CEO 90-63 -- September 7, 1990
APPLICABILITY OF FULL AND PUBLIC DISCLOSURE TO
EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR OF STATE BOARD OF COMMUNITY COLLEGES
To: Clark Maxwell, Jr., Executive Director, State Board of Community Colleges (Tallahassee)
The Executive Director of the State Board of Community Colleges is not required to file full and public disclosure of his financial interests under Article II, Section 8, Florida Constitution, because of his ex officio membership on the Florida Prepaid Postsecondary Education Expense Board. As Section 240.551(5), Florida Statutes, which creates the Board and requires its members to file full and public disclosure, allows the Executive Director to name a "designee" to serve as his replacement on the Board, the designee rather than the Executive Director is the member of the Board subject to the disclosure requirement.
Are you, the Executive Director of the State Board of Community Colleges, required to file full and public disclosure of your financial interests pursuant to Article II, Section 8, of the Florida Constitution?
Your question is answered in the negative.
In your letter of inquiry you advise that you serve as the Executive Director of the State Board of Community Colleges. Section 240.551, Florida Statutes, creates the Florida Prepaid Postsecondary Education Expense Program, which provides a way through which the cost of registration and dormitory residence for students at State institutions may be paid in advance of their enrollment. The Prepaid Postsecondary Education Expense Board administers this program.
The law requires "each member of the Board" to file full and public disclosure of his financial interests, pursuant to Article II, Section 8, Florida Constitution. Section 240.551(5), Florida Statutes. Under that section, the Board consists of seven members: the Insurance Commissioner and Treasurer; the Comptroller; the Chancellor of the Board of Regents; the Executive Director of the State Board of Community Colleges; and three members appointed by the Governor and confirmed by the Senate. The statute provides:
Each member of the board not appointed by the Governor may name a designee to serve the board on behalf of the member; however, any designee so named shall meet the qualifications required of gubernatorial appointees to the board.
You advise that upon the creation of the Board, you appointed another individual as your designee. After his retirement from State employment, you appointed another person as your designee. These individuals have assumed all duties as Board members in your stead; you have never attended a Board meeting or otherwise served as a member of the Board. Under these circumstances, you question whether it is you or your designee who must file full and public disclosure.
In CEO 80-85 we considered a similar issue within the context of the limited financial disclosure law provided in Section 112.3145, Florida Statutes. There, the question was whether alternate directors of the Florida Municipal Power Agency were required to file statements of financial interests. We concluded that an alternate director was not a "member" of the board of directors, as an alternate merely filled in during the absence of a regular director, often at the spur of the moment, and as in some cases there were several alternates for a director. Based on the informal, temporary nature of the alternates' positions, we distinguished between an alternate and a person who would be appointed to replace a director with the expectation that the replacement would assume all the director's obligations and authority.
Here, the law requires that each "designee" meet certain qualifications, in apparent contemplation that a designee is to serve as a replacement for the ex officio member on the Board rather than as a temporary substitute. As you have advised, this in fact is what has happened. Therefore, we find that your designee is the member of the Board who is required to file full and public disclosure.
Accordingly, we find that you are not required to file full and public disclosure of your financial interests pursuant to Article II, Section 8, of the Florida Constitution, but that your designee on the Prepaid Postsecondary Education Expense Board is required to do so.