Florida’s Ethics Laws: “A Public Office is a Public Trust” Presented by: Kerrie Stillman Florida Commission on Ethics Section 112.313(8), F.S.
Training Required 4 hours per calendar year: • Article II, Section 8 • Code of Ethics • Public Records • Public Meetings
Article II, Section 8 • The “Sunshine Amendment” • Not to be confused with the Sunshine Law (Chapter 286, Florida Statutes)
Dual Employment • No public employment with state or political subdivisions IF it’s for influence or other advantage because of your public office. • Grandfather clause for job prior to qualification for office. Advancement only under certain conditions. Section 112.313(3), F.S.
Business Considerations • Can’t personally sell services to your agency or “political subdivision” • Can’t purchase services from a corporation that you, spouse, child are an officer, director, partner, proprietor, or have material interest (5%) Section 112.313(3), F.S.
Conflicting Employment • Can’t work for entity doing business with your office AND… • Can’t have employment (contract) with any entity that poses a conflict between public duties and private interests Section 112.313(7), F.S.
Blind Trusts • Must comply with the law in order to be a “qualified blind trust” that prevents you from having certain conflicts Section 112.31425, F.S.
Relatively speaking • Can’t appoint, employ, promote, or advance relative • Can’t advocate for the employment, appointment, promotion, or advancement of relative. Section 112.3135, F.S.
Misuse of Office • Corruptly means…“done with a wrongful intent and for the purpose of obtaining, or compensating or receiving compensation for, any benefit resulting from some act or omission of a public servant which is inconsistent with the proper performance of his or her public duties.” [Section 112.312(9)] Section 112.313(6), F.S.
Use of Information • Information gained by reason of public position • Confidential info • Info that will be public, but isn’t yet Section 112.313(8), F.S.
Financial Disclosure • Postmark by September 3rdor get fined! • Published online • Read instructions to avoid costly mistakes • CEO 11-11 & CEO 12-10 Sections 112.3144 & 112.3145, F.S. Article II, Section 8, Florida Constitution
Gifts • Don’t askfor anything from a vendor, “lobbyist,” pac, or cce for self, family or another RI • NO GIFTS OVER $100 FROM LOBBYISTS • Report gifts over $100 from non-relatives, non-lobbyists Sections 112.313(2) & 112.313(4), F.S. Section 112.3148, F.S.
“Lobbyist” • Anyone within the last 12 months who was paid to influence you or someone in your office; or the partner, firm, or principal of that person Section 112.3148(2)(b)1, F.S.
Valuation • Cost to the donor • Lodging in a private residence =$44 per night • Transportation: price of comparable commercial conveyance Section 112.3148, F.S. Rule 34-13, F.A.C.
Gifts Involving Political Committees • You and your immediate family may not solicit or accept, directly or indirectly, any “gift” from a political committee Section 112.3185, F.S.
Political Committee “Gift” • Anything of value not primarily related to contributions, expenditures, or other political activities authorized under Chapter 106. Section 112.31485(1)(a), F.S.
Revolving door • 2 year restriction on being paid to “represent” another person or entity before your former office Section 112.313(14), F.S.
Free Advice • Advisory opinions (formal and informal) can be obtained by contacting the Ethics Commission.
Complaints/Referrals • Confidential and exempt • Referrals now allowed from certain agencies
More Information www.ethics.state.fl.us 850-488-7864