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Florida Constitution Revision Commission

PUB 700002: Article II: Section 8 by Mrs. S M Anderson

NEW ARTICLE

Title: INSURING HONEST SERVICES THROUGH PROTECTION OF THE PUBLIC TRUST AGAINST GOVERNMENT CORRUPTION AND MALFEASANCE.

 

SECTION 8. Ethics in government.—A public office is a public trust. The people shall have the right to secure and sustain that trust against waste, fraud, and abuse. To assure this right of the people to receive adequate and meaningful honest state and local government services, the public trust is enunciated herein:
 

  1. THE PUBLIC TRUST IS ANY DUTY LAWFULLY REQUIRED of a public position holder under color of law or when delegated by the authority of a public position holder shall be deemed to be a lawful duty of such position holder. The delegation of such lawful duty shall not relieve the delegator of his/her lawful duty.
     
  2. CORRUPTION is any act or suspected act of malfeasance, gross mismanagement, gross waste of public funds, or gross neglect of duty committed by any public position holder, or agent of any agency, or external entity or person engaged for a public purpose.
     
  3. MALFEASANCE IN OFFICE is committed when any public position holder:

    (1) is doing an act which he/she has no legal right to do at all and when through ignorance, inattention, omission, or malice does that which they have no legal right to do at all, or acts without any authority whatsoever, or exceeds, ignores, or abuses their powers;

    (2) refuses or fails to perform any duty lawfully required of such position holder; or performs any such duty in an unlawful manner; or

    (3) permits any other public positon holder, under his/her authority, to refuse or fail to perform any duty lawfully required;



     

    (D) PROTECTION OF THE RIGHT of all Floridians to receive honest services requires the Commission on Ethics and/or Inspectors General to investigate all complaints of violations of any duty lawfully required and the Attorney General to prosecute violations of law when probable cause is found.
     

    (E)(1) WHOEVER KNOWINGLY AND WILLFULLY COMMITS THE CRIME OF MALFEASANCE IN        
         OFFICE shall be removed from government service, and may be imprisoned for not more than five years or

         shall be fined not more than twenty-five thousand dollars per occurrence, or both,

          (2) IN ADDITION TO THE PENALTY PROVIDED in Part (1) of this Subsection, a person convicted of the
          provisions of this Section may be ordered to pay restitution to the state if the state suffered a loss as a result of
          the offense. Restitution shall include the payment of legal interest at the rate provided by the Chief Financial

          Officer of Florida.

    (F) DEFINITIONS. For the purposes of this Section, the following words and terms shall mean and include the following:


          (1) HONEST SERVICES means the fiduciary obligation to perform a function or serve a governmental
          purpose in good faith compliance with governing federal and state constitutions, statutes, ordinances, and rules.

          (2) GOVERNMENTAL FUNCTION or GOVERNMENTAL SERVICE means performing a function or
          serving a governmental purpose which is or could properly be performed or served by an appropriate

          governmental unit or which is demonstrated to perform a function or serve a purpose which would otherwise be

          a valid subject for the allocation of public funds.

          (3) GOVERNMENTAL ENTITY means state, county, municipality, district, city, town, village, department or
          agency, board, commission, office and collegial body in or of the executive or legislative branch, any personnel,  

          individual positions authorized by constitution or statute unless specifically exempted, and any nonprofits

          involving public positon holders and using public resources for any purpose.
     

          (4) PUBLIC POSITION HOLDERS means any elected and appointed state and local officials and officers,

          any autonomous personnel, any quasi-judicial personnel, any public or private sector advisory personnel to a

          public official or public personnel, any state and local department and agency public personnel, any citizen

          members of advisory boards.


          (5) PERSONNEL includes any public personnel, director, partner, manager, representative, or employee of a

          nongovernmental entity or private corporation, quasi-public corporation or entity or anyone who is authorized by        

          law or contract to perform a governmental function or provide a governmental service on behalf of the state,

          county, municipal, or special district agency or entity to the extent that the individual’s conduct relates to the

          performance of the governmental function or provision of the governmental service.


(E) EFFECTIVE DATE: This section shall be effective immediately upon voter approval of this amendment.