Advisory Opinion No. 2000-47

Re: Karen D. Menzel, Ph.D

QUESTION PRESENTED

The petitioner, a member of the State House Restoration Society, a state appointed position, requests an advisory opinion as to whether she is required to file a financial disclosure form due to her membership on the Society.

RESPONSE

It is the opinion of the Rhode Island Ethics Commission that the petitioner, a member of the State House Restoration Society (“Society”), a state appointed position, is required to file a financial disclosure form due to her membership on the Society since she is appointed by the Governor and exercises governmental functions other than in an advisory nature.

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.

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 required to file a financial statement by reason of her position as a member of the State House Restoration Society. Pursuant to Executive Order 92-13, the Society Board of Trustees members are appointed by the Governor and its purpose is to solicit and accept charitable contributions on behalf of the sate which are to be used for the State House restoration. The Society is charged with developing a fundraising program, providing advice to officials regarding restoration and preservation laws. Additionally, all funds received by the Society are within the sole control of the Board of Trustees. 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