ADVISORY OPINION NO. 93-EC-005
PROVISIONAL OPINION
Issued September 16, 1993

The Honorable Arthur Carter
Arkansas State Representative
301 Mountain Street
Berryville, AR 72616-3015

Dear Representative Carter:

On September 2, 1993, this office received your request for an official opinion under authority of Initiated Act 1 of 1988 and Initiated Act 1 of 1990.  

Your question, paraphrased, is:  

Is a suburban improvement district required to file a Statement of Financial Interest?

This Commission has attempted to answer this question in its previously issued opinion #92-EC-022 (attached). That opinion is so complicated and confusing that it almost surely is of very little help to you. However, its conclusions are sound, and we re-adopt them here:

The Ethics Commission cannot determine (a) which statute to apply to a suburban improvement district from among competing and conflicting statutes; and (b) whether a statute passed by the legislature is in conflict with Initiated Act 1 of 1988, and if so, which prevails.

We opined that the courts, the legislature, or the Attorney General should determine whether a suburban improvement district is a subdivision of government. If so, appointees to its commission must file a financial disclosure document. Further, which document the commissioners must file (Statement of Financial Interest or Code of Ethics) would depend upon whether they were subject to ACA 21-8-305 or ACA 21-8-701.

The Ethics Commission will address these questions to the Attorney General, and apply this Commission's opinion to his reply to give you a full reply in the near future.

Sincerely,
Jack R. Kearney
Director/Chief Counsel


Opinion No. 93-EC-005
FINAL OPINION
September 30, 1993

The Honorable Arthur Carter
Arkansas State Representative
301 Mountain Street
Berryville, AR 72616-3015

Dear Representative Carter:

On September 16, 1993, this commission issued a provisional opinion, pending resolution of certain statutory conflicts by the Attorney General.  As the Attorney General has now replied to this commission, indicating that the commission is fully authorized and responsible for the opinion you seek, we are of the opinion that:

(1) a suburban improvement district commissioner is an appointed "governmental body" [see ACA 21-8-402(a)];

(2) because it is such, each appointee to the commission is a "public servant" [see ACA 402(14) and (17)];

(3) as a public servant, he or she is required to file a financial disclosure statement entitled "Statement of Financial Interest".

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact this office.


Jack R. Kearney
Director/Chief Counsel