Advisory Opinion No. 99-66

Re: Rosalba Zanni

QUESTION PRESENTED

The petitioner, the Clerk of Committees for the City of Cranston, a municipal employee position, requests an advisory opinion as to whether she is required to file a personal financial disclosure statement pursuant to the Code of Ethics given her service as the acting Cranston City Clerk, a municipal appointed position.

RESPONSE

It is the opinion of the Rhode Island Ethics Commission that the petitioner, the Clerk of Committees for the City of Cranston, a municipal employee position, is required to file a personal financial disclosure statement based upon her service as the acting Cranston City Clerk, 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.

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). The length of the appointment is not relevant to this determination, nor does it matter that the appointment is to serve in an acting capacity.

The petitioner represents that she served as Acting Cranston City Clerk from December 30, 1998 until March 9, 1999. Since the petitioner received her appointment through the Cranston City Council, she was a “state or municipal appointed official” under the express terms of the applicable statute. Therefore, she is required to file a financial disclosure statement with the Ethics Commission. Further, all appointed officials are required to file a financial disclosure statement within 30 days of their appointment for the year preceding the appointment. See R.I. Gen Laws §§ 36-14-16. Accordingly, and again under the express terms of the applicable statute, the petitioner is required to file financial statements for 1998 and 1999.

Code Citations:

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

Related Advisory Opinions:

98-78
98-36
97-68
97-67

Keywords:

Financial Disclosure