CEO 76-127 -- July 26, 1976
CONFLICT OF INTEREST
CANDIDATE FOR SCHOOL BOARD CONTINUING EMPLOYMENT AS TEACHER DURING CAMPAIGN
To: (Name withheld at the person's request.)
Prepared by: Gene Rhodes
Florida Statute s. 112.313(10)(a)(1975) prohibits a public employee from holding office as a member of the governing board which is his employer. Paragraph (b) of s. 112.313(10) constitutes a grandfather clause, providing that only those persons holding office prior to October 1, 1976, in violation of the provisions of paragraph (10)(a) must relinquish their conflicting employment prior to seeking reelection. The provision does not require, however, that an employee resign his employment prior to seeking election to the governing board which is his employer. Accordingly, a public school teacher is not required to resign his teaching employment in order to qualify as a candidate for the school board.
May I retain my employment as a teacher in the school system while campaigning for membership on the district school board?
Your question is answered in the affirmative.
The Code of Ethics for Public Officers and Employees states in relevant part:
EMPLOYEES HOLDING OFFICE. --
(a) No employee of a state agency or of a county, municipality, special taxing district, or other political subdivision of the state shall hold office as a member of the governing board, council, commission, or authority, by whatever name known, which is his employer while, at the same time, continuing as an employee of such employer.
(b) The provisions of this subsection shall not apply to any person holding office in violation of such provisions on the effective date of this act. However, such a person shall surrender his conflicting employment prior to seeking reelection or accepting reappointment to office. [Fla. Stat. s. 112.313(10)(1975).]
This provision prohibits a teacher with the public school system from holding office as a member of the school board of that district but does not require a teacher to resign to run as a candidate for the school board. Paragraph (10)(b) set forth above is a grandfather clause which only requires persons who held office prior to October 1, 1975, in violation of the provisions of (10)(a) to relinquish their conflicting employment prior to seeking reelection or prior to accepting reappointment. Your question is answered accordingly in the affirmative.