OPINION NO. 81-7
The Department of Budget and Fiscal Planning (the Department) has requested an opinion as to whether a Budget Planner (the Employee) in the office of the Secretary may engage in outside employment teaching at a community college subsidized in part by State funds.
The Employee works in a small fiscal planning unit within the office of the Secretary of the Department. The Employee has responsibilities relating to the allocation of State aid to political subdivisions; preparation of reports on tax expenditures by certain areas receiving tax exemptions; the conduct of financial analyses, calculations, and research for special projects; and responding to miscellaneous requests from the Secretary.
The Employee has requested approval of outside employment as a teacher at a community college (the College). The proposed work involves teaching one evening course, beginning in the 1981 Spring semester, in the general areas of intermediate accounting and principles of accounting.
As the Employee does not appear to be involved in any activities relating to the community colleges in general (or her proposed employer in particular), it would appear that the issue here arises primarily under §3-103(a) of the Maryland Public Ethics Law (Article 40A, §3-103(a), Annotated Code of Maryland, the Ethics Law), rather than the disqualification provisions of §3-101. Section 3-103(a) prohibits an official or employee from being employed by an entity that is subject to his authority or that of his agency. As the Employee is a person covered by the Ethics Law, the proposed employment relationship with the College would be restricted by §3-103(a) if the College is found to be an entity under the authority of the Department.
The Employee's proposed outside employment is with a community college. In its Opinion No. 80-9 this Commission found that community colleges are executive agencies in State government as contemplated by §1-201(k) of the Ethics Law. Since the Employee's proposed outside employment is with another State agency, the question, then, is whether the outside employment prohibitions of §3-103(a) of the Ethics Law should come into play where the secondary employment is with another State agency, whether or not that agency has contracts with or is otherwise within the jurisdiction of the individual's primary State employer. It is our view that the term entity as used in §3-103(a) does not include State agencies. We therefore conclude that the restrictions of §3-103(a) do not apply in situations such as this involving dual State employment. The employee may therefore engage in the proposed outside employment as a community college teacher.
Herbert J. Belgrad, Chairman
Jervis S. Finney
Reverend John Wesley Holland
Barbara M. Steckel
Date: March 10, 1981