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2014 Florida Statutes

SECTION 3145
Disclosure of financial interests and clients represented before agencies.
F.S. 112.3145
112.3145 Disclosure of financial interests and clients represented before agencies.
(1) For purposes of this section, unless the context otherwise requires, the term:
(a) “Local officer” means:
1. Every person who is elected to office in any political subdivision of the state, and every person who is appointed to fill a vacancy for an unexpired term in such an elective office.
2. Any appointed member of any of the following boards, councils, commissions, authorities, or other bodies of any county, municipality, school district, independent special district, or other political subdivision of the state:
a. The governing body of the political subdivision, if appointed;
b. A community college or junior college district board of trustees;
c. A board having the power to enforce local code provisions;
d. A planning or zoning board, board of adjustment, board of appeals, community redevelopment agency board, or other board having the power to recommend, create, or modify land planning or zoning within the political subdivision, except for citizen advisory committees, technical coordinating committees, and such other groups who only have the power to make recommendations to planning or zoning boards;
e. A pension board or retirement board having the power to invest pension or retirement funds or the power to make a binding determination of one’s entitlement to or amount of a pension or other retirement benefit; or
f. Any other appointed member of a local government board who is required to file a statement of financial interests by the appointing authority or the enabling legislation, ordinance, or resolution creating the board.
3. Any person holding one or more of the following positions: mayor; county or city manager; chief administrative employee of a county, municipality, or other political subdivision; county or municipal attorney; finance director of a county, municipality, or other political subdivision; chief county or municipal building code inspector; county or municipal water resources coordinator; county or municipal pollution control director; county or municipal environmental control director; county or municipal administrator, with power to grant or deny a land development permit; chief of police; fire chief; municipal clerk; district school superintendent; community college president; district medical examiner; or purchasing agent having the authority to make any purchase exceeding the threshold amount provided for in s. 287.017 for CATEGORY ONE, on behalf of any political subdivision of the state or any entity thereof.
(b) “Specified state employee” means:
1. Public counsel created by chapter 350, an assistant state attorney, an assistant public defender, a criminal conflict and civil regional counsel, an assistant criminal conflict and civil regional counsel, a full-time state employee who serves as counsel or assistant counsel to any state agency, the Deputy Chief Judge of Compensation Claims, a judge of compensation claims, an administrative law judge, or a hearing officer.
2. Any person employed in the office of the Governor or in the office of any member of the Cabinet if that person is exempt from the Career Service System, except persons employed in clerical, secretarial, or similar positions.
3. The State Surgeon General or each appointed secretary, assistant secretary, deputy secretary, executive director, assistant executive director, or deputy executive director of each state department, commission, board, or council; unless otherwise provided, the division director, assistant division director, deputy director, bureau chief, and assistant bureau chief of any state department or division; or any person having the power normally conferred upon such persons, by whatever title.
4. The superintendent or institute director of a state mental health institute established for training and research in the mental health field or the warden or director of any major state institution or facility established for corrections, training, treatment, or rehabilitation.
5. Business managers, purchasing agents having the power to make any purchase exceeding the threshold amount provided for in s. 287.017 for CATEGORY ONE, finance and accounting directors, personnel officers, or grants coordinators for any state agency.
6. Any person, other than a legislative assistant exempted by the presiding officer of the house by which the legislative assistant is employed, who is employed in the legislative branch of government, except persons employed in maintenance, clerical, secretarial, or similar positions.
7. Each employee of the Commission on Ethics.
(c) “State officer” means:
1. Any elected public officer, excluding those elected to the United States Senate and House of Representatives, not covered elsewhere in this part and any person who is appointed to fill a vacancy for an unexpired term in such an elective office.
2. An appointed member of each board, commission, authority, or council having statewide jurisdiction, excluding a member of an advisory body.
3. A member of the Board of Governors of the State University System or a state university board of trustees, the Chancellor and Vice Chancellors of the State University System, and the president of a state university.
4. A member of the judicial nominating commission for any district court of appeal or any judicial circuit.
(2)(a) A person seeking nomination or election to a state or local elective office shall file a statement of financial interests together with, and at the same time he or she files, qualifying papers. When a candidate has qualified for office prior to the deadline to file an annual statement of financial interests, the statement of financial interests that is filed with the candidate’s qualifying papers shall be deemed to satisfy the annual disclosure requirement of this section. The qualifying officer must record that the statement of financial interests was timely filed. However, if a candidate does not qualify until after the annual statement of financial interests has been filed, the candidate may file a copy of his or her statement with the qualifying officer.
(b) Each state or local officer and each specified state employee shall file a statement of financial interests no later than July 1 of each year. Each state officer, local officer, and specified state employee shall file a final statement of financial interests within 60 days after leaving his or her public position for the period between January 1 of the year in which the person leaves and the last day of office or employment, unless within the 60-day period the person takes another public position requiring financial disclosure under this section or s. 8, Art. II of the State Constitution or otherwise is required to file full and public disclosure or a statement of financial interests for the final disclosure period. Each state or local officer who is appointed and each specified state employee who is employed shall file a statement of financial interests within 30 days from the date of appointment or, in the case of a specified state employee, from the date on which the employment begins, except that any person whose appointment is subject to confirmation by the Senate shall file prior to confirmation hearings or within 30 days from the date of appointment, whichever comes first.
(c) State officers and specified state employees shall file their statements of financial interests with the Commission on Ethics. Local officers shall file their statements of financial interests with the supervisor of elections of the county in which they permanently reside. Local officers who do not permanently reside in any county in the state shall file their statements of financial interests with the supervisor of elections of the county in which their agency maintains its headquarters. Persons seeking to qualify as candidates for local public office shall file their statements of financial interests with the officer before whom they qualify.
(3) The statement of financial interests for state officers, specified state employees, local officers, and persons seeking to qualify as candidates for state or local office shall be filed even if the reporting person holds no financial interests requiring disclosure, in which case the statement shall be marked “not applicable.” Otherwise, the statement of financial interests shall include, at the filer’s option, either:
(a)1. All sources of income in excess of 5 percent of the gross income received during the disclosure period by the person in his or her own name or by any other person for his or her use or benefit, excluding public salary. However, this shall not be construed to require disclosure of a business partner’s sources of income. The person reporting shall list such sources in descending order of value with the largest source first;
2. All sources of income to a business entity in excess of 10 percent of the gross income of a business entity in which the reporting person held a material interest and from which he or she received an amount which was in excess of 10 percent of his or her gross income during the disclosure period and which exceeds $1,500. The period for computing the gross income of the business entity is the fiscal year of the business entity which ended on, or immediately prior to, the end of the disclosure period of the person reporting;
3. The location or description of real property in this state, except for residences and vacation homes, owned directly or indirectly by the person reporting, when such person owns in excess of 5 percent of the value of such real property, and a general description of any intangible personal property worth in excess of 10 percent of such person’s total assets. For the purposes of this paragraph, indirect ownership does not include ownership by a spouse or minor child; and
4. Every individual liability that equals more than the reporting person’s net worth; or
(b)1. All sources of gross income in excess of $2,500 received during the disclosure period by the person in his or her own name or by any other person for his or her use or benefit, excluding public salary. However, this shall not be construed to require disclosure of a business partner’s sources of income. The person reporting shall list such sources in descending order of value with the largest source first;
2. All sources of income to a business entity in excess of 10 percent of the gross income of a business entity in which the reporting person held a material interest and from which he or she received gross income exceeding $5,000 during the disclosure period. The period for computing the gross income of the business entity is the fiscal year of the business entity which ended on, or immediately prior to, the end of the disclosure period of the person reporting;
3. The location or description of real property in this state, except for residence and vacation homes, owned directly or indirectly by the person reporting, when such person owns in excess of 5 percent of the value of such real property, and a general description of any intangible personal property worth in excess of $10,000. For the purpose of this paragraph, indirect ownership does not include ownership by a spouse or minor child; and
4. Every liability in excess of $10,000.

A person filing a statement of financial interests shall indicate on the statement whether he or she is using the method specified in paragraph (a) or paragraph (b).

(4) Beginning January 1, 2015, an officer who is required to complete annual ethics training pursuant to s. 112.3142 must certify on his or her statement of financial interests that he or she has completed the required training.
(5) Each elected constitutional officer, state officer, local officer, and specified state employee shall file a quarterly report of the names of clients represented for a fee or commission, except for appearances in ministerial matters, before agencies at his or her level of government. For the purposes of this part, agencies of government shall be classified as state-level agencies or agencies below state level. Each local officer shall file such report with the supervisor of elections of the county in which the officer is principally employed or is a resident. Each state officer, elected constitutional officer, and specified state employee shall file such report with the commission. The report shall be filed only when a reportable representation is made during the calendar quarter and shall be filed no later than the last day of each calendar quarter, for the previous calendar quarter. Representation before any agency shall be deemed to include representation by such officer or specified state employee or by any partner or associate of the professional firm of which he or she is a member and of which he or she has actual knowledge. For the purposes of this subsection, the term “representation before any agency” does not include appearances before any court or the Deputy Chief Judge of Compensation Claims or judges of compensation claims or representations on behalf of one’s agency in one’s official capacity. Such term does not include the preparation and filing of forms and applications merely for the purpose of obtaining or transferring a license based on a quota or a franchise of such agency or a license or operation permit to engage in a profession, business, or occupation, so long as the issuance or granting of such license, permit, or transfer does not require substantial discretion, a variance, a special consideration, or a certificate of public convenience and necessity.
(6) Each elected constitutional officer and each candidate for such office, any other public officer required pursuant to s. 8, Art. II of the State Constitution to file a full and public disclosure of his or her financial interests, and each state officer, local officer, specified state employee, and candidate for elective public office who is or was during the disclosure period an officer, director, partner, proprietor, or agent, other than a resident agent solely for service of process, of, or owns or owned during the disclosure period a material interest in, any business entity which is granted a privilege to operate in this state shall disclose such facts as a part of the disclosure form filed pursuant to s. 8, Art. II of the State Constitution or this section, as applicable. The statement shall give the name, address, and principal business activity of the business entity and shall state the position held with such business entity or the fact that a material interest is owned and the nature of that interest.
(7) Forms for compliance with the disclosure requirements of this section and a current list of persons subject to disclosure shall be created by the commission and provided to each supervisor of elections. The commission and each supervisor of elections shall give notice of disclosure deadlines and delinquencies and distribute forms in the following manner:
(a)1. Not later than May 1 of each year, the commission shall prepare a current list of the names and addresses of, and the offices or positions held by, every state officer, local officer, and specified employee. In compiling the list, the commission shall be assisted by each unit of government in providing, at the request of the commission, the name, address, and name of agency of, and the office or position held by, each state officer, local officer, or specified state employee within the respective unit of government.
2. Not later than May 15 of each year, the commission shall provide each supervisor of elections with a current mailing list of all local officers required to file with such supervisor of elections.
(b) Not later than 30 days before July 1 of each year, the commission and each supervisor of elections, as appropriate, shall mail a copy of the form prescribed for compliance with subsection (3) and a notice of all applicable disclosure forms and filing deadlines to each person required to file a statement of financial interests.
(c) Not later than 30 days after July 1 of each year, the commission and each supervisor of elections shall determine which persons required to file a statement of financial interests in their respective offices have failed to do so and shall send delinquency notices by certified mail, return receipt requested, to these persons. Each notice shall state that a grace period is in effect until September 1 of the current year; that no investigative or disciplinary action based upon the delinquency will be taken by the agency head or commission if the statement is filed by September 1 of the current year; that, if the statement is not filed by September 1 of the current year, a fine of $25 for each day late will be imposed, up to a maximum penalty of $1,500; for notices sent by a supervisor of elections, that he or she is required by law to notify the commission of the delinquency; and that, if upon the filing of a sworn complaint the commission finds that the person has failed to timely file the statement within 60 days after September 1 of the current year, such person will also be subject to the penalties provided in s. 112.317.
(d) No later than November 15 of each year, the supervisor of elections in each county shall certify to the commission a list of the names and addresses of, and the offices or positions held by, all persons who have failed to timely file the required statements of financial interests. The certification must include the earliest of the dates described in subparagraph (f)1. The certification shall be on a form prescribed by the commission and shall indicate whether the supervisor of elections has provided the disclosure forms and notice as required by this subsection to all persons named on the delinquency list.
(e) Statements must be filed not later than 5 p.m. of the due date. However, any statement that is postmarked by the United States Postal Service by midnight of the due date is deemed to have been filed in a timely manner, and a certificate of mailing obtained from and dated by the United States Postal Service at the time of the mailing, or a receipt from an established courier company which bears a date on or before the due date, constitutes proof of mailing in a timely manner.
(f) Any person who is required to file a statement of financial interests and whose name is on the commission’s mailing list but who fails to timely file is assessed a fine of $25 per day for each day late up to a maximum of $1,500; however, this $1,500 limitation on automatic fines does not limit the civil penalty that may be imposed if the statement is filed more than 60 days after the deadline and a complaint is filed, as provided in s. 112.324. The commission must provide by rule the grounds for waiving the fine and procedures by which each person whose name is on the mailing list and who is determined to have not filed in a timely manner will be notified of assessed fines and may appeal. The rule must provide for and make specific the following:
1. The amount of the fine due is based upon the earliest of the following:
a. When a statement is actually received by the office.
b. When the statement is postmarked.
c. When the certificate of mailing is dated.
d. When the receipt from an established courier company is dated.
2. For a specified state employee or a state officer, upon receipt of the disclosure statement by the commission or upon accrual of the maximum penalty, whichever occurs first, and for a local officer upon receipt by the commission of the certification from the local officer’s supervisor of elections pursuant to paragraph (d), the commission shall determine the amount of the fine which is due and shall notify the delinquent person. The notice must include an explanation of the appeal procedure under subparagraph 3. The fine must be paid within 30 days after the notice of payment due is transmitted, unless appeal is made to the commission pursuant to subparagraph 3. The moneys are to be deposited into the General Revenue Fund.
3. Any reporting person may appeal or dispute a fine, based upon unusual circumstances surrounding the failure to file on the designated due date, and may request and is entitled to a hearing before the commission, which may waive the fine in whole or in part for good cause shown. Any such request must be made within 30 days after the notice of payment due is transmitted. In such a case, the reporting person must, within the 30-day period, notify the person designated to review the timeliness of reports in writing of his or her intention to bring the matter before the commission.
(g) Any state officer, local officer, or specified employee whose name is not on the mailing list of persons required to file an annual statement of financial interests is not subject to the penalties provided in s. 112.317 or the fine provided in this section for failure to timely file a statement of financial interests in any year in which the omission occurred, but nevertheless is required to file the disclosure statement.
(h) The notification requirements and fines of this subsection do not apply to candidates or to the first or final filing required of any state officer, specified employee, or local officer as provided in paragraph (2)(b).
(i) Notwithstanding any provision of chapter 120, any fine imposed under this subsection which is not waived by final order of the commission and which remains unpaid more than 60 days after the notice of payment due or more than 60 days after the commission renders a final order on the appeal must be submitted to the Department of Financial Services as a claim, debt, or other obligation owed to the state, and the department shall assign the collection of such a fine to a collection agent as provided in s. 17.20.
(8)(a) The appointing official or body shall notify each newly appointed local officer, state officer, or specified state employee, not later than the date of appointment, of the officer’s or employee’s duty to comply with the disclosure requirements of this section. The agency head of each employing agency shall notify each newly employed local officer or specified state employee, not later than the day of employment, of the officer’s or employee’s duty to comply with the disclosure requirements of this section. The appointing official or body or employing agency head may designate a person to be responsible for the notification requirements of this paragraph.
(b) The agency head of the agency of each local officer, state officer, or specified state employee who is required to file a statement of financial interests for the final disclosure period shall notify such persons of their obligation to file the final disclosure and may designate a person to be responsible for the notification requirements of this paragraph.
(c) If a person holding public office or public employment fails or refuses to file an annual statement of financial interests for any year in which the person received notice from the commission regarding the failure to file and has accrued the maximum automatic fine authorized under this section, regardless of whether the fine imposed was paid or collected, the commission shall initiate an investigation and conduct a public hearing without receipt of a complaint to determine whether the person’s failure to file is willful. Such investigation and hearing must be conducted in accordance with s. 112.324. Except as provided in s. 112.324(4), if the commission determines that the person willfully failed to file a statement of financial interests, the commission shall enter an order recommending that the officer or employee be removed from his or her public office or public employment.
(9) A public officer who has filed a disclosure for any calendar or fiscal year shall not be required to file a second disclosure for the same year or any part thereof, notwithstanding any requirement of this act, except that any public officer who qualifies as a candidate for public office shall file a copy of the disclosure with the officer before whom he or she qualifies as a candidate at the time of qualification.
(10)(a) The commission shall treat an amended annual statement of financial interests which is filed before September 1 of the year in which the statement is due as the original filing, regardless of whether a complaint has been filed. If a complaint alleges only an immaterial, inconsequential, or de minimis error or omission, the commission may not take any action on the complaint other than notifying the filer of the complaint. The filer must be given 30 days to file an amended statement of financial interests correcting any errors. If the filer does not file an amended statement of financial interests within 30 days after the commission sends notice of the complaint, the commission may continue with proceedings pursuant to s. 112.324.
(b) For purposes of the final statement of financial interests, the commission shall treat a new final statement of financial interests as the original filing, if filed within 60 days of the original filing regardless of whether a complaint has been filed. If, more than 60 days after a final statement of financial interests is filed, a complaint is filed alleging a complete omission of any information required to be disclosed by this section, the commission may immediately follow the complaint procedures in s. 112.324. However, if the complaint alleges an immaterial, inconsequential, or de minimis error or omission, the commission may not take any action on the complaint other than notifying the filer of the complaint. The filer must be given 30 days to file a new final statement of financial interests correcting any errors. If the filer does not file a new final statement of financial interests within 30 days after the commission sends notice of the complaint, the commission may continue with proceedings pursuant to s. 112.324.
(c) For purposes of this section, an error or omission is immaterial, inconsequential, or de minimis if the original filing provided sufficient information for the public to identify potential conflicts of interest. However, failure to certify completion of annual ethics training required under s. 112.3142 does not constitute an immaterial, inconsequential, or de minimis error or omission.
(11)(a) An individual required to file a disclosure pursuant to this section may have the disclosure prepared by an attorney in good standing with The Florida Bar or by a certified public accountant licensed under chapter 473. After preparing a disclosure form, the attorney or certified public accountant must sign the form indicating that he or she prepared the form in accordance with this section and the instructions for completing and filing the disclosure forms and that, upon his or her reasonable knowledge and belief, the disclosure is true and correct. If a complaint is filed alleging a failure to disclose information required by this section, the commission shall determine whether the information was disclosed to the attorney or certified public accountant. The failure of the attorney or certified public accountant to accurately transcribe information provided by the individual who is required to file the disclosure does not constitute a violation of this section.
(b) An elected officer or candidate who chooses to use an attorney or a certified public accountant to prepare his or her disclosure may pay for the services of the attorney or certified public accountant from funds in an office account created pursuant to s. 106.141 or, during a year that the individual qualifies for election to public office, the candidate’s campaign depository pursuant to s. 106.021.
(12) The commission shall adopt rules and forms specifying how a state officer, local officer, or specified state employee may amend his or her statement of financial interests to report information that was not included on the form as originally filed. If the amendment is the subject of a complaint filed under this part, the commission and the proper disciplinary official or body shall consider as a mitigating factor when considering appropriate disciplinary action the fact that the amendment was filed before any complaint or other inquiry or proceeding, while recognizing that the public was deprived of access to information to which it was entitled.
History.s. 5, ch. 74-177; ss. 2, 6, ch. 75-196; s. 2, ch. 76-18; s. 1, ch. 77-174; s. 63, ch. 77-175; s. 54, ch. 79-40; s. 3, ch. 82-98; s. 2, ch. 83-128; ss. 2, 5, ch. 83-282; s. 3, ch. 84-318; s. 1, ch. 88-316; s. 1, ch. 90-169; s. 5, ch. 90-502; s. 27, ch. 91-46; s. 6, ch. 91-85; s. 6, ch. 91-292; ss. 5, 13, ch. 94-277; s. 3, ch. 94-340; s. 1410, ch. 95-147; s. 14, ch. 96-410; s. 31, ch. 97-286; s. 17, ch. 99-399; s. 2, ch. 2000-161; s. 3, ch. 2000-243; s. 31, ch. 2000-258; s. 23, ch. 2000-372; s. 3, ch. 2001-91; s. 2, ch. 2001-282; s. 128, ch. 2003-261; s. 4, ch. 2006-275; s. 12, ch. 2007-217; s. 7, ch. 2008-6; s. 9, ch. 2013-36; s. 4, ch. 2014-183.