(1) It is essential to the proper conduct and operation of Friends of Cape Florida, Inc. (herein “CSO”) that its board members, ofﬁcers, and employees be independent and impartial and that their position not be used for private gain. Therefore, the Florida Legislature in Section 112.3251, Florida Statute (Fla. Stat.), requires that the law protect against any conﬂict of interest and establish standards for the conduct of CSO board members, ofﬁcers, and employees in situations where conﬂicts may exist.
(2) It is hereby declared to be the policy of the state that no CSO board member, ofﬁcer, or employee shall have any interest, ﬁnancial or otherwise, direct or indirect, or incur any obligation of any nature which is in substantial conﬂict with the proper discharge of his or her duties for the CSO. To implement this policy and strengthen the faith and conﬁdence of the people in Citizen Support Organizations, there is enacted a code of ethics setting forth standards of conduct required of Friends of Cape Florida, Inc. board members, ofﬁcers, and employees in the performance of their ofﬁcial duties.
The following standards of conduct are enumerated in Chapter 112, Fla. Stat., and are required by Section 112.3251, Fla. Stat., to be observed by CSO board members, ofﬁcers, and employees.
1. Prohibition of Solicitation or Acceptance of Gifts.
No CSO board member, ofﬁcer, or employee shall solicit or accept anything of value to the recipient, including a gift, loan, reward, promise of future employment, favor, or service, based upon any understanding that the vote, ofﬁcial action, or judgment of the CSO board member, ofﬁcer, or employee would be inﬂuenced thereby.
2. Prohibition of Accepting Compensation Given to Inﬂuence a Vote.
No CSO board member, ofﬁcer, or employee shall accept any compensation, payment, or thing of value when the person knows, or, with reasonable care, should know that it was given to inﬂuence a vote or other action in which the CSO board member, ofﬁcer, or employee was expected to participate in his or her ofﬁcial capacity.
3. Salary and Expenses.
No CSO board member or ofﬁcer shall be prohibited from voting on a matter affecting his or her salary, expenses, or other compensation as a CSO board member or ofﬁcer, as provided by law.
4. Prohibition of Misuse of Position.
A CSO board member, ofﬁcer, or employee shall not corruptly use or attempt to use one’s ofﬁcial position or any property or resource which may be within one’s trust, or perform ofﬁcial duties, to secure a special privilege, beneﬁt, or exemption.
5. Prohibition of Misuse of Privileged Information.
No CSO board member, ofﬁcer, or employee shall disclose or use information not available to members of the general public and gained by reason of one’s ofﬁcial position for one’s own personal gain or beneﬁt or for the personal gain or beneﬁt of any other person or business entity.
6. Post-Ofﬁce/Employment Restrictions.
A person who has been elected to any CSO board or ofﬁce or who is employed by a CSO may not personally represent another person or entity for compensation before the governing body of the CSO of which he or she was a board member, ofﬁcer, or employee for a period of two years after he or she vacates that ofﬁce or employment position.
7. Prohibition of Employees Holding Ofﬁce.
No person may be, at one time, both a CSO employee and a CSO board member at the same time.
8. Requirements to Abstain From Voting.
A CSO board member or ofﬁcer shall not vote in ofﬁcial capacity upon any measure which would affect his or her special private gain or loss, or which he or she knows would affect the special gain or any principal by whom the board member or ofﬁcer is retained. When abstaining, the CSO board member or ofﬁcer, prior to the vote being taken, shall make every reasonable effort to disclose the nature of his or her interest as a public record in a memorandum ﬁled with the person responsible for recording the minutes of the meeting, who shall incorporate the memorandum in the minutes. If it is not possible for the CSO board member or ofﬁcer to ﬁle a memorandum before the vote, the memorandum must be ﬁled with the person responsible for recording the minutes of the meeting no later than 15 days after the vote.
9. Failure to Observe CSO Code of Ethics.
Failure of a CSO board member, ofﬁcer, or employee to observe the Code of Ethics may result in the removal of that person from their position. Further, failure of the CSO to observe the Code of Ethics may result in the Florida Department of Environmental Protection terminating its Agreement with the CSO.