(1) Any county, or two or more contiguous counties located within a single district of the department, may, by resolution adopted by the board of county commissioners, form an expressway authority, which shall be an agency of the state, pursuant to the Florida Expressway Authority Act.
(2) The governing body of an authority shall consist of not fewer than five nor more than nine voting members. The district secretary of the affected department district shall serve as a nonvoting member of the governing body of each authority located within the district. Each member of the governing body must at all times during his or her term of office be a permanent resident of the county which he or she is appointed to represent.
(a) Two members of the authority shall be appointed for terms of 4 years by the Governor, subject to confirmation by the Senate. Such persons may not hold elective office during their terms of office.
(b) For a single-county authority, the remaining members shall be appointed by the board of county commissioners for terms of 3 years.
(c) For a multicounty authority, the remaining members shall be apportioned, based on the population of such counties, among the counties within the authority. Each such member shall be appointed by the applicable board of county commissioners for a term of 3 years.
(d) Notwithstanding any provision to the contrary in this subsection, in any county as defined in s. 125.011(1), the governing body of an authority shall consist of up to 13 members, and the following provisions of this paragraph shall apply specifically to such authority. Except for the district secretary of the department, the members must be residents of the county. Seven voting members shall be appointed by the governing body of the county. At the discretion of the governing body of the county, up to two of the members appointed by the governing body of the county may be elected officials residing in the county. Five voting members of the authority shall be appointed by the Governor. One member shall be the district secretary of the department serving in the district that contains such county. This member shall be an ex officio voting member of the authority. If the governing board of an authority includes any member originally appointed by the governing body of the county as a nonvoting member, when the term of such member expires, that member shall be replaced by a member appointed by the Governor until the governing body of the authority is composed of seven members appointed by the governing body of the county and five members appointed by the Governor. The qualifications, terms of office, and obligations and rights of members of the authority shall be determined by resolution or ordinance of the governing body of the county in a manner that is consistent with subsections (3) and (4).
(3)(a) The governing body of each authority shall elect one of its members as its chair and shall elect a secretary and a treasurer who need not be members of the authority. The chair, secretary, and treasurer shall hold their offices at the will of the authority. A simple majority of the governing body of the authority constitutes a quorum, and the vote of a majority of those members present is necessary for the governing body to take any action. A vacancy on an authority shall not impair the right of a quorum of the authority to exercise all of the rights and perform all of the duties of the authority.
(b) Upon the effective date of his or her appointment, or as soon thereafter as practicable, each appointed member of an authority shall enter upon his or her duties.
(4)(a) An authority may employ an executive secretary, an executive director, its own counsel and legal staff, technical experts, and such engineers and employees, permanent or temporary, as it may require and shall determine the qualifications and fix the compensation of such persons, firms, or corporations. An authority may employ a fiscal agent or agents; however, the authority must solicit sealed proposals from at least three persons, firms, or corporations for the performance of any services as fiscal agents. An authority may delegate to one or more of its agents or employees such of its power as it deems necessary to carry out the purposes of the Florida Expressway Authority Act, subject always to the supervision and control of the authority. Members of an authority may be removed from office by the Governor for misconduct, malfeasance, misfeasance, or nonfeasance in office.
(b) Members of an authority are entitled to receive from the authority their travel and other necessary expenses incurred in connection with the business of the authority as provided in s. 112.061, but they may not draw salaries or other compensation.
(c) Members of each expressway authority, transportation authority, bridge authority, or toll authority, created pursuant to this chapter, chapter 343, or any other general law, shall comply with the applicable financial disclosure requirements of s. 8, Art. II of the State Constitution. This paragraph does not subject any statutorily created authority, other than an expressway authority created under this part, to any other requirement of this part except the requirement of this paragraph.
(5) In a county as defined in s. 125.011(1): (a) A lobbyist, as defined in s. 112.3215, may not be appointed or serve as a member of an authority. (b) A member or the executive director of an authority may not:
1. Personally represent another person or entity for compensation before the authority for a period of 2 years after vacation of his or her position.
2. After retirement or termination, have an employment or contractual relationship with a business entity other than an agency, as defined in s. 112.312, in connection with a contract in which the member or executive director personally and substantially participated through decision, approval, disapproval, recommendation, rendering of advice, or investigation while he or she was a member or employee of the authority.
(c) The authority’s general counsel shall serve as the authority’s ethics officer.
(d) Authority board members, employees, and consultants who hold positions that may influence authority decisions shall refrain from engaging in any relationship that may adversely affect their judgment in carrying out authority business. To prevent such conflicts of interest and preserve the integrity and transparency of the authority to the public, the following disclosures must be made annually on a disclosure form: 1. Any relationship that a board member, employee, or consultant has which affords a current or future financial benefit to such board member, employee, or consultant, or to a relative or business associate of such board member, employee, or consultant, and which a reasonable person would conclude has the potential to create a prohibited conflict of interest. As used in this subsection, the term “relative” has the same meaning as provided in s. 112.312.
2. Whether a relative of such board member, employee, or consultant is a registered lobbyist and, if so, the names of such lobbyist’s clients. Such names shall be provided in writing to the ethics officer.
3. Any and all interests in real property that such board member, employee, or consultant has, or that an immediate family member of such board member, employee, or consultant has, if such real property is located in, or within a 1/2-mile radius of, any actual or prospective authority roadway project. The executive director shall provide a corridor map and a property ownership list reflecting the ownership of all real property within the disclosure area, or an alignment map with a list of associated owners, to all board members, employees, and consultants.
(e) The disclosure forms filed as required under paragraph (d) must be reviewed by the ethics officer or, if a form is filed by the general counsel, by the executive director.
(f) The conflict of interest process shall be outlined in the authority’s code of ethics.
(g) Authority employees and consultants are prohibited from serving on the governing body of the authority while employed by or under contract with the authority.
(h) The code of ethics policy shall be reviewed and updated by the ethics officer and presented for board approval at least once every 2 years.
(i) Employees shall be adequately informed and trained on the code of ethics and shall continually participate in ongoing ethics education.
(j) The requirements of paragraphs (b)-(i) are in addition to requirements that the members and the executive director of the authority are required to follow under chapter 112.
(k) Violations of paragraphs (b), (d), and (g) are punishable in accordance with s. 112.317.