CEO 84-83 -- August 9, 1984






To:      Mr. Harold C. Rouse, Director, Veterans Services Division, Department of Community Affairs, Manatee County




No prohibited conflict of interest would be created were a county employee's spouse to be elected to serve as a member of the board of county commissioners. CEO 83-72 is referenced.




Would a prohibited conflict of interest be created were you to remain a county employee if your spouse is elected to serve as a member of the Board of County Commissioners?


Your question is answered in the negative.


In your letter of inquiry you advise that you serve as Director of the Veterans Services Division of the Manatee County Department of Community Affairs. In that position, you report to the Director of the Department of Community Services, who in turn reports to the County Administrator. You also advise that your wife is seeking election to the Board of County Commissioners.

In a previous opinion, CEO 83-72, we advised that the Code of Ethics for Public Officers and Employees would not prohibit the spouse of a city firefighter from serving on the city commission. In accordance with the rationale of that opinion, we find that no prohibited conflict of interest would be created were you to remain employed by the County if your wife serves on the County Commission. There is no provision of the Code of Ethics which would prohibit you from remaining a County employee during the election campaign. Finally, as we observed in CEO 83-72, you may wish to contact the Attorney General for his opinion regarding the applicability of the anti-nepotism law, Section 116.111, Florida Statutes, to your situation.