CEO 83-92 -- December 15, 1983
CONFLICT OF INTEREST
DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION EMPLOYEE CONSULTING WITH CITY PARKING SYSTEM
To: Mr. Kevin A. MacNaughton, Project Manager, District VI, Department of Transportation
No prohibited conflict of interest would be created were a project manager with District VI of the Department of Transportation to provide consulting services to the City of Miami Parking System regarding parking needs in particular areas of the City. Although the parking system leases land under elevated expressways from the Department for use as parking lots, the employee's responsibilities have nothing to do with the leases. CEO 83-85 is referenced.
Would a prohibited conflict of interest be created were you, a project manager employed with District VI of the Department of Transportation, to provide consulting services to the City of Miami Parking System regarding parking needs in particular areas of the City?
Your question is answered in the negative.
In your letter of inquiry you advise that you are a Professional Engineer III in the position of Project Manager with District VI of the Department of Transportation. In that position, you are involved in developing requests for consultant service documents for preliminary engineering studies and final designs of roadway projects in Dade and Monroe Counties and in supervising the execution of studies and design work by consultants engaged by the Department. You also advise that you have been approached by the Director of the City of Miami Parking System to study various streets in the City to analyze parking needs and regulations, including meter installation, and to recommend a course of action to the System. This work would be accomplished outside of your normal working hours with the Department. You also advise that you were approached because of your personal knowledge of both traffic flow and curb space needs resulting from your eleven years of experience as traffic operations engineer with Metropolitan Dade County.
You advise that the Parking System, which is governed by the Off- Street Parking Board and administered by the Department of Off-Street Parking, owns and operates several garage and parking lot facilities in the City and operates the City's on-street parking meter system. Finally, you advise that the Department of Transportation does not normally regulate the activities of the Parking System, although the Parking System occasionally has leased land under elevated expressways from the Department and has developed parking lots in response to community parking requests. However, your responsibilities with the Department are not even remotely connected to these leases, you advise.
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).]
CONSTRUCTION. -- It is not the intent of this part, nor shall it be construed, to prevent any officer or employee of a state agency or county, city, or other political subdivision of the state or any legislator or legislative employee from accepting other employment or following any pursuit which does not interfere with the full and faithful discharge by such officer, employee, legislator, or legislative employee of his duties to the state or the county, city, or other political subdivision of the state involved. [Section 112.316, Florida Statutes (1981).]
Section 112.313(7)(a) prohibits you from having any contractual relationship with an agency which is "doing business" with your agency. However, even assuming that the Parking System is "doing business" with your agency by virtue of its leases for expressway land for parking facilities from the Department, we find that Section 112.316 indicates that there would be no prohibited conflict of interest were you to consult with the Parking System. As your Departmental responsibilities are not even remotely related to these leases, it is clear that your proposed consultation would not interfere with the full and faithful discharge of your public duties. Similarly, in CEO 83-85 we found no prohibited conflict of interest where a Department of Health and Rehabilitative Services employee sought to consult with an organization contracting with that Department and where her public responsibilities did not relate to that organization.
Accordingly, we find that no prohibited conflict of interest would be created were you to consult with the City of Miami Parking System while serving as Project Manager for District VI of the Department of Transportation.