CEO 83-55 -- July 28, 1983
CONFLICT OF INTEREST
CITY POLICE CHIEF PROVIDING SERVICES AT LOCAL BANK WHILE ON SPECIAL DUTY
To: (Name withheld at the person's request.)
No prohibited conflict of interest exists under Section 112.313(7)(a), Florida Statutes, where a municipal police chief directs traffic at a local bank while on special duty during hours other than his regular hours of employment. In this situation, the chief is not employed directly by the bank; his services are provided by the city to the bank, and he is paid by the city for his special duty time.
Does a prohibited conflict of interest exist where a municipal police chief directs traffic at a local bank while on special duty during hours other than his regular hours of employment?
Your question is answered in the negative.
In your letter of inquiry you advise that Mr. Patrick O. Kiel serves as the Chief of Police of the City of West Miami. You also advise that during off-duty hours he works at the only local bank in the City to direct traffic in and out of the drive-up window area. These services are performed in official uniform, but are performed at other than his regular hours of employment with the City. In a telephone conversation with our staff, you advised that the Chief's activities are undertaken while on special duty. In this type of situation, the bank (or any other private entity) requests the services of a police officer from the City. The Police Department then bills the private entity which receives these services, and the Officer who has participated is paid by the City for the time spent on special duty.
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 . . . ; 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. [Section 112.313(7)(a), Florida Statutes (1981).]
We are of the opinion that the Police Chief does not have any employment with the bank which could form the basis of a prohibited conflict of interest under this section of the Code of Ethics. Rather, it appears that the Chief is being compensated by the City for extra duty or overtime as a member of the City Police Department. He is paid by the City, which is paid by the bank under the agreement between the City and the bank. In addition, you advised in a telephone conversation with our staff that officers on special duty are covered by the City's workers' compensation insurance--another factor that indicates that the Police Chief is considered to be performing an official function while at the bank, even though his activities do not occur during his regular hours of employment.
Accordingly, we find that no prohibited conflict of interest exists where the subject Chief of Police works at the local bank directing traffic during his off-duty hours but while on special duty.