CEO 81-4 -- January 22, 1981
CONFLICT OF INTEREST
RETIRED EMPLOYEE OF SHERIFF'S OFFICE SELLING ITEMS TO OFFICE
To: William A. Freeman, Jr., Monroe County Sheriff, Key West
Section 112.313(3), F. S., prohibits a public employee from selling any goods or services to his public agency. It is not applicable, however, to a former employee of a sheriff's department who has retired from public employment, as he no longer is a public employee subject to the Code of Ethics. Thus, no conflict of interest would be created were such retired employee to sell items to the sheriff's department.
Would a prohibited conflict of interest be created were a retired employee of the sheriff's department to sell items to the department?
Your question is answered in the negative.
In your letter of inquiry you advise that the cook for the Monroe County Sheriff's Department recently retired. You also advise that your Department was using some cooking utensils which belonged to him. You question whether a prohibited conflict of interest would be created if the Department now were to purchase those items from him.
The Code of Ethics for Public Officers and Employees provides in relevant part:
DOING BUSINESS WITH ONE'S AGENCY. -- No employee of an agency acting in his official capacity as a purchasing agent, or public officer acting in his official capacity, shall either directly or indirectly purchase, rent, or lease any realty, goods, or services for his own agency from any business entity of which he or his spouse or child is an officer, partner, director, or proprietor or in which such officer or employee or his spouse or child, or any combination of them, has a material interest. Nor shall a public officer or employee, acting in a private capacity, rent, lease, or sell any realty, goods, or services to his own agency, if he is a state officer or employee, or to any political subdivision or any agency thereof, if he is serving as an officer or employee of that political subdivision. The foregoing shall not apply to district offices maintained by legislators when such offices are located in the legislator's place of business. This subsection shall not affect or be construed to prohibit contracts entered into prior to:
(a) October 1, 1975.
(b) Qualification for elective office.
(c) Appointment to public office.
(d) Beginning public employment.
[Section 112.313(3), F. S.]
This provision prohibits a public employee from selling any goods or services to his public agency. However, as the person who is the subject of this opinion has retired from public employment, he is no longer a public employee subject to this prohibition.
Accordingly, we find that no prohibited conflict of interest would be created were a retired employee of a Sheriff's Department to sell items to the Department.