CEO 77-89 -- June 17, 1977
HIGHWAY PATROL LIEUTENANT
APPLICABILITY OF FINANCIAL DISCLOSURE LAW
To: (Name withheld at the person's request.)
Prepared by: Phil Claypool
As all commissioned and noncommissioned officers of the Highway Patrol have the authority to authorize a purchase order of up to $200 for automobile repairs, a lieutenant in that division is deemed to have the power normally conferred upon a purchasing agent and therefore meets the definition of a "specified employee" contained in s. 112.3145(1)(b)5., F. S. 1975. Accordingly, he is subject to the annual filing of a statement of financial interests. Section 112.3145(2)(b), F. S. 1975.
Am I, a Florida Highway Patrol Lieutenant, a "specified employee" for purposes of filing financial disclosure?
Your question is answered in the affirmative.
In your letter of inquiry you have stated that you are a Lieutenant with, and the District Commander of, Troop E of the Florida Highway Patrol.
The Code of Ethics for Public Officers and Employees provides that each "specified employee" shall file a statement of financial interests annually. Section 112.3145(2)(b), F. S. 1975. The term "specified employee" is defined to include:
Business managers, purchasing agents, finance and accounting directors, personnel officers, and grants coordinators for any state agency, or persons having the power normally conferred upon such persons, by whatever title. [Section 112.3145(1)(b)5., F. S. 1975.]
In your position, you have stated, you do not have the power to hire or terminate another employee. Therefore, you are not a personnel officer. However, you have stated also that you do have the power to authorize repairs of state-owned automobiles. Our staff contacted Inspector Spears, Chief of the Bureau of Field Operations of the Division of the Florida Highway Patrol, who indicated that all commissioned and noncommissioned officers of the Highway Patrol have the authority to authorize a purchase order of up to $200 for automobile repairs. Inspector Spears also stated that this authority allows, for example, the driver of a Plymouth automobile to authorize its repair at any Plymouth dealer in the state in amounts up to $200.
Accordingly, because within the above limitation you do have the power conferred upon a purchasing agent, we find that, unless and until clarified by the Legislature, you are a "specified employee" required to file financial disclosure in accordance with s. 112.3145, F. S. 1975.