Advisory Opinion No. 97-100

Re: Marie Lasorsa


The Legal Counsel for the Department of Environmental Management requests an advisory opinion on behalf of the Petitioner, a Department of Environmental Management employee, a state employee position, as to whether she may teach a yoga class after work for other employees of the Department.


It is the opinion of the Rhode Island Ethics Commission that the Petitioner, Department of Environmental Management ("DEM") employee, a state employee position, does not have an interest in substantial conflict with her duties as an Administrative Officer if she teaches a yoga class at DEM since the yoga instruction is unrelated to her current employment. Additionally, the employee did not have any decision making authority with regard to whether or how to institute a yoga program at DEM, nor would she be paid by DEM. Finally, there does not appear to be any loss to the State as a result of the program and indications are that it will contribute to a better work environment for the employees. The Commission also concludes that the use of the cafeteria under the particular facts of this matter does not create any impermissible conflicts under the Code of Ethics as it will be used during non-work hours. While there may be issues that DEM must address with the State Purchasing Office, Department of Administration, or Attorney General's Office as to use of state property, the issues relating to such do not fall within the purview of this Commission.

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