CEO 79-11 -- February 22, 1979
CONFLICT OF INTEREST
CITY LIBRARY EMPLOYEE OWNING AND OPERATING DAY-CARE CENTER SUBJECT TO REGULATION OF ANOTHER CITY DEPARTMENT
To: (Name withheld at the person's request.)
Prepared by: Phil Claypool
Section 112.313(7)(a), F. S. 1977 prohibits a public employee from being employed by any business which is subject to the regulation of the employee's public agency. For purposes of the Code of Ethics, the term "agency" is defined, in part, as "any department, division, bureau, commission, authority, or political subdivision of this state . . . ." Section 112.312(2), F. S. 1977. When day-care centers within a municipality are regulated by that city's child care services department, no prohibited conflict of interest would be created were an employee of that city's library to own and operate a day-care center, as such center would not be subject to the employee's agency, the library, in violation of s. 112.313(7)(a).
Would a prohibited conflict of interest be created were I, a city library employee, to own and operate a day-care center which would be subject to the regulation of another department of the city?
Your question is answered in the negative.
In your letter of inquiry you advise that you are the children's department librarian in the City of ____ . You also advise that you are opening a day-care center which has met the requirements of the state for licensing and which is being considered by the child care services department of the city as a Title XX day-care center, eligible for special federal, state, and local funding.
The Code of Ethics for Public Officers and Employees provides 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 . . . . [Section 112.313(7)(a), F. S. 1977.]
This provision prohibits a public employee from being employed by any business which is subject to the regulation of his agency. A public employee's agency, for purposes of the Code of Ethics, is defined to mean
. . . any state, regional, county, local, or municipal government entity of the state, whether executive, judicial, or legislative; any department, division, bureau, commission, authority, or political subdivision of this state therein; or any public school, community college, or state university. [Section 112.312(2), F. S. 1977; emphasis supplied.]
Thus, it is apparent that day-care centers are not subject to the regulation of your agency, but instead are subject to the regulation of the child care services department, which is another agency of the city.
Accordingly, we find that the Code of Ethics for Public Officers and Employees does not prohibit you from owning and operating a day-care center as a Title XX center while being employed by the city as a librarian.