Advisory Opinion No. 96-28

Re: Salvatore Lombardi

Question Presented

The President of Local 2884, AFSCME, which represents the employees of the Rhode Island State Council on the Arts requests an advisory opinion as to whether the Code of Ethics allows Council employees to fund-raise their own salaries. The Governor has recommended that the Rhode Island State Council on the Arts "seek pledges from donations and other sources to leverage funds in lieu of general revenue funding" with respect to the Fiscal Year 1997.


The Code of Ethics does not prohibit members or employees of the State Council on the Arts from seeking pledges for donations. If and when the members or employees engage in fundraising activities, however, they must, under the Code of Ethics, adopt and/or follow procedures that ensure that no improper or unfair advantage flows to individuals or entities who choose to make donations to the Council. As stated in previous advisory opinions, the practice that best ensures such a result is one that is broad-based and does not focus on, for instance, only those individuals or entities doing business with the Council.

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