Advisory Opinion No. 2000-36

Re: Randall Rosenbaum

QUESTION PRESENTED

The petitioner, the Executive Director of the Rhode Island State Council on the Arts, a state employee position, requests an advisory opinion as to whether he is required to file an annual Financial Disclosure Statement with the Ethics Commission.

RESPONSE

It is the opinion of the Rhode Island Ethics Commission that the Code of Ethics does not require the petitioner, the Executive Director of the Rhode Island State Council on the Arts, a state employee position, to file a financial disclosure statement by reason of said position; however, he is required to file a financial disclosure statement pursuant to his service as a member of the Cumberland Historic Preservation Commission, a municipal appointed position.

The Code of Ethics requires all state and municipal elected and appointed officials to file annual financial statements with the Ethics Commission. See R.I. Gen. Laws § 36-14-16.

Members of many Commissions serve as volunteers or are not compensated for their public service; however, the General Assembly has deemed that if an official is appointed by the highest governing body of the state or municipality or for a term of office and exercises governmental functions other than in an advisory nature, the public official is required to file a personal financial statement pursuant to the Code of Ethics. See R.I. Gen. Laws § 36-14-2(9). Here, the petitioner is not required to file a financial statement by reason of his position as Executive Director of the State Council on the Arts, given that he was neither appointed by the highest governing authority of the state nor serves a term of office. However, he received his appointment to the Cumberland Historic Preservation Commission through that municipality's Town Council. Therefore, the petitioner is a “state or municipal appointed official” within the meaning of R.I. Gen. Laws § 36-14-4 or § 36-14-16, and is required to file a financial disclosure statement.

Code Citations:

36-14-2(9)
36-14-4
36-14-16

Related Advisory Opinions:

2000-31
99-87
99-66
99-65
98-138
98-62
98-36
97-134
97-69
97-68
97-60

Keywords:

Financial disclosure