CEO 76-111 -- June 17, 1976
CONFLICT OF INTEREST
CITY COMMISSIONER CONTRACTING WITH CONTRACTOR DOING BUSINESS WITH CITY
To: (Name withheld at the person's request.)
Prepared by: Gene Rhodes
A city commissioner may not contract as a surveyor with a paving contractor doing business with the city, as a public officer is prohibited from having a contractual relationship with any business entity doing business with his public agency. See Fla. Stat. s. 112.313(7)(1975).
Would a prohibited conflict of interest be created were a city commissioner to contract as a surveyor with a paving contractor doing business with the city?
Your question is answered in the affirmative.
You advise us in your letter of inquiry that your city recently signed a paving contract with a contractor from another city, said contract having been awarded to the lowest bidder. This contractor wishes to hire a local survey crew which is owned by the subject city commissioner.
The Code of Ethics for Public Officers and Employees states in relevant part:
CONFLICTING EMPLOYMENT OR CONTRACTUAL RELATIONSHIP. -- 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 is doing business with, an agency of which he is an officer or employee, excluding those organizations and their officers who, when acting in their official capacity, enter into or negotiate a collective bargaining contract with the state or any municipality, county, or other political subdivision of the state; nor shall an officer or employee of an agency have or hold any employment or contractual relationship that will create a continuing or frequently recurring conflict between his private interests and the performance of his public duties or that would impede the full and faithful discharge of his public duties. [Fla. Stat. s. 112.313(7)(a)(1975); emphasis supplied.]
This provision prohibits a public officer from having a contractual relationship with a business entity doing business with his agency. No exemption is provided for contracts awarded pursuant to competitive bidding. Accordingly, the subject city commissioner is prohibited from contracting with the paving contractor as long as that contractor is doing business with the city.