purchasing are authorized to make purchases in excess of $100, thus rendering them local officers for purposes of disclosure required by s. 112.3145.
Question 2 is answered in the negative.
Florida Statute s. 112.3145(1)(a)3. includes within the definition of "public officer" any person holding certain enumerated positions, "by whatever title, including persons appointed to act directly in such capacity, but excluding assistants and deputies unless specifically named herein . . . ." The position of community college president is so named, but the subsection does not enumerate any assistant or deputy to a community college president. You have informed us that the executive vice president is authorized to act in the president's absence, but so long as the president remains in office the vice president's acting in his behalf is of a temporary and irregular nature. Such practice is common and, in our view, is distinguishable from one's actually replacing the named official. The language of the provision, in fact, implies such distinction. Only if the office of president were to be vacated and the executive vice president to assume the role of president would he be acting directly in the capacity of president and thereby become a local officer subject to the disclosure requirements of s. 112.3145.
Question 3 is answered in the negative.
Florida Statute s. 112.3145(1)(b), which defines the term "specified employee" for purposes of disclosure, pertains solely to positions at the state level of government. Community colleges are deemed to constitute political subdivisions of the state, and their personnel consequently must look to the definition of "local officer" to determine applicability of disclosure requirements contained in s. 112.3145.