CEO 76-179 -- October 25, 1976
CONFLICT OF INTEREST
EMPLOYEE OF PROPERTY APPRAISER PRIVATELY APPRAISING REAL ESTATE
To: (Name withheld at the person's request.)
Prepared by: Roger Merriam
No conflict of interest is created where a property evaluation specialist in the office of a county property appraiser accepts other employment as a real estate appraiser for a private firm where such appraisals typically would be used by mortgage lenders and would never relate to any public agency. The Code of Ethics prohibits a public employee from holding employment with a business entity which is regulated by or does business with his public agency. Fla. Stat. s. 112.313(7)(a)(1975). As the proposed private appraisals would not relate to appraisals made by the property appraiser's office, that office does not regulate private real estate businesses and no conflict of interest is created.
Would a prohibited conflict of interest be created were I, as an employee of the county property appraiser, to engage in private employment as a real estate appraiser?
Your question is answered in the negative.
You advise us in your letter of inquiry that as a property evaluation specialist in the office of the county property appraiser, your duties are confined to an expression of recommended land values, and that such recommendations are subject to change by at least three individuals. You further state that your proposed private employment will not prevent you from devoting full time to your public employment, and that the appraisals you will make in your private employment typically would be used by mortgage lenders and would never relate to any public agency.
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. [Fla. Stat. s. 112.313(7)(a)(1975).]
A public employee accordingly is prohibited from holding employment with an entity which is regulated by his public agency or does business with that agency. A private appraiser is in no way regulated by the property appraiser's office. Further, under the facts you state, your private appraisals would never be utilized in cases which also involve property appraisals made by the property appraiser's office. Therefore, we find that no prohibited conflict of interest would be created were you to undertake the above- described outside employment.